Interpreters should meet these requirements with regard to their internet connection and equipment (computer, headset, browser). In addition, they should follow our best practices when using Translate@Home.
Translate@Home - Interpreter Requirements
We recommend a recent computer, preferably high-end or at least mid-range with a fast processor and sufficient memory (eg. Intel i7 with 16GB RAM) and a dedicated sound card and graphic card. Insufficient CPU or memory may result in audio distortions and packet loss. Sometimes, this will be heard immediately. On other computers, it may cause the audio quality to gradually deteriorate.
The operating system doesn’t matter. It should only be able to run a recent version of Mozilla Firefox (make sure to install the latest update). We strongly recommend using Firefox !
Even though Google Chrome fully supports WebRTC and should also work, we recommend using Firefox for various reasons:
- Using Chrome may result in poor audio quality and may cause audio quality to deteriorate over time (especially on budget computers).
- We use Firefox ourselves for testing, not Chrome.
- Firefox lets interpreters select their microphone when connecting to a language room. Chrome doesn’t, which may result in an interpreter being connected with the wrong microphone.
- Google Chrome is more commonly used for everyday browsing. There is a higher chance of add-ons being installed that could affect performance.
Only if for some reason a translator can’t use Firefox, you should consider using Google Chrome.
We strongly recommend using a professional or high-end headset with noise cancelling. Cheap headsets are often the cause of audio distortions. A second headset should be available in case there are any issues.
The room from which remote interpretation is done should be as quiet as possible and acoustically suitable. When you talk or clap there shouldn’t be an echo or a reverberation. Ideally, you should find a small room with a low ceiling, a thick carpet on the floor, no windows and sound absorbing panels (you can get the same effect by covering the walls with thick curtains, blankets or carpets).
Translators should have a wired ethernet connection! Even a good wireless connection may still cause a lot of audio distortion. A good quality cable (Cat 6 recommended) and connector are also important.
They should have a bandwidth of at least 5 Mbps up and 5 Mbps down. The time for packets to travel from their computer to our servers should preferably be below 50 milliseconds . If packets arrive too late, parts of your translation will be dropped or distorted. To check this, go to https://www.speedtest.net/ and click on the Change Server link. Next, type ‘I3D’ in the popup dialog and select ‘Rotterdam – I3D.net’. Finally, press the GO button and wait until all tests are completed.
Note that these values are indications: good connections with less bandwidth or a longer packet travel time may also result in sufficient audio quality. But in that case you should definitely do plenty of testing.