Configuring the Web Phone for Relay Interpretation

Q: As an interpreter, how do I prepare for a conference involving multiple languages?
A: A truly multilingual conference call requires the interpreter to prepare for relay interpretation, which involves selecting their primary and relay languages in the Web Phone. 

While we refer to our linguistic capabilities  as “multilingual conferencing,” in truth most ZipDX conferences involving interpreters are bilingual, involving just two languages. This situation is readily addressed by a single interpreter, who need to only choose the direction of interpretation, for example; from EN-into-ES, or from ES-into-EN.

When a conference involves three or more languages there is the possibility that an interpreter will hear someone speaking a language beyond their scope. In such cases, they “take relay” interpretation. In that moment they listen to another interpreter who is delivering into a language that they understand.

1. Web Phone Configuration

Each interpreter working a multilingual conference must configure their webphone for their primary and relay languages at the start of the conference.

We’ll use as an example the settings for a conference involving; English (EN), French (FR), German (DE) and Spanish (ES.)

We’ll consider the settings appropriate for an interpreter working English/French. Thus their Primary language will be French and their pivot language (for relay) will be English.

When is this done?

The web phone must be configured once the interpreter is connected, in the period prior to the start of the conference. This is one of the reasons we recommend using the Host Advanced Start setting, allowing 10-20 minutes for hosts and interpreters to get prepared before the rest of the participants begin to join.

When the conference is configured for 3 or more languages some additional buttons are offering to the interpreters. In the case of our English/French example it should appear as shown below:

  • If your ZipDX profile includes a setting for your preferred language you may find that your primary language is already set correctly (as shown right.)

  • If it was not set correctly, click on the button labelled PRIMARY=. This will reveal a menu listing the language channel available on this conference.

Setting Primary Language

  • Click on the appropriate language.

  • The current selection is indicated in red.

  • Clicking on the Exit button returns to the main interpretation controls.

  • Clicking on the button labelled RLY Menu moves to the setting for your relay language (as shown below.)

    Setting Relay Language

    • Here you click on the button indicating your desired Relay language.

    • The current selection is indicated in red.

    • The system defaults to EN in all cases where English is involved in the conference.

    • Click the Exit button to return to the main interpretation controls.

    2. Interpreting

    Although there is now the potential for relay, the process of interpreting is at its core very similar to a bilingual conference.

    • When the conference officially begins click on Interp On.

    • If you hear someone speaking English click on >>FR and speak in French.

    • The web phone status will indicate “Floor into French.”

    • If you hear someone begin to speak French, click on >>EN and speak in English.

    • The web phone status will indicate “Floor into English.”
    • If you hear a language other than English or French, click on >>FR to be ready to interpret into French.

    • Click on Relay On and you will start to hear the English interpretation.

    • The web phone status will indicate “English into French” since you are not hearing the Floor directly while relay is engaged.
    • When you again hear a participant speaking English or French, click on Relay Off and select the appropriate direction; >>FR or >>EN.