Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Beam (my language) up, Simultaneous Interpretation Feature Added to Virtual Proceedings Platforms

Created by Yu luck, Noun Project
By Konstantina Vagenas, NCSC

At the onset of the pandemic, courts pivoted overnight to virtual hearings to comply with health and safety guidelines.  Court interpreters were required to provide their services remotely via court-approved and licensed videoconferencing platforms. Among these, WebEx and Zoom were the most common. The major challenge in these proceedings was the absence of an integrated, simultaneous interpretation channel, which interpreters overcame by adding an additional audio device, usually a personal mobile phone—a suboptimal solution.  Within a few weeks, the court interpreting world was abuzz with the advantages offered by Zoom’s embedded simultaneous court interpreting channels. Like characters in Star Trek, interpreters were being “beamed up” to virtual courtrooms.