Zoom’s Interpretation feature allows schedulers/Hosts to designate specific participants as interpreters for their meeting. These interpreters can then translate audio from the meeting into different languages for other participants. The directions on this page are based on the Zoom Meeting platform, but the Zoom Webinar platform is very similar.
Notes about the Zoom Interpretation feature:
- To use the Zoom Interpretation feature in your meetings, it must be enabled in your Zoom settings and it must have been enabled during meeting scheduling!
- Only Hosts can manage the Interpretation feature during a meeting! (i.e. assign interpreter roles to other participants or turn the feature on/off).
- Co-hosts do NOT have the ability to manage this feature.
- Participants who will serve as interpreters can be invited directly from the scheduling form on the Tufts Zoom website. The original and translated languages (e.g. English to Spanish) must also be specified.
- Meeting hosts can also assign interpreter roles to participants during a meeting.
- When participants choose to listen to an interpreter, the interpreter’s audio will automatically play at 100% volume. The participant can choose whether or not to mute the audio from the original speaker.
- The interpretation feature is NOT available in Breakout Rooms.
- This feature is available on mobile!
- Mobile participants can serve as interpreters, as well as listen to interpreted audio.
- However, mobile participants cannot manage the Interpretation feature, even if they have the Host role.
Enabling the Interpretation Feature
- Log in to tufts.zoom.us with your Tufts username (e.g. jjumbo01) and password.
- Click Settings in the left-hand navigation menu.
- Scroll down to the In Meeting (Advanced) menu.
- Find the Language Interpretation setting and click on the slider to turn it on. A list of available languages will appear by default.
Adding Available Interpretation Languages
- If you haven’t already done so, follow the steps in the previous section to enable the Interpretation feature.
- To add another language, click on the Add button () next to the number of available languages.
- Type in a language and select it from the dropdown menu. When adding custom languages to your Tufts Zoom Settings, try to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of using “Chinese”, use “Cantonese” or “Mandarin” so participants are clear on what language to select. Repeat with other languages as necessary.
- Click the Add button to save your changes.
Languages that have been added in this way will now be listed in your Zoom Settings. To remove one of these custom languages, click the Delete button (). (Note: You are not able to delete any of the languages that are listed by default.)
- Log in to tufts.zoom.us with your Tufts username (e.g. jjumbo01) and password.
- Click SCHEDULE A MEETING toward the top right of the page.
- Complete the scheduling form with information about your meeting (topic, date/time, etc.).
- The Interpretation option will be located at the bottom of the form. To use this feature, check the box next to Enable language interpretation.
- Enter the email address of an interpreter (does not need to be an @tufts.edu address), then use the dropdown menus to specify which languages they will be interpreting between. (Note: If you do not see a language you need in the dropdown menu, you must first add the language in your Zoom settings. For directions on how to do this, see the previous section on Managing the Interpretation Feature in Your Zoom Settings.)
- To add more interpreters, click the Add Interpreter button and repeat the previous step.
- When you’re done setting up your meeting, click Save at the bottom of the form to schedule it.
Any people who you have invited as interpreters to your meeting will receive an email similar to the one displayed below. It contains information about the meeting, including their role as an interpreter for certain languages (e.g. English and Spanish).
- Click the Interpretation button in the bottom toolbar. (Note: This button will only be available if the person who scheduled the meeting has the Interpretation feature enabled in their Tufts Zoom settings and they turned the feature on for that specific meeting.)
- A Language Interpretation window will open.
- If one of your interpreters has not joined the meeting, they will be listed as “****** (not joined)”. Once they join, their name will be displayed properly.
- From this window, you can change who your interpreters are, as well as what languages they are interpreting between.
- To add a new interpreter, click the Add Interpreter button. In the spaces provided, select the participant who will be interpreting, as well as the languages they are interpreting between. You will only be able to add participants who are already in the meeting. (Note: In the Zoom Webinar Platform, only Panelists can be selected as interpreters.)
- To remove an interpreter, click the Remove button.
- Once interpretation has started, you will need to click Update to save any changes you make here.
- When you are ready to begin, click Start.
Meeting participants will see a notification above their bottom toolbar that interpretation is available.
People who have been selected as interpreters will receive notifications of their assigned role.
Interpreters will also be labeled in the Participant Panel.
- To turn off interpretation, click End.
- Once the host turns on the Interpretation feature, you will be notified if you have been designated as an interpreter. Click OK to confirm.
- Once you have accepted the interpreter role, a box will appear at the bottom of your screen that indicates which languages you are translating between. Make sure that the language you will be providing (i.e. the language you will be speaking) is selected.
- The language that you will be providing will be indicated to others in the Participant Panel.
- Once the host turns on the Interpretation feature, the Interpretation button will appear in the bottom toolbar along with a popup notification that indicates the feature is available.
- To listen to one of the available language interpretations, click the Interpretation button and select one of the languages from the menu. The interpreter’s audio will automatically play at 100% volume. You can also choose whether or not you want to mute the audio from the original speaker.
If you select one of the available languages, the Interpretation icon will be replaced by an icon that represents that language.
Tips for Hosts
- When adding custom languages to your Tufts Zoom Settings, try to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of using “Chinese”, use “Cantonese” or “Mandarin” so participants are clear on what language to select.
- Before you turn on the Interpretation feature in a meeting, explain to participants that the Interpretation feature will be used and explain how to use it, then allow your interpreters to translate those directions.
- E.g. Host welcomes everyone and explains there is interpretation available. Interpreter one explains in that language (e.g. Spanish) how to use the Interpretation feature. Interpreter two explains in that language (e.g. French) how to use the Interpretation feature. Once this is done, turn on the Interpretation feature.
- Remind the “original” speakers to speak clearly, pace themselves, and give slight pauses between sentences to allow the interpreters to stay on pace.
- If someone asks a question via the Chat panel that is meant for the speaker or the audience, clearly read it out loud and give the interpreters a chance to translate it.
Tips for “Original” Speakers (Not Interpreters)
- Speak clearly, pace yourself, and give slight pauses between sentences to allow the interpreters to stay on pace.
Tips for Interpreters
- If possible, use an audio headset with an attached microphone so you can clearly hear the original speaker and your own audio is captured more clearly.
- Don’t worry about speaking over the original speaker! Once the Interpretation feature is turned on, people will only be able to hear you if they select your language.
Tips for Other Participants
- To minimize distractions, keep your audio muted unless you have a question/comment and it is your turn to speak.
- If you do speak, do so loudly, clearly, and pace yourself.