A simultanious instant translation system would be useful during G8 convergence?

Yes - such a system would be essential to good and speedy communication
33% (2 votes)
Yes - probably a good idea but we'd get by without it somehow
17% (1 vote)
No - we can muddle through anyway so forget it, who needs technology to communicate anway.
50% (3 votes)
Total votes: 6

Posted By

Feb 4 2005 20:35


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Feb 4 2005 20:35

On the run up to the ESF there was talk about setting up simultanious translation systems for use at meetings and discussions in the autonomous spaces to ensure the language barrier was reduced as much as possible without hampering the discussion. One of the system proposed was quite high tech and involved the latest wifi networking technology and laptops etc. which made scalability expensive There was also a much simpler and cheaper traditional system discussed which simple involves radio headphones and low powered transmitters.

Unfortunatly neither system happened in the end, partly because there were so many other things to be organised and also because the favoured system was the sexy hi tech system which was inherently more complicated and expensive to set up and therefore much less likely to happen or work. Translations, when they were available at all, happen in a more haphazard and loose fashion with either the discussion being delayed while things were repeated in different languages or with people finding a friend to translate for them by whispering in their ears as things were being said.

So.. my question is this... would an simultaneous translation system be desirable for large G8 related meetings taking place in the UK prior to and during the G8 and if so, has it already been organised or has somebody taken it on. With time ticking away and the G8 rapidly approaching if it's not yet sorted then now is the time to do it.

I have some of the core equipement required to build a radio based system that could do three simultanious languages (or expanded at the cost of about £35 per additional language). The extra stuff required to get this working would be nothing more than a load of cheap FM radio headsets (these cost about £3 each plus batteries) for each person that would require translations. Also required would be a microphone for each translator (doesn't have to be anything special since it's just voice and shouldn't cost more than £5 each mic) plus microphone preamps. Rechargable batteries for the transmitters would also be required if it were required to operate independently from the mains power grid.

Anyway, if nothing is sorted yet and people think such a system would be useful and get used productively, then I'd be up for building it. Let me know soon and I can see about getting a little funding to complete it. I am London based.

Feb 16 2005 06:22

hey, i think this is a great idea, and it would always be usefull to have around anyway, do you think you would have it ready for the meeting in germany??