The idea of remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) is not new. It has been explored and abandoned multiple times over the last 50 years. However, fueled in recent years by the advent of new digital communication technologies and the expansion of broadband Internet access, it had shown small but steady growth over the last decade. Even so, RSI was often dismissed as little more than a technology experiment or “a solution without a problem.” All of that changed in early 2020. No one could have foreseen the far-reaching and devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on international gatherings and the interpreting profession. In a matter of weeks, international travel ground to a halt, meetings and conferences were cancelled, and interpreters were faced with empty work calendars and no clear idea of when or if things would “get back to normal.” Suddenly, multilingual online meetings were the only way for international organizations to continue their work, and RSI became the principal source of work for thousands of interpreters.
In this online seminar, Professor Olsen will cover the recent history and development of RSI (the last 10 years), the technical challenges RSI presents and how they are being addressed, and case studies of organizations moving their multilingual meetings to the cloud. The final segment of the seminar will focus on the future development and use of RSI.
About the Speaker:
Barry Slaughter Olsen is a veteran conference interpreter and technophile with over twenty-five years of experience interpreting, training interpreters and organizing language services. He is a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and the Vice-President of Client Success at KUDO, a language-as-a-service (LaaS) platform. He was the co-founder and co-president of InterpretAmerica from 2009 to 2020. He is a member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). Barry has been interviewed numerous times by international news media (CNN,CBC, MSNBC, NPR and PBS) about interpreting and translation. For updates on interpreting, technology and interpreter training, follow him on Twitter @ProfessorOlsen.