Subject to Interpretation

Carlos Solis on Interpreter Tech [EP 45]

January 15, 2021 DE LA MORA Institute Season 2 Episode 44
Subject to Interpretation
Carlos Solis on Interpreter Tech [EP 45]
Show Notes Transcript

This week we speak with Carlos Solis on the tech and tools needed for successful remote interpretation.

Carlos Solís is the Co-founder and Director of Technology of uniVerseLanguage Solutions. Under his direction, uniVerse has grown to become one of the largest Conference Interpretation Equipment, Technology and Technical Services Providers in the US. His clients include Integrators, Production and Audio-Visual companies, as well as Fortune 500 companies. With the advent of Remote Simultaneous Interpretation and platforms, Carlos and his team are developing solutions for the integration of conference interpretation systems and web-based technologies. As Technical Director of uniVerse, Carlos has worked as head of conference interpretation production and technology in every state in the US, as well as in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Central & South America. 

Speaker 1:

Welcome to subject to interpretation, a podcast, which takes us deep into the topics that matter to professional interpreters. I'm your host Maria SVA . Today, we're gonna speak with technophile Carlos soles , who is a co-founder and director of technology of universe language solutions. One of the largest conference interpretation, equipment technology and technical services companies in the United States. And he's going to review with us the latest trends in technology for interpreters and walk us through the basic elements required to set up your own cutting edge home interpreting studio. Welcome Carlos.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, Maria. Hi, how are you?

Speaker 1:

I am well, thank you very much for joining us today. So notice that I called you a techn file and that sounds like a really big word, but according to the Oxford dictionary, it means a person who is enthusiastic about new technology.

Speaker 2:

Well, that , that, that applies. Yes. Uh , I agree. It might sound like a big word, but , um , it applies. Thank you for having me.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. It's good to have you here. So when I, when PE , when PE , when some people think about technology, they think about big words. They think about complicated equipment. They think about a steep learning curve in terms of becoming familiar with and using equipment. Is that how you see it?

Speaker 2:

Well, it's , um , the , the way , um, the way technology works is , uh, of course gives you all the options and sometimes it does , um, scare you a little bit. So the, the way I would see it is be open to anything mostly nowadays, you know, that technology is in our hands for us to use. So , um , don't be, don't be, don't be afraid,

Speaker 1:

But to those interpreters who are out there, who might be used to working in person and who now have had to adapt to the new times, working remotely, and who might also have to adapt to new ways of working when they return to the hospitals, the courtrooms, the boardrooms, and any other environment that they'll be interpreting in, what, what words of wisdom do you have in terms of working their way into technology, if they have not done so already?

Speaker 2:

Okay . One thing that I can, I could say is something very similar that , um , that I , I co uh , colleague interpreter me once about simultaneous interpretation, you know, to avoid that , um , moment of , um , panic or the possibility of , uh , stage fright. Um, think about this. He said, okay, you are , you are telling a tale . So you're actually helping those people that are he listening to you out there. So you're helping them to convey the message that that person on the microphone is, is saying. So the same way, I would say , uh , use technology technology is there for you to convey a message. So it's just , uh , a channel, a platform that you need to use as a , as a way to convey the message. Again, you're the messenger try to maintain that thought that you, you know, you're trying to help. And most of the times interpreters have that mentality to help others. So keep that in mind.

Speaker 1:

And so today we we've brought you here so that you can talk to us a little bit about some ways that , uh , those interpreters who are either already using technology can improve the way that they are using and adapting their technology and how those interpreters, who might be a little reticent, or who might be a little gun shy, can get their feet wet. So let's move on to a little bit of techy talk. Uh, we are obviously doing this podcast through zoom. So presumably for many people learning about the remote , uh , teleconferencing platforms would be a very, very, very good first step, but just having access to a platform does not guarantee that you're going to have good quality signal, good quality audio. Let's start talking about the basic elements that you would need to create your home studio.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well , um, whatever you have available, of course , um, choose, choose the best option for whatever you have. For example, it might, might , might look right here that , you know, what I'm using is something that might not be the best professional option. Um, but you are hearing, okay, and this is something that I wanted to let you know, and, and , and basically kind of , uh , on purpose , um, confirm that even something that is not professional, as long as you do your homework , um, it , it would work fine.

Speaker 1:

Um , and Carlos, for , um , our listeners who are actually listening to the podcast version, you're using a simple wired heads , headphones or EarPods that you would get with , uh , a telephone, is that right?

