Monica Guelman, Enersound Vice President of Sales & Marketing | Monday, January 6th, 2014. 2:31 p.m. EST
The rise of Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and other immigrants in South Florida and across the country has prompted several churches and other houses of worship to attract these groups to their religious services and offer them reassurance and comfort. But unfortunately, due to the language barrier that hinders their understanding of what the preacher is saying, often times they stop attending services or look for a service in their own language even if it means that they have to drive several miles or go to another city for such a service.
There is now a solution for the thousands of newcomers that do not speak the language of the sermon yet want to seek out others who are of the same religion or creed, thanks to language interpretation (also referred to as simultaneous interpretation or simultaneous translation) equipment. Enersound’s equipment allows the congregation to hear what the clergyman is saying in their own languages, in real time, through the voice of a translator.
A typical language interpretation system for a church consists of an FM base transmitter and microphone for the translator and wireless receivers with headphones for the congregation. If translating multiple languages, multi-channel transmitters and receivers may be used.
Most churches usually rely on volunteer interpreters from the community if they cannot afford to employ a professional interpreter. There is no technological solution on the market that will automatically translate services without a live, human interpreter.
There is no limit to the number of receivers you can have for your congregants. A base transmitter has a coverage area of up to 1,000 feet. So you can start small with a basic system for your existing foreign-speaking parishioners, and upgrade the system by getting additional receivers and headphones as this population grows. You can also increase the number of languages offered by purchasing additional transmitters and microphones, one per language interpreted.
For the hard of hearing at your church, mosque or synagogue, Enersound has come up with state of the art assistive listening FM systems (usually consisting of a stationary transmitter and wireless receivers and headphones) that enable the message to be heard by congregation members of all ages and hearing abilities and allow for greater participation.
Some advantages of an FM system include:
•Easy installation and low maintenance costs
•No need to have multiple, separate services in various different languages
•Superb sound quality
•Wide coverage area with no line-of-sight issues
•Can work indoors and outdoors
•Allows for multiple languages or channels to be used simultaneously and can be used in fixed and portable applications
•No limit to the number of receivers that can be used
FM technology has done more than just break the barriers of communication and culture in houses of worship. FM language interpretation and assistive listening systems can be used for Sunday services, during religious holidays, for youth groups and various ministries, during special events, mission tours, ceremonies and many other occasions.
With Enersound language interpretation technology, interpreters can now provide real time simultaneous language interpretation in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and other languages, with one channel dedicated to assistive listening if needed. Worship services can now be more fully integrated and welcoming to all cultures and languages.