- Posted by VoiceBoxer Team
- On 18 February 2016
This is a phone released by Cyracom in 1995. But wait–why does it have two receivers?
We’ll get to that later. Let’s talk about remote interpretation first.
Over the past decades, the cost of communication, especially long-distance communication, has decreased rapidly. With it, the amount of communication across borders, cultures, and languages has increased. Technological advances have caused people to face the challenges that come with such communication, while also making it easier to overcome such challenges with the advent of remote interpretation. The telephone can be considered the “grandfather” of remote interpretation.
Telephone interpretation in practice:
It is important to keep in mind that the telephone is limited to one audio channel, so only one person can speak at a time, thereby mostly limiting its application to consecutive interpretation. This means that after speaking, the speaker will have to pause for the professional to deliver the interpretation, doubling the time of calls and slowing conversation down.
How can it be used?
The first and easiest application of telephone interpretation is “on the spot.” This type of interpretation service comes into play when you are in the same room with the person you want to have a conversation with. You call an interpretation service, ask for the needed language combination, and pass the telephone receiver back and forth. This is where Cyracom’s specialized phone with two receivers comes into play–it was designed to eliminate the inconvenience of having to pass the receiver back and forth.
It is not always the case, however, that both conversational partners are in the same room. This is where “multi-point” telephone interpretation comes into play. The smallest variant of such a call includes three participants connecting to a conference call–the two conversing parties and an interpreter.
Adding more participants makes a full conference call out of the one-to-one conversation mentioned above. Technically, this works like any other conference call. Participants dial the phone number of the conference bridge, add the conference ID to it, enter the password, and the participants are in.
This set-up makes it really important for one person in the call (a facilitator) to ensure that only one participant is speaking at a time, otherwise the interpreter will have a hard time doing his job if people keep interrupting each other, or worse, won’t be able to interpret at all when multiple people speak at once.
So much for a quick glimpse at the “legacy system.” The telephone is far from a perfect tool for remote interpretation, but as a legacy multi-purpose technology, it cannot be expected to address all the requirements for remote interpretation. These include the best possible audio quality, multiple audio channels necessary for simultaneous interpretation, visual feed for the non-verbal communication of the speaker, etc.
Though imperfect, we tip our hats to the telephone, as the pioneer technology in remote interpretation!