Speaker 2:

That that's right, that wired , uh , earbuds for, for your , uh , iPhone or, you know, or , or , uh , smart device. So that's what I'm using with the , with the microphone in the line, in one of the , the wires , uh , with volume control and , uh , they sound pretty good. You know, they , they have a decent sound. Of course , um, the ones you you're using are , uh , superior quality. Um, I would say it's, it's getting to the studio quality and you can go, you know, there's no limit. So the , the one thing that I would say is make sure that you do your , your homework , um, about all the specifications, but sometimes specifications might just , um, give you a hard time and you might say, oh yeah, I might intimidate you. Um, do that to a certain extent, making sure that that's what you need, but at the same time, sometimes you can just work around the , the fact that you might not need to get the , the most expensive pair headphones, you know , microphone headset. If we're starting to talk about this , the , uh , the parts, the technical , uh , equipment that you use. So I would start in one of the most important things is the microphone headset you use. Sometimes you are able to , uh, minimize the , um, potential issues with just by using a foam cover. You know, one of the, you know, like a little cover for the microphone tip, instead of just going straight to buying , uh , a very expensive microphone, you can do it with a, you know, decent kind of middle of the road type of , uh , microphone headset, as long as, like I said, you cover those , um, areas of potential issues, which, which it is the , uh , which is the , um , the microphone that sometimes might pick up like those popping noises with the piece and the B and the S and , uh , will exacerbate those , uh , uh , sounds and make it , uh , more saturated. But if you use a phone cover a pop , um , you know, kind of a pop filter for your microphone, not necessarily not necessarily the pop filter, you know, the standalone studio type , it's just something that covers the tip of a microphone.

Speaker 1:

Now, as far as , um , headphones, our headsets are , are concerned. Some people prefer those with two speakers or two , um, any your speakers and some people prefer one, what, what do you recommend for interpreters?

Speaker 2:

My personal preference is two having two, but I , I know, like you said, it , some people prefer just one for them. So I don't know for some reason, some people need to have that idea that , um, that feeling that they they're , they need to hear their voice out in the air, not necessarily be isolated. Um, so again, it all depends also of what type of headphones you're using . Sometimes you have the ear cups that are actually isolating your ears completely. Um, your side are kind of in the middle, but some of them are just sitting there not necessarily covering your ears. And, you know, you kind of can hear something in the , uh , in the environment that you are working with. But , um, my preference is, is too . So yeah , I , I have like complete isolation O of the , uh , sound that I'm getting.

Speaker 1:

So, so we've covered the filter. We've covered the microphone. We've covered the possibility of having one or two. Um, I guess there's small speakers that are, that are in your, in your ears , um, which is really a question of preference. And I also think it's a question of, depending on the environment that you are in, whether you're listening, whether if you're using some equipment in a courtroom, or if you're using equipment , uh , in a quiet, in a very quiet room.

Speaker 2:

Yes. And talking about quiet in the , uh , earphone, there's something very, you know, very curious, very curious detail that interpreters and per people in general, that are using , um , this type of communication with microphones and headsets and zoom and all that. Um, it's interesting, but you have to be very careful about the sound. And, and let me say this , um, it happens more with, with people that have like some type of hearing problem. So the more hearing problem they have their tendency is to use a louder, louder volume, right? So it's tricky, but sometimes what it hap what happens is that the , the louder you hear and depending, you know , all the type of microphone, he headphones, the actual earphones that you have sometimes , uh , the volume, the , actually the sound that is coming out of those headphones is picked up when it's , what is too loud is picked up by the microphone that is right next to, you know, your mouth. So it is something you have to be careful that the , because the louder , uh , they are, of course the , the more possibility the microphone for pick it up, you know,

Speaker 1:

Now, now regarding the microphone as well, another recommendation that I've heard is about an inline mute button.

