Use language interpretation in a Teams meeting

Communicate clearly and efficiently during multilingual meetings and conferences with language interpretation in Microsoft Teams. 

Language interpretation allows professional interpreters to convert what the speaker says into another language in real-time, without disrupting the speaker's original flow of delivery. This simultaneous interpretation will lead to more inclusive meetings, where participants who speak different languages can fully collaborate with each other. 

In this article:

Organize a meeting with language interpretation

Designate an interpreter during the meeting

Change language channel

Interpreter experience

FAQ
 

Organizers can enable language interpretation settings for a meeting, add interpreters before the meeting, and designate interpreters during the meeting.

Organize a meeting with language interpretation

Language interpretation can be added to any meeting. After you organize a meeting, you can add language interpretation to it and invite your organization's interpreters to join.

To create a meeting with language interpretation:

  1. Create and save a meeting in Teams.

  2. In Teams, select Calendar and open the meeting you want to add language interpretation to.

  3. Select Meeting options.

  4. Turn on the Enable language interpretation toggle.

    Screenshot of setting to enable Language Interpretation in Teams.

  5. Search for an interpreter or select one from the Interpreters dropdown menu and designate their source and target languages. Search or choose multiple interpreters from the dropdown menu to assign them all to the same language channel.

  6. Select Add more interpreters if your meeting needs additional language channels.

    Note: Teams language interpretation only supports unidirectional interpretation. If the meeting requires the translation of multiple source languages, the organizer must add additional interpreters.

  7. Select Save to apply interpretation settings.

Designate an interpreter during the meeting

To assign guest or external interpreters, designate them as an interpreter during the meeting.

  1. In your meeting, select Participants.

  2. Hover over the person you want to make an interpreter and select More options ... > Make an interpreter.

    Screenshot of option to make attendee an interpreter during a Teams meeting.

    Note: This option is only available in meetings scheduled with language interpretation enabled.

Change language channel

When attendees join a meeting with language interpretation, they'll choose the language they want to listen to. They can also switch between listening to that language and the original speaker during the meeting.

Note: Currently, attendees can only select a language channel via the Teams desktop app.

  1. When you join a meeting in which interpretation is available, a dialog will appear with the option to choose the language you want the meeting translated to.

    Language Interpretation setting to choose language in Teams.

    If you miss the dialog, just select More actions ... in your meeting controls, then choose Language interpretation.

  2. From the dropdown menu, choose the language you want to hear.

    Screenshot of dropdown menu with language options to translate to during Teams meeting.

  3. Select Confirm.

    Screenshot of dropdown menu to confirm language in language interpretation for Microsoft Teams.

Interpreter experience

Interpreters can hear all speakers and start interpreting immediately after they join a meeting. Once they join, they won't be able to switch rooms themselves. 

FAQ

Does Microsoft provide interpreters?

Microsoft does not provide interpreters. Organizations will need to hire their own interpreters to support their interpretation needs.

Can interpreters join on web?

Interpreters can join live interpretation meetings on web; however, this feature is not currently supported for attendees joining on web.

What information does the interpreter have access to?

Interpreters will have the same permissions as attendees. They'll be able to see the meeting chat, meeting roster, etc.

How many interpreters can I add to a meeting? 

You can add up to 16 different language pairs (for example, translating French to Spanish counts as one language pair).

You can assign as many interpreters to the 16 language pairs as needed. 

What types of meetings does this feature work with? 

Language interpretation is supported for regular scheduled meetings, channel meetings, meetings with up to 1000 participants, and webinars.

Breakout rooms are not currently supported. In meetings with breakout rooms, the main meeting can be interpreted, but interpretation will stop when the breakout rooms start.

Language interpretation is not currently available in end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) Teams meetings. 

Can I turn on captions for a meeting with interpretation?

Captions in a meeting with language interpretation will only caption the main speaker, not the interpreter. If the language of the main speaker changes, the meeting's organizer will need to switch the live captions' spoken language to the correct language for captioning to work. 

Will meeting recordings have both original and translated audio?

Meeting recordings in a meeting with language interpretation only capture the audio of the main channel, or original speaker. The interpreter's audio will not be present on the recording.

Compliance recording is not currently supported in meetings with language interpretation.

What kind of set up do interpreters need? 

Interpreters must join meetings on Teams for desktop or web. Language interpretation is supported on mobile devices when using a headset.

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