Live Note Taking and Translation of webinars

@tobiaseigen @michaelotto @lauragoodwin #community what do you think? Is this realistic? Could there be room for translation without making the webinar longer? Or even having subtitles for those who are using computers?

Could we explore the option of live notes integration for the webinar? I know I type like a granny but know may people like @lauragoodwin who can do a great job at taking live notes.


Thanks, Mustafa! It’s helpful to separate the discussion about possibilities for translating webinars from the brainstorm about possible webinar topics. I’d be happy to hear ideas from the community about translation of webinars.

I don’t know how we would be able to do subtitles during the webinar itself - is this something you have seen other webinars do, @johnmorgandoughty? It seems like it would be prohibitively difficult technically and logistically. However, we can plan for more pauses and also to speak more simply for those who don’t speak english as their first language. We could also consider asking registrants to tell us their preferred language so we know if we need to be prepared for this.

We have not done live note taking yet for webinars, but for Namati teamwide calls we have a tradition of doing it using a google doc which works well but takes alot of effort. The benefit is that we can then include the voices of colleagues who would otherwise not be able to speak because of connectivity or language barrier issues. We don’t translate but colleagues who need it can open google translate in another tab and translate for themselves so they can follow along.

Once the webinar is complete, we do post a summary containing the full recording, a summary of key points raised, a selection of questions and answers, and links to follow-up resources. This should help to enable those who are unable to participate fully because of language barrier reasons to at least get the most essential information from the webinar.

Note that we do provide support for many languages here on our discussion platform. To take advantage of it, set your preferred interface language in your profile settings and then look for the globe on the post menu to translate posts. You can likewise write in your own language and others can translate into english or whatever other language they prefer using the translation feature.

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مع تطور التكنولوجيا الرقمية لا يوجد المستحيل أن تترجم إلى لغات مختلفة، وهذه هي واحدة من الطرق القديمة لتبادل المعلومات وخلق حالة من التقارب بين شعوب العالم. هذه هي المقترحات التي يمكن القيام بها في المستقبل القريب التي تعتبر مهمة للنظر في البرامج الحوارية الحية. D.Ali Barhmh علاءwi


With the development of digital technologies there is no impossible to translate into different languages and this is one of the ancient ways to exchange information and create a state of rapprochement among peoples in the world. These are possible proposals to be made in the near future that are important to be considered in live debate programs.

Hello @ALIALALAWI - welcome to the network! So glad to see you here and appreciate your participation in community discussions.

Thanks for the intervention, in both arabic and english. :slight_smile: Let’s keep the brainstorm about translation of webinars here in this topic. I agree that technology can be a big help - but at the end of the day translation is labor intensive and costly, so with limited funding available it is important to prioritize.

Your intervention is a nice illustration of both the way technology can be used to “create a state of rapprochement among people in the world” as you so eloquently state. This is precisely what the global legal empowerment network is about! However, it also shows the challenges with machine translation. See this screen shot, showing the machine translation using microsoft which helped me to read your arabic text. Directly below it is your post in English which is better.

The machine translation of forum posts is quite helpful I think and our members could be using it more to get to know one another and provide mutual support.

For webinars, I am not sure yet how live translation can be done - I’d love to see examples of how others are doing it.

I support John’s suggestion-- as discussed before, google translate is still horrible for Burmese, so it does require a live person to translate it. I think ideally there could be pauses every few slides, but if that is not desirable for length, then slower speaking + someone taking live notes could hopefully be a mid-step for listeners who do not understand English, but have someone who can assist them in the room.

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we can certainly try it - but will need to get one or two extra volunteers to take charge of the live note taking. Any takers?

@ashleyvanwaes what do you think?

Thank you all for your input! We are constantly trying to adapt and improve our webinar process, so your feedback is genuinely appreciated.

I love the idea of using some type of translation or captioning for our webinars. It’s important to us that our webinars are pertinent to and reflective of our Network members, and there is room for improvement in making sure we reach those that are not native English speakers (of which there are many!).

I am open to the idea of live note taking, but second @tobiaseigen in that we will need volunteers as it requires more manpower than we currently have available. We have an upcoming webinar next Wednesday, May 31st in which we could test this idea out. We would need at least two volunteers for live note taking; if anyone is interested, please message me to go over logistics! (@lauragoodwin, @caitlinpierce, @michaelotto ?)

If live note taking is not available, we can definitely look at ways to offer captioning during the post-webinar editing process. For example, YouTube has language recognition software that will actually generate captions automatically. If this does not work, we can also look at ways to transcribe the videos ourselves and manually input the captions and/or provide a transcript.

If anyone else has knowledge or ideas on how to streamline this process, we would love to hear from you! And as always, we appreciate your patience as we continue to evolve :blush:

Unfortunately with the Internet connectivity issues in Myanmar I can’t be counted on for live note taking. If there is another way to help, happy to!

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Thanks, @caitlinpierce! It looks like we have some volunteers in the DC office so we will be able to live note-take for this upcoming webinar. I’ll send out the information on where to follow along before the event.