Make Council Meetings More Inclusive and Accessible With Government Translation Solutions Powered by AI

Posted on

March 4, 2024


Navigating today's multi-national, multilingual world requires enhanced communication options. Participants from around the globe have relocated and now live in new cities where the primary language is different from what they are used to. They want to participate in community meetings to stay abreast of current events and have a voice in government decisions, but are often restricted due to language barriers. Most local governments in the US run their community events in English and do not get the level of civic engagement they desire.

This article summarizes the options for making community meetings more inclusive and accessible - and includes an overview on how AI translation and AI captioning solutions can work for government translation use cases.

Communication Options

There are three primary options for addressing the language barrier at community meetings with government translation solutions.

1.     Do Nothing

The most common solution is to do nothing. While this is obviously the cheapest and least time consuming in the short term, there are significant long run costs when residents are unable to understand the session contents and do not fully engage.

2.     Use Human Translators

Human translators have been used for centuries and are a common option for meetings and events around the world. Everyone has watched prominent events like sessions at the UN Headquarters in NYC where attendees from 100+ countries around the world listen in real time to a presenter speaking in a language they are not familiar with that is translated into their language. Human interpretation is a good option for large, complex events which are planned months in advance and supported by large budgets and teams to coordinate all of the logistics. But the time and cost of offering human interpretation often makes this option not viable for private companies, industry associations, and local governments.

3.     Use Live AI Translation and Captioning

A fast-growing option is AI translation, also known as Machine Interpretation. These tech solutions are powered by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform and integrated with a secure cloud infrastructure, removing the need for human interpreters and special equipment. AI translation is being implemented across a wide range of markets, including government, financial services, healthcare, technology, non profits, and religious organizations.

Step 1

The audio mixer from the council chamber is connected to a laptop which is used to log into the AI translation and captioning system. This helps ensure the AI system receives high quality sound input.

Step 2

The presenter(s) speak in their preferred languages during the council meetings. The AI-powered government translation system can manage participants speaking in multiple languages.

Step 3

The system uses AI technology to transcribe and translate the spoken content into the preferred languages for each participant. AI systems can process and translate speech simultaneously into dozens of languages. The caption output is displayed in less than 0.5 seconds, providing the output in near real-time. The translation software is capable of understanding different dialects and accents, so you can feel confident that the translation will be accurate and understood by all attendees.

Step 4

Attendees can read along with captions or listen with their ear buds in their preferred language on their own computer or mobile device. Attendees access the translation and captions by scanning a QR code with their phone or visiting a URL from their computer. Attendees can be either in person or attend virtually via Zoom or another meeting platform. The captions can also be displayed in multiple languages on monitors positioned around the council chambers so both council members and attendees can see them.

For more information, visit how translation software works.

Wordly makes it easy and affordable to offer city council translation at all your community meetings and events. 

To learn how we can make your meetings more inclusive and engaging, schedule a demo.

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