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How to Host Multilingual Events With Live Language Interpretation

How to Host Multilingual Events With Live Language Interpretation

Virtual or hybrid events enable you to reach global audiences like never before. When attendees are joining your event from every corner of the world, you want to make sure the experience is accessible and enjoyable.

If you’re planning on welcoming a large number of attendees from countries that speak different languages, live language interpretation helps you overcome language barriers and connect with more people. 

Take a look at this powerful feature for presenting event content in multiple languages, and see how we put it to use for our global Zoomtopia 2020 user conference. 

What is live language interpretation?

When enabled, live language interpretation allows hosts to assign interpreters to a separate audio channel for the language they are interpreting. Interpreters get a unique link to join the Zoom Meeting or Zoom Webinars in their separate audio channel.

Attendees can select the corresponding audio channel to hear the interpreter speaking in their language of choice. 

Screenshot from Zoomtopia webinar with Zoom CEO Eric Yuan having a video conference with Jensen Huang of NVIDIA

Behind the scenes: Making Zoomtopia a multilingual event

When our annual user conference, Zoomtopia, went 100% virtual in 2020, we welcomed an audience many times larger than any we’d hosted in the past. We knew we’d have to tailor our event to serve international attendees by providing a follow-the-sun agenda, regional keynotes, and live language interpretation for our most popular sessions.

With support from our language service provider, we lined up 54 German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Japanese interpreters to serve Zoom’s largest international markets. These professional interpreters did an amazing job and we couldn’t be more grateful for their proficiency and expertise. During one of our busiest time slots, we had 32 interpreters actively working across multiple sessions! 

Communicating with more than 50 interpreters can be a challenge. Pro tip: Use Zoom Team Chat to create chat channels so you have a central place to coordinate with all your interpreters. Our Zoomtopia Interpreter Chat channel became a go-to place to provide reminders for upcoming sessions, confirm that interpreters were ready to go, and help with troubleshooting. It also allowed interpreters to share tips and tricks with each other in real time.

How to set up live language interpretation for your next event

Zoom makes it incredibly easy to configure webinars with live interpreters: 

  • While scheduling the event, simply scroll down to “Interpretation” and check the box to “Enable language interpretation”
  • Add your interpreters’ emails and select their language pair
  • Interpreters will receive a unique invitation link. When they join their meeting or webinar, they will receive a prompt to help them set up as the interpreter for their language 

Host your multilingual event on Zoom

Want to host an event with live interpretation into multiple languages? Get started with our Ultimate Guide to Planning & Hosting Virtual Events.

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