Simultaneous translation / interpretation

I’ve just sent you an email with the same information @camille :smiley:

I got a contact at wechange. As I understand it they try to figure out how to get these changes into the main release of BigBlueButton, which probably is not so easy.

Hi everyone,

Some development has been done on BBB for the interpretation feature. If you want to try the beta version, you can sign up here : I will try it this week or next week with our interpreters.

Happy new year everyone !

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happy new year, Camille!
That’s interesting news indeed! I tried it but couldn’t figure out any changes in the user interface, but maybe I missed something. Let us know!

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I think they took off the feaure yesterday afternoon. But it’s back again this morning. I hope I will have time to test it before they stop this try out. I have a meeting with my interpreters to test it next Monday!
Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 07.53.06 Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 07.53.12


Hi everyone,
I tried the new interpretation feature with 2 interpreters and here are my feedback that I shared on github : The system works quite well. It takes us a bit of time to understand it but then it was really smooth. Our only issue was the quality of the sound. In the floor we didn’t have any problem. The sound was good but when we were on the language channel, the sound was not good enough to understand well the interpreter. One of my interpreter told me that it can come from some technical adjustment to get a better sound on the line. An other issue was the delay of hearing the interpreter when it starts talking.

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Hi everyone,

Just saw that now there is a code to add translation feature in BBB. I don’t know if it’s something possible for See below the last info I found.

The code for a modified BBB HTML5 client supporting live translation has now been published here Files · feature/translation-2.2.31 · chat / fairblue · GitLab

A time consuming challenge was to guarantee good audio quality of the translation tracks, when translators use windows laptops, where we had problems with echo cancellation, the floor output was always disturbing the translators’ voice. This has been finally solved by disabling echo cancellation on the translator’s SIP channel make translation audio depend on main audio connection / echo test (#64) · Issues · chat / fairblue · GitLab

Some UX fine tuning and documentation works is ongoing and we do not have install scripts yet, but there are guides how to replace the HTML5 client, here is one of them Audio sharing · Wiki · hosting / fairteaching · GitLab

Creating a PR so that this function gets into the BBB core would be another larger task and would require some attention from the BBB maintainers. Please do not ask when this will happen. Releasing a stable BBB 2.3 version has priority in the next months. Meet the developers of the translation tool at this chat channel fairchat


The practical matter of translating and interpreting within a BBB session is the kind of thing that the emerging Community programme will want to engage with, in its toolstack thread. So I’m cross-posting this between the topics for future reference. Given that this topic is well established here, I’d say the discussion can safely rermain here under ‘Product’?

Hopefully soon we can have funds to work on incorporating these technical solutions, like Camille shows above in the thread. Until then we will need to continue with social workarounds, like Monica c.s. have documented. Now some of us are involved in the Cities for Change Forum that takes place partially at servers. Some of the sessions are multilingual, so we have had a prep session with session organisers and translators.

Following our testing session yesterday, Silvia from Guerilla Media Collective (translators) has put together some practical instructions for simultaneous interpretation on BBB. In the end the document is a bit long, but in turn it has step-by-step instructions for both moderators and interpreters: Interpretation procedure for BBB meetings - Google Docs

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BTW the session is from the European Municipalist Network: Can Municipalism Change Institutions? - Programme - Cities for Change - Cities for Change You might want to join, at 19h CEST today.

Or this session on Sunday afternoon by XR Radical Democracy - Programme - Cities for Change - Cities for Change

Here is the Guide for simultaneous translations on that we compiled together with people from Guerilla Media Collective, Cities for Change, European Municipalist Network and others.


Hello everyone, this is fascinating and impressive. I’ve been working as both a professional and volunteer interpreter for years and would love to plug into work around developing this feature for BBB. Is there any way to get involved in testing, brainstorming, etc for random people like me??


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Simultaneous translation in BBB - here’s a tweak of BBB from k054, via @jamie at MayFirst, thanks :green_heart:

It’s based on chat / fairblue · GitLab but if you just follow that shared notes won’t work, so I added a few related steps.

We use ldap authentication but if you don’t intent to do that you can skip the greenlight/.env editing part.

The code is in this markdown doc Nextcloud

Do post here with results if you try this? Good luck :+1:

@mikemh and @dvdjaco had a discussion of multilanguage protocols and tech, as a foundation for a future session in commons.hour. The notes are here: Multi-language meetings 17 nov 2021 The video recording is here: BBB meeting recording 42min

They refer to four approaches to multilanguage gatherings and map out a plan for running session#4 in commons.hour (led by femProcomuns) as a dual-language Spanish/English session. @camille might be interested, as well as @wouter @benjaminroyer and Cade (forgotten his Forum handle, oops!)?

Contributors in this thread may be interested in the discussion thread on commons.hour #9 Working in plural languages online Session#9 discussion - #3 by mikemh

Am I right in thinking that still doesn’t support simulatenous translation?

If so, is it on the roadmap to be included and do we have a rough estimate of when it could be included?

There are ways of achieving simultaneoius interpretation in BBB. Using parallel rooms is one. Using closed captions is another. You might refer the enquiry to earlier post Simultaneous translation / interpretation - #41 by mikemh, and the recent commons.hour discussion Session#9 discussion - #3 by mikemh

It’s mostly a matter of meeting protocols. There isn’t any specific tech fix for simultaneous interpretation - like an interpreters’ control panel for example, as used in multilanguage conferences witth special audio equipment. Also we’re thinking about machine translation in various forms, but nothing specific on the roadmap I think @wouter ?

From many members in our community we know that multi-language is very much desired, and we are aware of the current difficulties. Still, as @otisyves, @fredsultan and Matthieu from Remix the Commons have explained so well in the last #commons.hour it depends very much on the social protocol how to go about this. But tech can be more helpful. Add also feedback from users in loud environments, like a general assembly or meetings in public spaces: automatic subtitling would be very practical.

Based on these user requests we do have “improved multi-language features” on our roadmap. It is however to be defined in more detail about what it is that we want, and then we should seek funding, possibly crowd-funding, for it.

I could imagine this automatic subtitling to be very useful and possibly also the most feasible. And possibly added to that automatic translation of these subtitles.

We’re probably not the first to attempt this, although I haven’t found public repositories under free licenses that we can reuse so far yet.

One speech-2-text tool that @mikemh pointed me to is nerd-dictation. Probably @baybars knows much much more of this domain. Would be good to explore this together.

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Hey @wouter!
Just finished some quick tests with VOSK (VOSK Offline Speech Recognition API) - the Open Source library under nerd-dictation. I used few audio files from Remix collection. The results are quite impressive (in terms of accuracy - speakers from France and Morocco - I didn’t test with a French-Canadian speaking person…). The library seems to integrate well with other systems.
It doesn’t provide translation but a « live » transcription - a text (pretty rough one) that can be translated afterwards. That’s a start.

Lots of experimentation ahead…

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Hi! We used VOSK for a small voice-to-etherpad experiment in GitHub - collectivat/mic2etherpad: Live dictation to Etherpad using VOSK microphone speech recognition, I guess wouldn’t be too difficult to do something similar for bbb