Large-scale, Distributed, Multilingual, Electronic Meetings: A Pilot Study of Usability and Comprehension
AbstractThe United Nations, the European Union, and many other organizations must conduct meetings in many languages, but typically employ human interpreters with their accompanying cost. In addition, these oral discussions require participants to take turns speaking, lengthening the process. Many studies have shown that group support systems can reduce meeting time and increase productivity, and the addition of automatic translation into this process could support these multilingual groups. However, prior studies have typically used only a few languages with group members face to face. This study investigates how well a large multilingual group can use electronic meeting software in a geographically dispersed environment. Results show that the group members were able to understand comments exchanged in 66 languages when translated to English, and they believed the multilingual meeting system was useful for such discussions.
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