Sennheiser helps Inuktitut and English speaking council

AUTHOR: Inavate

Kugaaruk council is using a Sennheiser conference system to translate between English and Inuktitut. The municipality is in the far northern Nunavut Territory of Canada and three members of its regular council only speak Inuktitut while one only speaks English.

Home to approximately eight-hundred native Inuit and a handful of southerners, the Kugaaruk brushes up against the Arctic Ocean and is the location of Canada’s coldest recorded wind chill (–78 degrees Celsius). In their meetings every two weeks, Kugaaruk council members rely on a conference system so that Christopher Amautinuar can translate between English and Inuktitut. Kugaaruk recently replaced its existing conference system with a Sennheiser solution.

Among the regular council members, one speaks only English and three speak only Inuktitut. Most of the other eight members favor one or the other language. In addition, many members of the public speak only one language. The council’s previous wired system interacted poorly with the lighting system. “There was always a lot of buzzing, humming, and interference,” said Amautinuar. “I listen and translate both languages in real-time. It was a huge stress and distraction to fight with the system to hear everything that was being said, let alone to hear it while I was simultaneously translating what I had just heard.”

The new system uses twelve Sennheiser SDC 8200 series delegate microphones on gooseneck mounts, headphone jacks for listening to translations, and yes/no/abstention voting buttons. Amautinuar uses a Sennheiser SDC 8200 ID, which features a series of push buttons and a backlit display that allows him to take command of the translations. Each council member uses Sennheiser Televic TEL 151 lightweight headphones, whereas Amautinuar uses the ultra-high fidelity Sennheiser Televic TEL 10. Finally, Kugaaruk purchased an SR 2020 D US transmitter for Sennheiser’s Tourguide series of RF transmitters together with twelve Sennheiser HDE 2020 D US receivers. With the Tourguide system, uni-lingual members of the public can follow the proceedings using Amautinuar’s translations.