Speaker 2:

Yes, definitely. It helps a lot because sometimes when you are, it's a lot better when you are in the, in the, in , in those dire moments. Uh , sometimes you need to mute yourself over whatever reason you're at home , uh , a dog barking or something, even though you have made all your , uh , preparations, you are, you have your , uh , studio and all that, but something, you know, sometimes you can, you know, you can never , um, prevent everything. So it's a lot better, a lot easier to go to your line and mute it right there, whatever the microphone line is to mute your microphone. Another very , very good point. And I haven't mentioned is the noise canceling , um , feature noise, canceling feature is essential because you never know what can be, you know, a phone ringing, a door barking , uh , doorbell, you know, and so on. And you, you know, how many possibilities you can find.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Carlos. So I'm really glad we started with the, with a headset or, you know, the headset talking about that, because what's interesting about the headset is that is one of those bits of equipment for the interpreter that an interpreter should probably carry with them everywhere they go and wherever they are, if they are working, you never know when you're going to be handed a , um, a receiver, a Transer or anything else. And you might want to use the , the equipment that you were familiar with in terms of your , um, the fit in terms of your familiarity with it. And especially now with COVID times, it's O probably okay. To , um , plug your headphones into a piece of equipment, but you're probably gonna feel a lot more comfortable if you bring your own headsets since this is something that you are going to personally be , be using in your , um , on, on your body.

Speaker 2:

I absolutely agree. Yes, that is , uh , is the best way,

Speaker 1:

But moving on. So, so we've got our headset and that's, I guess our, you know, our most easily accessible, portable piece of equipment for an interpreter, but let's move into the office. Uh , internet is really one is, is having a fast internet is key. Isn't it?

Speaker 2:

It is . It is definitely , um, I know I had said the word essential when it comes to the microphone, but the microphone of course, is connected to the computer, but for your whole operation, the , the , I would say, and everybody can see this very easily, the most critical point for your , um, presence in whatever , um , method you're using online for your online presence is the internet. So you have to make sure that you are using a very robust , um, internet connection, whether it's wifi or wired connection, meaning if you're connected by a ethernet cable, which is always the mess , the best , uh , recommendation. But it doesn't mean that if you're , you know, if you , if your best option is to use wi wifi , instead of like a long ethernet cable, going through your kitchen and going through , you know, in a way that you cannot hide it, or it's going to be even a hazard or an eyesore , um, you can, you can use, there's some myths. It's a very big myth that, oh, wifi it's really dangerous. Okay. Yes. Anything could, you know , anything could happen at any point, if you, if you lose internet together, even the internet con the internet cable is not gonna be able to do anything, but if you have a very robust , um , internet, internet connection , um, you should be fine. Uh , do you have to follow some critical , um , you know, rule rules of thumb , um, that , um, will allow you to have the best , uh , in uninterrupted , uh , connection, meaning you have to make sure of course that you are close or closer to the router if possible, when, you know, as , as much as possible. And , um, and if you use more than one connection, if you, if your network, or if you have more than one network network at home, or from, you know, at the location where you're , um, working from , um , you make sure that you are the only one using that network, that connection as much as possible.

Speaker 1:

Well, UN unfortunately in this day and age with children having to stay home and studying at home. I , well , I remember the first thing that I did when the, when we were on at the beginning of this lockdown was I increased the speed of my internet so that I could , um, at least have a , a little bit of a safety net. I felt, what do you recommend in terms of speeds for megabytes per second? What would be a good , um , range for somebody to be paying for in terms of service

Speaker 2:

It's commonly recommended to have at least 85 mega, you know, megabits megabytes, but , um, it's , uh , you know, again, it's funny because , um , I have been able to confirm as long as a , again, everything is relative, as long as you are the only one using that connection, you don't necessarily have , uh , 10, 12 people connected to the same thing, or maybe one or two that are , um , gaming at the same time that you are , um , using your internet connection. Of course, that's going to make , make a big difference, but let's say if you know that , um, at , at least for the time being that you're going to be using the internet connection for your , um, zoom purposes or for your interpretation purposes online , um , you know, I have , I have confirmed, I have verified that 25 megs is, is more than enough again, following the same procedures as much as possible, getting closer to the, to the , uh , router , um , helps a lot. And it, you , you have to watch the type of connection you have as well, because , uh , sometimes it's a little misconception about , um, the, the , the , how , uh , how stable a signal might be. You know, some people might think, okay. Yeah. They told me in the , you know , that my cable service provider told me that I can have 2.5 gigahertz and five gigahertz connections. And they told me that the five gigahertz is the most robust connection. Yes, that is true. But you have to be careful about the 2.4 versus five gigahertz, because 2.4, even though it's less robust, you know, in principle of the, you know, than the five, the five doesn't travel, you know, as far as the 2.4 does. So you have to make sure that , um, if you are using a five, which is ES it is the most robust, the most stable is the larger broadband connection, but try to be as close as possible to the router where you're, when you're working, that that would be important.

