Troubleshooting Translate@Home issues
Unable to connect to the language room
When an interpreter cannot connect to a language room, first check the following:
- Ensure that the event is active: the event status must be set to
Pausedin order to be able to connect to the language rooms.
- Ensure that the interpreter is using the correct link. Try to connect yourself using the same link. Note: when you delete a language room and create it again, you need to distribute the new link to your interpreter.
A firewall is blocking the WebRTC connections
If an interpreter fails to connect to an active language room, she will see a popup with an error message. In most cases, this will indicate that a firewall is blocking the necessary WebRTC connections.
In that case, your best option is probably to ask the interpreter to use a different connection (or work without VPN, if this is the case).
In most companies, it is not easy to obtain a quick modification of the firewall settings. Should this be possible, see our advanced help section for the ports being used by Translate@Home.
Note: this can also be caused by a personal firewall. In that case, the interpreter should be able to figure this out herself. A personal firewall should never be configured to block WebRTC connections.
Most other possible reasons result from incorrect use of Translate@Home. For example:
- Not using Firefox: not all browsers fully support WebRTC
- Multiple language room connections in different browser tabs: your browser will get confused if you have too many WebRTC connections. The number of simultaneous WebRTC connections is also limited (see also: issues with audio and video)
- Too many interpreters in the same language room: Clevercast only allows 5 interpreters to be in the same language room
Interpreter has issues watching the incoming video or hearing audio
If the interpreter can connect to both video and audio in the language room, she should be able to watch and listen to the incoming broadcast. If this isn’t the case, it usually indicates that something is wrong with the interpreter’s headset, computer or internet connection.
Can’t see any video
For Translate@Home, the "OpenH264 Video Codec by Cisco" plugin must be available in Firefox. This is installed and enabled by default, but some users disable it. Type ‘about:addons’ in the address bar of Firefox and make sure the plug-in is available and active.
The video is interrupted, pauses and/or skips ahead
This usually indicates that the internet connection of the interpreter, and more specifically the download speed, is insufficient.
Another possibility is that the computer does not meet the requirements, or has become too slow for some other reason (e.g. too many other applications running, OS is doing a software update, language rooms open in different tabs...). You can try to remedy the latter by restarting the computer and closing all applications.
In either case, it may be an indication that this interpreter may not have the appropriate connection and/or equipment.
Can’t hear any audio, or the audio is too quiet
If an interpreter can see video, she should also be able to hear the audio. If she can’t, there may be an issue with her headset. Try letting her listen to the audio without a headset to check if this is the case. Note: don’t do this during the actual event, since this will result in an echo.
Another complaint we sometimes hear is that the audio is too quiet for the interpreters. In that case you have to turn up the audio volume of your broadcast. Clevercast passes the broadcasted audio on to the interpreters without adjustments.
The interpreter’s translation isn’t audible
Start by making sure that:
- The interpreter is connected. If the interpreter is not in the ‘Other Participants’ panel, she isn’t connected to the language room.
- The interpreter is unmuted. You can see if she is muted or unmuted in the ‘Other Participants’ panel. If she turns out to be muted, you can also unmute her from there.
If the interpreter is both connected and unmuted, there can be a number of reasons why no sound is coming through. Go through the list of possible reasons below until you find the issue.
Interpreter is connected with the wrong microphone
If an interpreter doesn’t use Firefox, the default microphone of her Operating System is used to connect to the language room. If this is a different microphone, no sound is sent to Clevercast.
If an interpreter uses Firefox, she will be asked to select her microphone when connecting to the language room. But even in that case, a problem can arise if the interpreter also has applications like Zoom or Teams running: these applications block all access to the microphone. They should be shut down when using Translate@Home.
Ask the interpreter to close all other applications. If this doesn’t help, ask her to restart her computer and connect again to the language room using Firefox and select the right headset.
The volume of the microphone is turned off
Let the interpreter check the settings of her Operating System to make sure the microphone volume is not turned off. See this tutorial for finding the volume settings on different Operating Systems.
A lot of headsets also contain a button or switch for the microphone: make sure that this isn’t turned on.
Something is wrong with the headset
There may be an issue with the headset itself or it may be badly configured in the Operating System. Disconnect from the language room and connect again using a backup headset (an interpreter should always have a backup headset).
If this still doesn’t work, let the interpreter reconnect to the language room without a headset. Note: this is only to check if there's an issue with the headset. Don’t do this during the real event!
A firewall is blocking the audio transmission
In case of a firewall, all WebRTC connections will normally fail (see §3 of this guide). Yet we already have seen a rare case where only the audio connection was blocked.
