Posts Tagged ‘european-parliament’

B-languages for Relay interpreting in European Parliament Plenary Video (2009)

You can do relay interpreting from European parliament plenary videos by selecting one of the b-languages which the parliament interpreters provide.

The (3) video download control for videos older than 20080711 allows for the recording of only one language-track in the video. You can download, from a link emailed to you, either the a- (e.g. (1) Italian here) or one b-language (e.g. (2) German here), as you can see below:

Given that software tends to always get impoved, is is rather surprising that one does not seem to have a similar choice in the new video downloader – however, the improvement is just a bit hidden.

For Videos newer than 20080710, all language-tracks are automatically contained within the downloaded (how? see here) video file. To switch between a- and b-language or between b-languages, in Windows Media Player, go to menu (if the menu does not show, right-click left from the “Now playing”button””: file / play / audio and language tracks / [now choose your language].

E.g. if you do not want to listen to Ferrero-Waldner not speaking her native tongue, choose like pictured below:

And she does not really speak “Zulu” which seems to have been chosen by the European Parliament technicians as the designator of the original a-language, there being no such concept in windows media player. Çan’t have it all. Pretty close, though.

Passing around European Parliament Plenary Video Clips & Transcripts

  1. European parliament video clips are quite big and it would be easier not to have to pass them around. But how to communicate to somebody else which video clip to watch if the clip selected is not reflected in the browser address bar? The flash application unfortunately forces you to provide the “bibliographic” information in pieces (start url, date, possibly video format, debate title, speaker name). But in the end you get a direct link which you can pass on to save others from having to jump through the same hoops: If you just need the direct link, skip to step 7. Otherwise: Start with the calendar interface:, find your (1) date, e.g. “Wednesday 14 January 2009”,
  2. The window with the recording of that date will come up; now you CAN (2) change the video format  – wmv (should work on most Windows PCs, free upgrade for MACs here: or mp4 -, an option that will show in the browser address bar. If you must, change format this first, as it seems to rewind the video to the beginning of the session.
  3. Click on your (4) speaker, e.g. “ 15:16:50 Benita Ferrero-Waldner 00:13:12 15:30:02”
  4. Instead of watching online (e.g. if you find the stream quality lacking), you can (5) download the video (in the format you have chosen, either wmv or mp4). UPDATE: The web site added a disclaimer that you have to, 2.check before you can 3. download, as illustrated below:
  5. Note: you can (6) change the b-language (for relay interpreting) when streaming. Plus, when you download the video, all the b-languages are downloaded together with the a-language. See here how to select the desired b-language when playing the downloaded file.
  6. Easier than providing all bibliographical information (calendar URL, date, debate and speaker) is the direct URL of the download clip. Right click on “Download this Speech”, select (7) “Copy shortcut” from the context menu. Then paste this, e.g. or if you chose mp4 format:, into the calendar event for the exam – completes your checklist for the exam, and at the beginning of the exam, you can download the link from here onto the students’ computer. Or, for assigning materials to students or passing them to external examiners, email this direct link.
  7. Unfortunately, it appears that the transcripts, unlike the audio channels, do not include the relay languages and have to be accessed from a different (calendar-)interface here: “The verbatim report of proceedings of each sitting (often referred to by its French abbreviation, CRE) is published (Rule 173 of the Rules of Procedure) and contains the speeches made in plenary, in the original language.”


Appendix: The file size of these videos is about 10MB per minute. If you feel you need to save the videos locally, use an appropriate location (where you have sufficient space, the file will not be erased, only appropriate users have access – consider this before using a public network share, personal drive). Not really more “local” is saving the video clip on the Skydrive which can also hold clips larger than 50MB[ doubled to 100MB on June 20,2011] if you pre-process them like described in the zipping instruction.

Watch a 5-minute narrated video-clip that demonstrates the above steps.