Speaker 1:

It's always good to do a test run,

Speaker 2:

Definitely

Speaker 1:

With whatever client is hiring you with your friends and family, to make sure that the equipment you're working with is functioning the way you'd like it to, and also to make sure that they, that you know how to use the equipment in many different types of situations. So let's talk about the webcam, a lot of computers now, pretty much every computer now comes in with an integrated webcam. Is that enough?

Speaker 2:

It , uh , as long as the webcam is from the computer, that is relatively new, that should be enough because , um, I am not a particular fan of , um , external webcams. Um, of course my preference is , uh , the built in cameras, but as long as you have , um , a , you know, decent , uh , are a , a recent model of the, you know, the , the , your laptop of computer is a recent model that more than likely is going to have a , a good , uh , camera. Um , but at the same time, if you have , uh , a computer that either doesn't have the webcam built in , um , or for some reason is not good enough, you can always connect of course, a camera and an external camera through your USB connections. But , um, again, you try to use the best option because you don't want to have like a , like a grainy image and very OPAC , um , opaque , uh , uh , you know, image

Speaker 1:

And, and speaking of computers, it, it seems to vary between a Mac or a PC, depending what kind of computer a person have each type of computer has its own, I guess, pre settings, perhaps that we have to keep in mind, right?

Speaker 2:

Yes, absolutely. Um, think about this way. It depends on what works best for you, because I , I don't like to say, okay, these are the best, or those are the best, it's the same way when you , when you get a cold , uh , of course, you know , I'm not talking about Corona, but , um , people tell you, yeah. You know, drink that, take that, that is good for that. It all depends. You , you know, same way as your body takes some things better than other people , uh , same way with computers. Uh , no one size does not fit all. So one , one of the best , uh , things that I would tell you, you know, keeping in mind the differences between the differences between windows, computers and apple computers , um, think about what you like to do, or how you want , you like to do things regarding the settings. Apple products tend to be more kind of a preset type of configuration , uh , gives you very limited , um , options for you to play with as opposed to windows computers that have more than plenty , um, options for you, for you to play with and for you to , um, change the different , uh , configurations and , and , and settings, which might be overwhelming for some people. So depending on how you are, if you are the ones, if you're first of all, if you're very good , somewhat savvy with the settings and computers, okay. If you like to play with those options , um , that might, you know, windows, computer might be the best option for you. Other , you know, some other people might prefer to have some preset kind of a , more of a turnkey type of , uh , settings.

Speaker 1:

And so that might be a , that might be a good point for folks who are just getting into , um , starting to work with technology for them to consider whether or not a windows , uh, those , uh , PC versus an apple PC , um, works for them depending on the amount of time and investment they want to give, to learning all the different particularities and, and spec specifying the settings that they want for the computer.

Speaker 2:

Correct . And also something else that I, I didn't, I didn't mention in the , you know , um , the previous details we were discussing , um, as far as the , um , the internet connection at home , uh , which is the primary location that most of interpreters are at. Um, one very , uh , high recommendation that I will mention is to get a mesh , um , extending , uh , a , a , a mesh extender system , uh , a wifi extender. They have been having those for a long while, but , um , lately the specific , uh , system that has been very popular and is very efficient, is a mesh , uh , type of system for your wifi extender. And , uh , that's very easy to set up and it works great, and it really, they have like different brands and, and all that. But , um, as , as long as you get a mesh system that works very

Speaker 1:

Well, and that makes it a lot more, a lot easier for folks who are working from home. If you have two people working from home and perhaps children also taking classes, it makes it a lot easier for the signal to be , uh , spread out throughout the house and there being less interference. Is that right?

Speaker 2:

That is correct. Yes. Okay . Actually, you you're able to use a specific location and you would , you would notice that certain parts of , uh , the house where the signal didn't get to reach before , um, you know, it would, you know, the mesh system will allow you to use , uh , certain rooms or something that in the past, it was just not a , not an option.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Thank you for that tip . That's really , that's really helpful. So now once you've got your internet, your headset, your webcam, your computer, and you got everything set up, then you have to find a nice quiet place. Is the kitchen table ideal, do you think? Or

Speaker 2:

