Protect interpreters and ensure the quality of interpretation in virtual and hybrid meetings

Virtual and hybrid meetings using web-based video conferencing tools have a high risk of sound problems. These problems can prevent interpreters from doing their jobs well and can be detrimental to their health. Due to the poor quality of sound transmitted on the Web, interpreters often have to adjust their speakers to a higher volume to hear properly, so that even a faint crackling sound can cause headaches, hearing problems and other health issues.

In order to reduce the risk of sound problems, protect interpreters and ensure the quality of interpretation, it’s important that you meet the following requirements and best practices in your virtual and hybrid meetings. These requirements are based on expert advice and on measures taken by interpreter organizations around the world, and follow the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards on interpretation.

Note that despite these precautions, sound problems may arise and force interpreters to stop interpreting. The best way to prevent sound issues is to always to have your meetings in person.

Requirement: Use an approved microphone

If you would like to speak at an interpreted meeting using a Web-based video conferencing tool, you must use a microphone that:

Don’t use the following microphones:

Microphones accepted by the Translation Bureau:

If you don’t have an accepted microphone, you will have to stay on mute and submit your questions or comments in writing (chat, email, text message, etc.). If you do speak, the interpreters will have to stop interpreting to protect themselves from risks to their health.

Best practices

By applying the following best practices when you’re at an interpreted meeting using a web-based video conferencing tool, you will reduce the risk of sound issues and help interpreters understand you better.

Requirements for meeting organizers

When you organize a virtual or hybrid meeting with interpretation, you must ensure that the following requirements are met. Note that the Translation Bureau only provides interpreters – you are responsible for the related arrangements (booth or studio, console, microphone, technician, etc.). Please contact Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Events and Conference Management Services or one of the audiovisual service providers accredited by the Translation Bureau, as required.

Other requirements may apply depending on the meeting format. We will inform you of this when we respond to your request for interpretation services. Thank you for your cooperation!

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