Groups in which participants do not speak the same language frequently find communication difficult. Yet, multilingual meetings are common as a form of collaboration. To overcome this language barrier, banks, government agencies, hospitals, the courts, and many other institutions have relied upon human translators to enable meeting participants to exchange ideas and opinions. For example, the United Nations General Assembly’s discussions, conferences within the European Union, multinational corporations’ business negotiations, and many other meetings are conducted almost daily, requiring large amounts of interpreters’ scarce expertise and time.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Multilingual Group Support System: A group support system with a machine translation interface allowing comments generated in a meeting to be translated.
Multilingual Meeting: A meeting involving several people who do not speak a common language such as English.
Machine Translation: Automated translation of a natural language pair (e.g., English to Spanish)
Nominal Group Technique: A written, group, brainstorming technique characterized by silent idea generation, round robin idea collection, grouping, and ranking.
Delphi: A written, group, brainstorming technique characterized by a number of iterative stages through which a consensual view is reached.
Idiom: An expression with a meaning that does not follow from the meaning of the individual words of which it is composed.
Group Support System: A computer-based system that automates a meeting.