<laugh> , maybe I'm not , well, it depends. It depends if it's a person that doesn't cook, it's going to be the best <laugh> of course. But if you , uh , if you're talking in of course, a high activity, high traffic area, of course, the , the kitchen might be very dangerous, you know, all those pots and pans , uh , and , uh , you know , uh , water faucets being turned on and , uh , people, you know, having meals , uh , that might be sometimes , um , I don't know, depending on how many rooms you have avail available sometimes. Okay. You might be a little bit more challenging, but , um, I have heard people that whenever they have, you know, they have been very limited as far as rooms to use. Sometimes they have been in a closet.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

Closet it's it's perfect. So they, of course, as long as they ,

Speaker 1:

Yeah . Acoustics in a closet are wonderful,

Speaker 2:

Aren't they? Oh , wonderful people have, you know, people have , uh , recorded , um, musical productions and , uh , you know, like , um, music, city, you know, EPS and LPs and , uh , albums and all that in a closet, you know, one of my nieces have, but anyway, so that's , uh , that's a , you know, if, if you're in a very difficult , uh , situation finding a , an , an appropriate room, a cluster is the option.

Speaker 1:

So in terms of environment, we have to, we concerned with sound, we have to concern , be concerned with traffic, high traffic areas, maybe dogs, cats, telephones cetera . But we also should be concerned a little bit with our background, right?

Speaker 2:

Yes. And it's something that you have to be careful, this what's in the back. Uh , you don't want anything busy that is going to , um, that is going to distract your, the people that you're communicating with. Of course , um, if you are in the simultaneous interpretation assignment, more than likely your image is not going to be , uh , broadcast , uh , broadcasted. So , um, the , as , as long as you are, you know, if you don't, if you don't use it, of course, there's no, no concern, but if you are a lot in zoom meetings and the, like , um, you have to make sure that you maintain , um , a neutral background, or if, if not, if you don't have it , uh , you have a couple of options you can get , uh , either a virtual background, like the one you have sub subject to interpretation, which is, you know, very good, very neutral. It's not busy, something like that. Or, or you can also use some type of backdrop , uh , right behind you like a physical backdrop. Uh , some people use , uh , some, those , those , uh , room dividers , um, type of , um , you know, cubicle type of dividers. They tend to be more expensive than a backdrop, but , um, I would definitely recommend , uh , a backdrop, a physical backdrop, if that's an option for you.

Speaker 1:

And if you need to have a, if you need to have an actual background, then I'd highly recommend that folks get a green screen, a green screen blue screen, which , um, is, is very inexpensive. It's on , you know, you can get a four by 6.4 about $30 or something like that. And those are really good because basically it isolates the colors. Yes . And you don't have the bleed that happens when you, when you don't have a green screen. And you're just using the background.

Speaker 2:

That is correct. Yes.

Speaker 1:

So Carlos, we have the elements that we need for our home office, our home studio, we are doing the best we can with that and to try and maintain a normal work life. But in a couple of months, we hope to be able to go back to in-person proceedings. And that includes schools that includes , um, courts, depositions, hospitals, any setting in which interpretation might be needed. We also talked a little bit about portable interpreting equipment. This is something we've used in the past, but for those who haven't used it, tell us what that is and how we can avail ourselves of that , uh , for the next stage of this pandemic.

Speaker 2:

That's a very good question. Uh , portable interpretation equipment is very useful , uh , these days and the types that you can find you can get. Um , let's say , uh , uh , an FM system, some people call , call it RF system, a portable system in which the communication is mainly one way. So you have a portable transmitter. Typically the one that the interpreter carries, or sometimes the little of the group , uh , uses to address a group of people. So that would be , um , the , the basic portable FM system in which one, transmitter talks to a certain number , uh , you know, more than most , most of the times unlimited number of , uh , listeners. But again, one way the other option is , uh , that is now very popular is the two way system, which is , uh , uh , usually a digital RF system. So that digital RF system, it's kind of the same principle one. And , and this, this , these cases is not called transmitter, but it's called ER , because those devices are now transmitted the combination of transmitter and a receiver in the same device. So the , for practical purposes, the interpreter uses the same type of concept. So speaking to a microphone connected to that device, that the , the interpreter carries, and that is a trans receiver that you can send the signal or the voice to other receivers or other trans receivers . And that might be a little bit , um, you know, confusing for some people, but , um, you have a way to send the voice either one way or two way if you're using a group of S within the same system.

