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Interpreters Requesting Improvements on Zoom Interpretation Feature


There is a sharp increase in the demand for Zoom calls requiring simultaneous interpretation.  While this function has many excellent qualities, in practice we have identified some important gaps.  To respond to this demand and provide quality service, we are forced to implement makeshift patches to compensate for certain limitations in Zoom’s service.  Below is a list of suggestions compiled over the past months of intensive, daily use of Zoom’s Interpretation function. 


The suggestions marked in bold would have the greatest positive impact for all involved. These changes would aid interpreters in using industry best practices, create ease of management/use for meeting hosts, and expand accessibility for people with limited internet access, among other things. They would also encourage us to continue recommending Zoom to our clients, rather than researching other options to recommend.



  • Allow co-hosts to manage interpretation feature 
    • Allow hosts and co-hosts to assign language channels for participants without removing the option for participants to choose their own language channel. 
    • Enable hosts, co-hosts, and interpreters to see which language channel each participant is using and how many people are listening on each channel.


      Breakout Rooms:



      • Offer interpretation option in at least some breakout rooms, or in all if possible
        • Full control by host for interpreter(s) to be placed in any breakout rooms at will  


          Interpretation available for all participants:



          • Make interpretation available to people joining meetings via phone only (having access to the language channels by pressing 1, 2, 3…?). 


            Language Channels:



            • Enable interpreters using the same language combination to hear each other AND to hear interpreters on other language channels
              • This will make switching between interpreter turns immeasurably smoother, improving the experience both for interpreters and for language channel listeners
                • This will enable interpreters to do relay interpretation by interpreting what we hear from interpreters using a different language pair/audio channels, thus enabling Zoom events in more than two languages with ease
                  • Enable  interpreters to choose “floor” or “off” channel in order  to be heard by everyone when needed (currently once interpreters are assigned, they cannot speak to the whole floor, only to those who have chosen interpretation and only to one channel at a time)
                    • Enable people watching a cloud recording to view the complete video in a single language while on their smartphone or tablet, or if they’re using a computer, to not have to toggle between the main audio and the language channel.
                    • Slider when original audio is unmuted so listeners can determine the sound level they prefer when listening to original audio and interpretation.



                      • Allow interpreters to move the language toggle button, in order to prevent chat notifications and subtitles to cover this button, and prevent interpreters from changing channels easily
                      • Ability to rearrange windows (to put interpreter's window next to presenter, or put two interpreters together etc.). Also, ability to prevent window rearrange when someone stops video feed (some way for participants to individually arrange and lock the window order to their preference)
                      • Ability to pin a comment in the chat so that translation can be provided with the original comment, or ability to respond directly to a comment in the chat to provide translation
                      • Avoid accidental “end meeting” when host/co-host intends to “end interpreting”
                        • Move the “end interpreting” button farther away from the “end meeting” button
                        • Differentiate the “end interpreting” button visually from the “end meeting” button 


                          This list for requested improvement represents input from over 30 interpreters listed below working in spoken and signed languages within the language justice framework across the U.S. and beyond. For follow-up on these requests, please contact Jen Hofer ***********, and/or Ron Garcia-Fogarty ***********


                          Adriana Pericchi (Kingston, NY)

                          Alejandra Esparza Interpreter (San Diego, CA)

                          Amber Hodson, Sign Language Interpreter (Oakland, CA)

                          Andrea Zamudio (San Diego, CA)

                          Antena Houston (Houston, TX)

                          Antena Los Ángeles (Los Angeles, CA)

                          Jen Hofer

                          Betty Marín

                          Ana Paula Noguez Mercado

                          Katja Schatte

                          Alexia Veytia-Rubio

                          Cairo Community Interpreter Project (CCIP), Cairo, Egypt

                          Alice Johnson

                          Catalina Nieto Interpreting (Albuquerque, NM and Washington, DC)

                          Center for Participatory Change (Asheville, NC)

                          Cenzontle Language Justice Cooperative

                                      Rocio Quintero

                                      Elizabet Hinojosa Ruiz

                                      Leonidas Esperanza

                                      Jackie Fitzgerald 

                                      Patty Urrutia

                                      Monse Ramirez

                                      Andrea Golden

                                      Colectivo Babilla (NYC and Puerto Rico)

                          patri gonzález ramírez

                          Pao Lebrón

                          Cristóbal Guerra Naranjo

                          Comal Language Justice Collective (Dallas, TX)

                          Gloria Delgadillo

                          Maria de Jesus Garza

                          DC Interpreters Collective 

                          DeafHope (National Technical Assistance Provider)

                          Gina Engst Interpreter (Philadelphia, PA)

                          Interpreters Cooperative of Madison (Madison, WI)

                          Steve Herrick

                          Jazmín Rumbaut (Washington, DC)

                          Just Communities Central Coast (Santa Barbara, Ca)

                          Rachel Mehl (New York and Washington DC)

                          Roberto Tijerina (Washington DC)

                          tilde Language Justice Cooperative (Durham, NC)

                          Iliana Santillán

                          Ron Garcia-Fogarty

                          Susan Greenblatt

                          Tony Macias

                          Unbound Language Justice Cooperative

                          Angélica Bachour

                          Catalina Tang Yan

                          Loreto Ansaldo

                          Voices Translation and Interpreting Services (Santa Barbara, CA)



Community Champion | Customer
Community Champion | Customer


Although this community forum is useful, the best way to get traction on an issue is through Zoom's official feedback process.

"Zoom welcomes your ideas, requests or comments about Zoom".

Submit your feature request or complaints here;

If my reply helped, don't forget to click the accept as solution button!

View solution in original post



Agreed!  This is a powerful recommendation.  I host many zooms with up to 6 languages all the time and it is always a mess sorting everyone out at the beginning of each meeting.  Since we are unable to manage the attendees channels we have to figure out each attendee while everyone else is also trying to speak.  NOTE: It would also be helpful to be able to manage this during the pre-meeting registration process.

Community Champion | Customer
Community Champion | Customer


Although this community forum is useful, the best way to get traction on an issue is through Zoom's official feedback process.

"Zoom welcomes your ideas, requests or comments about Zoom".

Submit your feature request or complaints here;

If my reply helped, don't forget to click the accept as solution button!

Dear @Frank_TB,

thank you for the advice to give such kind of feedback to Zoom through Zoom application 🙂
This way has one big disadvantage - there is no possibility to attach a screenshot to the feature request explanation 🙄
I know there was a possibility to report Feature Requests here in Zoom Community Forum (the screenshot attached) but now I don't see this possibility 🤔


One more... Allow for different languages slide shows...? It would be so much better if we could launch french slides next to the english slides, for exemple...



I will be a participant in a meeting that will have an interpreter. Does my free account allow me to participate?

Enabling interpreting for a meeting does not interfere with anyone's ability to participate in or facilitate a zoom meeting. 


You can benefit from hearing an interpreting channel regardless of having a paid or free zoom account, as long as you don't use a chromebooks or other linux device, and you don't dial into the meeting.


I need a turn-taking feature asap... I work in pairs everyday and without a proper turn taking feature like other tools, it's very easy for things to go wrong...