Translation Equipment for Churches and Houses of Worship

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on purchasing translation equipment for churches and houses of worship.

Do you need to provide simultaneous interpretation support to members of your congregation? As congregations become more diverse, providing translation services is becoming more necessary. More and more churches around the world are holding multi-language services as their congregations grow.

Buying translation equipment can be a major investment and sometimes a technical challenge. We have helped dozens of churches and religious organizations over the years.

Whether you go with one off-the shelf systems at Amazon, or you’d like our help to suggest the best system for your congregation and tech setup, this article will point you in the right direction…

In our experience, selecting the right translation equipment boils down to two things:

  1. Technical: Finding a good technical fit for your existing PA, size of your facility and listeners.
  2. Spiritual: Finding a system that allows listeners to participate in the service fully while not being distracted by fumbling for the right settings on their headsets or receivers.

The equipment we offer will allow your congregation to follow your service in their home language and in 100% real time. This results in a level of involvement and interactivity that is not possible in any other way.

In most cases, a new set of translation headsets can work seamlessly with your existing PA equipment, and be operated without any specialized technical expertise.

(By the way – if you see a simultaneous interpretation system you like on Amazon from a dealer we carry there is a good chance we will be able to offer a better price since we cut out the middleman. You can also count on a much hight level of support regarding any technical or warranty issues.)

Key Points

  • Currently, there does not exist any technology that will allow you to accurately translate your services electronically and without a human translator. You will need a real, live human translator to provide interpretation during your service, but this can be a professional or volunteers from your community.
  • The equipment we carry is a series of transmitters and receivers. You give a transmitter to the translator(s) and receivers with earphones to the listeners – it’s like setting up a mini radio station inside your church that lets  people “tune in” to their native language.
  • There is no limit to the number of listeners you can have, as long as they each have a receiver and earphones. You can always start with a small number and expand when you are ready. 
  • The maximum number of languages you can provide support for at any one time is 14 (The typical number for churches is 1-3).
  • This equipment also functions for assisted listening, so you can use it to provide amplification of the service for members of your congregation who require hearing assistance.


How Do Church Translation Systems Operate?

Floor feed is broadcast to interpreter

Step 1: The speaker of the floor language talks into a microphone (this is called the floor mic or the floor feed).

The interpreter is listening in a separate location or soundproof booth if absolute silence is needed.

Step 2: The floor feed is broadcast (usually wirelessly) to the interpreter, who listens through headphones in a separate location – this is usually in a soundproof booth at the back of the room, or sometimes in a separate room.

Audience listens to interpretation feed via headphones

Step 3: The interpreter listens to the floor feed and simultaneously speaks into a microphone, which is broadcast wirelessly to the audience, who wear specialized headphones so they can hear the proceedings in their native language.


Types of Church Translation Equipment & Recommended Systems

Scenario: Small church with one translated language and up to 10 listeners

Top Recommendations:

  • PPA T46: Portable, lightweight  belt pack FM transmitter with a range of up to 150 ft. Can be easily transported between sanctuaries and classrooms. Allows the interpreter to move freely.
  • PPA R37: FM single-channel receiver gives listeners easy control of their own volume.
  • Note: FM systems are more cost effective, while Digital offers higher audio quality.

Scenario: Mid-sized or large church with one or more translated language and up to 20 listeners

Top Recommendations:

  • PPA T46: Belt pack multi-channel FM transmitter ideal for small to medium spaces up to 150 ft.
  • PPA T27: Table-top multi-channel FM transmitter designed for medium to large areas up to 1000 ft.
  • PPA R38N: Multi-channel FM receiver gives the listener easy control to select the channel of the language they need to hear(multi-lingual environments).
  • Translation booth: Great for quiet environments where the interpreters voice might be a distraction.

Scenario: Small to large church or religious service where radio or electromagnetic interference might be an issue or the equipment might be used in different countries

Top Recommendations:

  • DLT 400: Belt pack digital transmitter can be used in almost any environment. Range up to 900 ft. in ideal conditions.
  • DLR 400 ALK: Multi-channel digital receiver offers simple controls and crystal clear audio (Alkaline batteries only). The DLR 400 RCH can be used if a rechargeable receiver is desired
  • Translation Booth. Optional, but provided improved sound quality because they eliminate background noise in the interpreter’s headset

Image credit to: “simultaneous interpretation”by IFLA HQ is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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    ...excluding the main language that your services are in.

    You can always expand this number later as your congregation grows...

    This is the largest group size that will be together at one time while you are using the equipment

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    Will WardHi – I’m Will and I started this company to help you find the best simultaneous translation / interpretation equipment for your organization.

    If you need a sales quote, are looking for an audio product you don’t see on the site, or have any other questions just drop me a line.

    I usually respond within 30 minutes during business hours (EST).

    Call: (877) 817 0733

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    Note: All equipment we sell is for interpretation using a LIVE human interpreter/translator. There is nothing that I know of that exists now that is able to produce a good quality audio translation without a human interpreter.