Speaker 1:

And what's really important about that is that in the past, we were only able to use one way systems, which meant that if we were using this for interpreting purposes, the interpreter would interpret the other person would listen, but they had to respond out loud, or they had a very loud voice, or the interpreter had to be close to them in order to be able to hear what they were saying. In case the interpreter had to interpret back what they were saying now, by using a trans receivers , we can jump that step can't we, the interpreter doesn't does no longer have to be right next to the person that they are interpreting for.

Speaker 2:

That is correct. And another important point is that the interpreter doesn't have to do it consecutively, which it had to be the way that, you know, to , to do it , uh , without having , uh , a system that allows the two-way communication. Now it does, you can keep the simultaneous interpretation mode. You can keep the simultaneous mode. And , uh , like you said, it, yes, you don't have to be right next to the person because you can be anywhere in the room within range , uh , to be able to hear not just one person, but any person using , uh , a Transer and everybody in the group is able to hear that person.

Speaker 1:

Now, I wanna make a quick parenthesis to tell you about a, an interesting workaround that a friend of mine did in court towards the beginning of the pandemic. Uh , she did not have equipment. The court did not have equipment, and in order to safeguard , um , her health and, and the safety of everybody, what she ended up doing was she ended up interpreting over the phone in person. In other words, she, in her cell phone dialed the person. She got permission from the judge to allow her to dial the person who was there and she was six or more feet apart still observing, but she was able to communicate with that person sort of a, obviously a two-way communication Transer , right . But using the mobile phone that was available there,

Speaker 2:

That is amazing, of course, the , uh , creativity that some people have, and that is a very good way to work around it. And , uh , that is the same principle. Exactly. So these devices, the , the digital two way , um , communication devices are , you know, do exactly what the phone, the phones do. Um, and in this way, you know , in this case, any, you know, anyone in the courtroom or the location where , where the , where the interpreter is working, is able to use one of these.

Speaker 1:

So now that now that we have to be more creative than ever before, what other ways do you think that this technology can help us can help , um, court systems, meeting schools get back to a little bit of sense of normalcy,

Speaker 2:

Any way you can, you can think about this any way , where you have a group of people listening to one or more persons. Um , you, you can have a way to give every one of those people in the room or in the facility or in the location. Um, one of these devices and the beauty of that is not only they can hear a certain distance what the person or, or, or persons are saying, but , um, they are also able to participate. They're able to interact and use one of those devices to ask questions, to make comments, to participate. And whether that is , uh , in a school setting, like , um , like a parent teacher conference or in a court room , or , um , legal deposition , um, a , so many , um, some interpreters are also using this , um , mode as well, where you have the legal deposition in the , in the low firm , um, TA conference table, and the, some they're connected to a zoom meeting with the court room , uh , for the legal proceedings. And in addition to that, you are maintaining the social distancing , um , by using technology. So the interpreter is not risking himself or herself, and is not putting everyone , anyone else at risk by again, taking advantage of what the , the technology allows us to do now. So you can be in a , in a courtroom or in a law firm, like I said, using these , uh , ERs to communi to communicate with each other at certain distance.

Speaker 1:

And that that's really, really important because what, what we call the hybrid mode at , in interpreting in the sense that , um , from now on, we're always going to have parties that are in different locations, it's going be far more acceptable to interview a witness via zoom, or it's going to be , um, so a, party's not going to be able to, to attend in person because they're traveling and they can't come. So they'll be received by zoom, but at the same time, we'll have, like you said, an attorney and perhaps a opponent and, and an interpreter in one room, and yet we can't all be clustered together like we were before. So, so this is really, really creative and , and , and really important. What do you say to interpreters who , um, who are saying, well, you know, this is all very nice, but my court system doesn't provide it. And , um, I'm, I'm envisioning, you know, thousands of dollars worth of equipment here.

Speaker 2:

Um, well, it all depends on what their means are. Um, they can find , uh , uh , some creative ways to get some alternative options , uh , price wise with those type of equipment and sometimes a combination of , um , whatever the court provides or even if the court doesn't provide the equipment. Um, let me say this. And I have been able to confirm this some interpreters , uh, have been called more frequently because they are able to offer equipment that the court doesn't have. So it's kind of a, a really big advantage for the interpreters that offer these , uh , sets of equipment to court. Um, because, you know, that's what the court is looking for to know who not only the , the interpreter whose interpreter is the not only the best option , um, skill wise , but also some that can provide some additional tools that are efficient for the legal process.

