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Language Service Enhancements at ICANN70

5 March 2021

ICANN's multistakeholder model relies on the active participation of our global community. Providing language support in multiple languages for events and meetings is crucial to encouraging diverse participation. The shift from physical to virtual meetings has created unique challenges to providing simultaneous interpretation. These challenges required finding a quick solution to complex technical issues and building new skills.

In an effort to improve your meeting experience, ICANN org's Meetings Technical Services and Language Services teams, working with Congress Rental Network, have found a way to integrate the remote simultaneous interpretation platform, referred to as RSI, into Zoom to simplify the experience for participants. Now, participants will need only one digital device operating Zoom to access this new feature. Previously, participants had to operate two devices to access simultaneous interpretation services. This new integration will provide an easier, more seamless experience.

At ICANN70, access to remote simultaneous interpretation in the six United Nations (UN) languages (Arabic, Spanish, French, English, Chinese, and Russian) plus Portuguese will be available for Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) sessions. High-interest sessions, including the Public Forum, will receive simultaneous interpretation support into the six UN languages. The At-Large Advisory Committee and its Regional At-Large Organizations will be supported with Spanish and French, and in some cases Arabic, Chinese, or Portuguese may also be available for the different regional organizations. You will be able to see the languages that are available for each session and access relevant links in the ICANN70 schedule.

To ensure this new feature is available and working, please download the latest version of Zoom. Please note, the RSI integration with Zoom is not available in the browser version of Zoom or for participants who access via a landline telephone.

If you're planning on speaking during a session, a few points to remember:

  • State your name each time you take the (virtual) floor.
  • Speak clearly and slowly. Breath… between sentences, especially if you are reading a statement.
  • In Zoom, select the language you will be speaking in.
  • State the name of the language you will be speaking in before you begin your comment or question so that interpreters can be prepared.

You can find more information on our participation tools and how to access them on the ICANN70 page.

ICANN org is putting every effort into making your Virtual Community Forum a valuable experience and we appreciate the community's support. In addition to the improvements outlined in this blog, we are also launching a number of virtual meeting enhancements for ICANN70. More information is available here.

We will continue to learn important lessons and improve our capabilities in the future. We look forward to seeing you at the ICANN70 Virtual Community Forum.

If you have feedback, please email us at languageservices@icann.org.


Sally Newell Cohen

Sally Newell Cohen

SVP, Global Communications