Transitioning from on-site to remote simultaneous interpretation is one heck of a job. Yet, with proper planning and some background knowledge, this task may not be that hard to master.
Interactio sat down with Andrius Dovydaitis, Customer Solutions Engineer, and Barry Olsen, Co-President of InterpretAmerica, LLC, and professional conference interpreter, to discuss the best tips for RSI newbies.
Here’s what we came up with:
Prevent tech failures with simple Internet and audio checks right before the event
Understanding the characteristics of your working devices is crucial to the quality of the delivered sound. Start your journey as an RSI prof by identifying the download/upload speed of your Internet.
Don’t forget to set optimal audio settings for clear output and input sound. You should receive more recommendations on the settings from the RSI platform of your choice.
Dedicate a separate sound-isolated space for interpretation
As you try to organize your permanent place for simultaneous interpretation, remember to make it as comfortable as possible. Though an ideal solution would be working in a sound booth, you can create your own sound-isolated room at home.
Purchase special soundproofing textiles to install on the walls and under carpets. Always close curtains, windows, and doors.
For more information on soundproofing textiles, click here.
DON’T use your personal computer (PC) for interpretation
Having a dedicated machine for RSI will serve you well as most PCs are not strong enough to withstand the loads of the interpretation work. As you purchase a separate device, don’t forget to keep the operating system clean at all times, delete cache, and run prophylactic maintenance.
Forget about wireless connection – Ethernet cable is a way to go
If you can take away one thing about RSI, let it be this: Wi-FI connection is not 100% stable to provide an uninterrupted audio and video streaming.
For a smooth flow, greater security, and reliability during remote interpretation, use an Ethernet cable. Not only you will enjoy a faster data transfer but also a consistent speed which is not subject to signal interference.
Order a dedicated Internet line instead of a shared connection
If we can guess, as most of the home users, you are subscribed to the shared Internet line. In other words, you share your bandwidth with all the other users of your Internet provider. While this can work perfectly fine for a usual household, it creates a handful of problems in a professional setting.
Slow upload and download speed and interrupted connection due to the hogged line are just a few of unfortunate drawbacks of the shared line.
Luckily, there’s a cost-effective and safe solution – dedicated Internet access (DIA). DIA is a private connection between you and the web with no other subscribers using the same bandwidth.
Consistent speed, high download/upload speed regardless of the environmental factors, and no competition with other users. We bet that sounds great.
To learn more about dedicated internet connection, click here.
Mediate between the laptop and stationary computer for convenience
It is preferable to have an external screen to alternate between the documents and video feed, maintaining a natural eye line. Whether it should be a laptop or a stationary computer is a question of your working conditions and preference.
On the one hand, a stationary computer is higher and easier to control, performing better per visual parameters and exhibiting higher processing power. On the other hand, laptops come handy if you move between different locations.
Utilize USB headsets instead of analogue
Having USB type of playback headsets will save you nerves and time as you transition to remote interpretation. It is safe to troubleshoot and easy to determine any problems with connection, volume, and frequencies.
Also, remember that an integrated, or built-in, microphone is not designed for interpretation. While it won’t change your experience as an interpreter, it will certainly disturb the output audio of remote participants.
Define contractual responsibilities beforehand
Be in regular contact with your interpreter organization to determine the scope of your responsibilities. Good news is that you don’t have to be responsible for the set-up. Organization can either assist you along the way or fully arrange it, as agreed.
Many platforms also assign technical support specialists to monitor the event during remote interpretation. This way, you only have to worry about the quality of your work with other variables overseen externally.
As a newbie, don’t hesitate to secure your rights, longing for safe, desirable, and cost-effective solutions.
Transitioning to RSI can be scary and even uncomfortable. However, with little support and recognition, you’re all set to conquer the new horizons.
Want to have a look at how we handle on-boarding of remote simultaneous interpreters at Interactio platform?