The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2020 - 21

QUICK COMPARISON OF RSI PLATFORMS AND ZOOM
RSI platforms
Parameters

KUDO

Interprefy

VoiceBoxer

Interactio

SPEAKUS

VERSPEAK

Zoom

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

3

2

2

2

2

2

Upon request

Relay

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Handover

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Ability to listen to the
floor and your partner
simultaneously

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Response to requests

1 day

1 day
(often 1 hour)

1 day

2 days

1 hour

1 hour

1 week

Onboarding

Training module
on the platform
website, demo
sessions, profile
on website

Skype interview,
testing,
individual
training session

Registration
form on website

Questionnaire
on website,
demo sessions

Individual
training

Individual
training

No

Tech support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Mobile app

No

Yes

No

No

No

No

Yes

Interface for
event participants
Number of default video
and audio channels

■	

The interpreters' video and audio feed
can be disabled if needed like we saw it
on SPEAKUS.

Handover: Same as SPEAKUS.
Onboarding process: Same as SPEAKUS.
Technical Support: Same as SPEAKUS.
Technical Requirements: Same
as SPEAKUS.
Mobile App: Same as SPEAKUS.

ZOOM
https://bit.ly/Zoom-interpreting
Zoom, an online platform for holding
meetings and conferences, now offers
an interpreting function. This function
is available under the Pro Plan with the
optional add-on Add Video Webinars
Plan. The conference host can enable
this function when an additional audio
channel needs to be created for a language
to which an interpreter is assigned.
Meeting participants can then select the
channel (language) they want to listen to.
(For more details on this function, please
see the link above.)
www.atanet.org

The only thing that's missing in Zoom
that sets it apart from dedicated RSI
platforms is the relay and handover
functions. Interpreters can't hear each
other, which really complicates the
handover process. This means interpreters
have to connect via an external channel
(e.g., Messenger or Skype) and hold the
call throughout the conference so they
can hear each other and ensure a seamless
handover. Another option is to connect
to the Zoom conference from a second
device as a participant and listen to the
interpreting channel.
Technical requirements for the
interpreter's workstation are not
mentioned anywhere on Zoom's website.
Technical support is missing (the client
has to undertake this responsibility).
The response time to questions is very
slow, sometimes more than a week, but
this is obviously due to peak demand
these days. Interpreters who have tried
working with Zoom say that everything
works well and that the sound quality
is good. However, sometimes they
face various issues (e.g., the host fails
to assign an interpreter). Zoom states
on its website that the interpreting
function is still in a testing stage, which

means errors are inevitable. Zoom also
has a mobile app that can be used for
interpreting.

THE NEW REALITY
It seems that remote simultaneous
interpreting (RSI) is the new reality. There
are many options out there besides the
ones I've covered here, so don't feel like
you're limited to these selections. Take
the time to research what works best
for you. I hope this information will be
helpful and that you now have a better
understanding of what RSI involves and
how these platforms can be implemented
into your work environment.
Natalia Fedorenkova has been
a freelance English>Russian
conference interpreter since
2017. Since 2019, she
has worked as a freelance
interpreter for the Interprefy
platform, gaining significant practical experience
in remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI). She
organizes RSI webinars for interpreters and
businesses. She is a graduate of the Lomonosov
State Moscow University, where she studied the
theory and practice of translation.
Contact: nat.fedorenkova@gmail.com.
American Translators Association

21


https://www.bit.ly/Zoom-interpreting http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2020

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