To make sure this is not the case, ask the interpreter to connect to her language room over 4G or 5G. Note: don’t do this for the real event. An ethernet cable should always be used for the real event (see §6).
Still can’t hear any audio?
If you tried all of the above and still can’t hear any audio, ask the interpreter to take a screenshot of her entire language room and any error messages. Send us an email with the screenshot(s), an explanation of the issue and what you did to troubleshoot it.
Contact us while the interpreter is still connected in the language room and the problem is occurring. It is impossible to troubleshoot this sort of issue afterwards.
The interpreter has audio quality issues
INTERPRETERS SHOULD NEVER USE WI-FI or 5G !
Using Wi-Fi is probably the most common mistake made by non-professional interpreters or those without RSI experience. Interpreters should always use an ethernet cable to connect to the internet. Even a very good wireless connection may result in audio distortion.
If an interpreter has a good connection to our servers - the connection level is green - but the audio still doesn’t sound good (e.g. syllables dropped, volume going up and down, interference, glitches…) then chances are high it is because of Wi-Fi.
If necessary, ask the interpreter to turn off Wi-Fi in the settings of her OS, to avoid that her computer is still using Wi-Fi even if an ethernet cable is plugged in.
Bad WebRTC connection
As an interpreter manager, you should keep track of your interpreter’s status in the other participants panel (see §2). If an interpreter has a red or orange connection status, this is probably the reason for poor audio quality. A connection that is too slow may cause audio packets not to reach our servers in time. A connection that is unstable may result in jitter.
Note: while this is usually caused by the interpreter's connection to her internet provider, it is not always the case. From there on, the audio must also be able to reach our servers in a fast and stable way over the internet.
In that case, there is no other option than to look for a better connection. That is why it is so important to test beforehand.
Bad audio quality
If the audio quality is not sufficient, despite professional equipment and a good internet connection, you can try disabling noise suppression and gain control by Clevercast. If the interpreter’s equipment already does this, the audio quality will deteriorate if you also let Clevercast do it.
To disable noise suppression and gain control by Clevercast, let the interpreter uncheck the respective settings in the language room (see interpreter manual).
The translation contains an echo of the floor audio
If you hear this in the player, go to the Manage Language Rooms interface and listen in on the interpreter (see §2).
If you can hear the floor audio while listening to the interpreter’s translation, there is something wrong with her set-up. The following scenarios are possible:
- The interpreter uses no headset: the floor audio will be clearly audible in the translation.
- The interpreter has a headset, but only uses it for the outgoing audio: an echo of the floor audio will be clearly audible in the translation.
- The interpreter uses a low-quality headset or her microphone is badly positioned: this may also result in the microphone picking up floor audio or other ambient noise (like the interpreter typing on the keyboard).
The translation volume is not loud enough
If this is the case, the volume of the interpreter’s microphone is probably not set high enough in the settings of her Operating System. The microphone volume should be set at about 80%. See this tutorial for setting the volume on different OSs.
Other possible reasons are:
- Poor headset quality.
- Some headsets also allow the microphone volume to be changed through a button on the headset itself.
- Interpreters speaking very quietly. We recommend that interpreters always speak sufficiently loud since the audio codec will have a harder time distinguishing speech from anomalies when spoken quietly. Speaking too quietly may cause your speech to be erroneously corrected.
The translation contains ambient noises or repetitive sounds
If multiple interpreters alternate in the same language room, only one interpreter should be unmuted at the same time. Even if the other interpreter(s) make little or no sound, their microphone may still transmit ambient sounds or cause jitter. This will result in audio glitches.
If the interpreter uses a low-quality headset or her microphone is badly positioned, this will result in the microphone picking up ambient noises (like the interpreter typing on her keyboard).
The room of an interpreter should be as quiet as possible and acoustically suitable. When you talk or clap there shouldn’t be an echo or a reverberation. Ideally, an interpreter should find a small room with a low ceiling, a thick carpet on the floor, no windows and sound absorbing panels (you can get the same effect by covering the walls with thick curtains, blankets or carpets).
If you still hear annoying repetitive noises which are not ambient noise (e.g. a continuous ticking, squeaking or grinding noise) there is probably something wrong with the headset or connection between headset and computer. Ask the interpreter to try with a spare headset to see if the problem persists (interpreters are expected to have a spare headset). If that also causes a problem, let her try without a headset (just for testing, to see if the noise is also present).
The floor audio volume in the background is too loud
This should be solved by lowering the background floor volume in the translation channels (via the slider on the Manage Language Rooms page), or turning it off entirely.