Speaker 1:

So as a starter kit, what would you recommend to an interpreter? Who's interesting in getting a starter kit,

Speaker 2:

A starter kit would be , uh , it would be good , uh , by having , uh , an FM system basic system, I don't know anywhere between two and five , uh, receivers of course, with a transmitter, but , um, that, that works fine. As long as you have a stable, a very reliable system, doesn't have to be the latest model. Um, if you find one that is , uh , like a , from a previous generation or model, as long as it's from a reliable brand, that, that , that will do it. And , uh , it doesn't have to break the bank with one of these digital two way communication systems like we were mentioning before. But of course, if you have a way to get one of those two, that would be the, the best.

Speaker 1:

So Carlos, is it absolutely necessary for interpreters to invest in the latest cutting edge technology as far as their personal interpreting equipment?

Speaker 2:

Yeah , not really. And I know, you know, some people might be inclined to get the latest technology. Of course, that depends on the personality. Um, but it , it's not really necessary. For example, my personal preference is instead of you buying a less expensive system that, you know, nowadays you find them online and they're popping up like, like bunnies. Um, so they , uh , instead of them getting a new system that is not going to last, you know, long , um , my personal preference is , is to get a more reputable brand, a more reliable brand, even though maybe the system is not the latest model, the latest technology, but, you know, it works. It doesn't mean that it's not that if it's just the , it's not the latest model, it doesn't mean that it's not gonna work. So that is a better investment in my opinion.

Speaker 1:

And so , yeah, go ahead.

Speaker 2:

Yes, no, what I was gonna say is , uh , you , you can use , uh , different , um , options , um , as far as , uh , you know, headsets, as long as you have a 3.5 millimeter for those portable systems, and you can use, you know, depending on the brand that you chose , um, you can actually use any of the ones that you use with the computer. And that's the flexibility that if you have a portable system, you system, you can use the same headset that you use in the computer.

Speaker 1:

So you don't have to double up and buy extra equipment that you're not, that you're only gonna use in certain situations.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. You can just use the same one, or maybe having two headsets, you know, one as a backup, but you are using both for both type of , um , systems for your computer , uh , connection and for your portable system. And , um, and that's one thing that I, I would like to mention as well, that you don't have to use. Um, nowadays you , you see a lot of recommendations about , uh , USB connectors for your headset, for your microphone headset, and yes, that is true. It has some , you know, you know, Mo mostly advantages, but it's not everything about advantages. You can also have some disadvantages, which this is one of them, a USB system, a USB microphone headset. You're not able to use that , um , for, you know, with a portable system, however, you can use your 3.5 millimeter or the regular plug. You know, some people call it the mini plug , um , with , with your computer as well with their , your portable system.

Speaker 1:

And there's also an adapter that you can use to adapt that headset to a USB. Isn't

Speaker 2:

That correct ? Correct. An adapter that allows you to, to connect the , the , the two , uh , plugs typical, the , the typical two plugs from your headset into that adapter. So it has two female connectors and one USB connector that goes into the computer that is really practical, and you are good to go with something like that.

Speaker 1:

So, so Carlos summing it up for us. What are the main points that you want us to remember regarding starting that home office and working and selecting our equipment?

Speaker 2:

Okay. Uh , mainly the wifi connection or, you know, internet connection, whether it's wifi or internet pay a lot of attention to the quality, even though it doesn't have to be the most expensive microphone headset , um , use a , you know , kind of a middle of the road. That's my preference, not the cheapest one, not the most expensive one. Um, if you go in the middle is usually a good balance. Um, and , uh , and keep in mind that technology is for us to use, not , not for the technology to panic, give you , give us panic attacks.

Speaker 1:

Carlos, if any of our listeners or viewers have any questions regarding some of the things you've spoken about today, where can they reach out to you?

Speaker 2:

Sure they can reach me at the main email address for the office, which is info universe, language.com, universe language.com

Speaker 1:

And to all our viewers and listeners. Thank you so very much for joining us. We hope that this podcast has enriched your journey along this fascinating field of interpretation. If you're watching this on YouTube, please share your comments with us below. And if you're listening to us, don't forget to subscribe. So you don't miss our weekly episodes. Join us next week. When we find out what it's like to interpret for live media events and breaking news, we'll speak with Carola Le Maher . She's a Spanish English, German, and French conference and diplomatic interpreter, whose voice you may have heard interpreting for presidents, prime ministers and political candidates.