Frequently Asked Questions
How do you pronounce spf.io?
It’s pronounced “spiffy-oh” :-). You can learn more about it in our blog post here.
What languages does spf.io support?
We support over 40 languages for bidirectional speech translation, and over 60 languages for text translation. Languages with the * asterisk only support text translation.
Here’s the full list: Afrikaans, Albanian *, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chichewa *, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Dutch, English, Filipino, French, Galician, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole *, Hawaiian *, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong *, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kazakh *, Khmer, Kiswahili *, Korean, Kurdish (Kurmanji) *, Kyrgyz *, Lao, Latin *, Malayalam, Malaysian, Mongolian, Myanmar (Burmese) *, Nepali, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi *, Romanian, Russian, Samoan *, Serbian, Slovenian, Somali *, Spanish, Sundanese, Swahili, Swedish, Tajik *, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uyghur *, Uzbek *, Vietnamese
Do all the speakers need spf.io software on their computer for this to work?
No, only spf.io operators need to connect to spf.io.
Why should I provide translation with spf.io?
Translation reaches your diverse audience in a way that increases your message’s impact. Spf.io makes it easier than ever before to provide translation in real-time with what you say. In addition, even audience members who understand your language benefit from spf.io! Those who have trouble hearing or seeing the projector screen can access slides and captions on their own mobile devices.
To see examples of multilingual accessibility, read our client case studies here.
I don't prepare a script for my talks. Can I still use spf.io to provide translation?
Yes, you can! Translation is as simple as plugging in your microphone to a computer running spf.io and having a volunteer monitor spf.io. Your audience will receive automatic translation on their mobile devices.
What equipment do I need to use spf.io?
Click here to learn about the technical requirements for spf.io.
How accurate is automatic translation?
We understand that automatic translation may not be the right solution in all use cases, so we built spf.io with flexibility in mind. You can choose which level of translation is right for your event and level of preparation. For example, you can load your own manuscript and get professional translation prior to the event or supply your own translation. Or review the automatic translation before sending it out to your audience. Automatic translation is always there if you need it, but you can choose the right option for your event.
How much does spf.io cost?
Why is onboarding necessary?
For clients with custom quotes, onboarding is crucial to learning how to set-up and run spf.io correctly. During the onboarding call, we teach you how to set up your event session with the correct loopback, the process that brings your event audio into spf.io. You will learn how to prepare documents, slides, and media for caption and translation, as well as adding speaker names and other special terms to spf.io’s auto-replacement database. Onboarding covers how to run spf.io and the various features that allow you to make your captions as accurate as possible.
We also share how to contact spf.io’s support services in case you get stuck, or need other support. Most importantly, onboarding is included in the cost of every custom spf.io quote, so there is no reason to skip it.
Can I cancel my subscription after the initial month?
Yes, you can cancel your subscription at any time. However, many customers chose to keep it for one or more of the following reasons:
- They do not want to lose the Auto Replacement Database and Translation Memory they built over time to improve the Captioner and Translation Engines for their particular domain.
- They want to store their documents (Manuscript, Multilingual transcripts, Slides) in the portal for safekeeping (backed up in the cloud).
- They want to keep their portal URL.
- They like having the ability to generate multilingual caption files after their events.
- They use spf.io’s workflow features to coordinate their team’s content in preparation for events.
- They do not want to lose the ability to upgrade to Automatic Video Captioning and Subtitling.
- They use spf.io’s analytics to gain insight into the effectiveness of their translation efforts for live events, documents, and videos.
Can spf.io work offline?
What other streaming platforms do you support?
Solutions by platform
Customers using these platforms have used spf.io to make their events accessible and multilingual:
- Other platforms
What do you mean by “branded portal”? Does my IT need to get involved?
A branded portal simply means you will be getting a dedicated portal when you sign up. You get to decide what the URL should be, which further strengthens your brand.
It is always a good idea to involve the IT. spf.io runs in the cloud and meets the standard security and privacy requirements.
Can you provide the professional translator if I go with the Manuscript method?
Yes, please contact us at least two weeks in advance to book them.
What does a remote operator do and how do I book one for my event?
A remote operator is a professional who is trained and certified to operate spf.io. Please contact us two weeks in advance to book them.
When should I consider Interpreter Subtitling? Can you provide the interpreters?
Interpreter Subtitling is ideal for Tier 2 languages. For example, auto translate from English to Mongolian is not good enough but using spf.io to caption an interpreter voice improves the quality of the subtitles.
Can you provide the remote stenographer?
Yes, please contact us at least four weeks in advance to book them.
What do you mean by bidirectional caption and translate? How does it work?
It simply means you can switch the source and target languages in real time. You simply click a button to toggle between languages the Language Switcher will instantly switch to a different captioner. For example, if your speaker starts with Spanish (source language), you can display subtitles in English (target language). Then, when they switch to English, you can produce Spanish subtitles. This is designed for interviews or Q&A with multilingual participants. See a video about bidirectional translation here.
Can you translate from Spanish into Portuguese? Also, English to Simplified Chinese?
Spf.io supports more than 3,600 language pairs but with a varying degree of accuracy. For Tier 1 languages, such as English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, spf.io performs well and can support these language pairs.
We also have customers that use spf.io to caption and translate English to both Simplified and Traditional Chinese. For Tier 2 languages (character-based languages) such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc, we recommend customers to use the Manuscript or Interpreter Subtitling method.
What is involved in training the instructor, and how long does it take to train them?
It should take less than 30 minutes to learn how to use Automatic Caption and Translation. We provide a video that they can play any time to acquire the necessary skills.
Do you offer instructor-led training?
Yes, for more complex use cases, we offer instructor-led training. Please contact us one week in advance to book an instructor.
If I record the live event, can you provide closed captions afterwards?
Yes, please contact us for quotes and lead time.
My event is discussion-based. Can the program capture multiple speakers?
Yes, as long as the discussion is moderated to prevent multiple speakers speaking at the same time. We will provide instruction on how to configure your laptop to get audio playback from Zoom or OBS.
When do you start the clock?
The clock starts when you turn the spf.io microphone on.
What are the benefits of a subscription?
Spf.io can be used for one-off events, but there are many advantages to maintaining a subscription after your event. Having your instance set up makes it faster and easier to use spf.io for future events and preserves your portal subdomain. Here are three additional benefits to maintaining a subscription:
Content Hosting – You can host multilingual content like slides, audio recordings, documents and videos with your spf.io subscription. Spf.io is specially designed to simplify managing multilingual content.
Team Access – You can add team members to your spf.io subscription so others can benefit from it as well. Use spf.io to coordinate captioning and translation work with your team and get everyone on the same page.
AI Flywheel – The more you use spf.io the better it gets. As your team adds autoreplacements, post-edits translations and corrects your transcriptions and translations, spf.io learns so that future transcripts and translations become increasingly accurate and customized to your organization’s vocabulary. This reduces the manual work required for future content and experiences.
How do I update my billing information?
You can update your billing information through your spf.io portal by following the instructions in this article.
What is the cancellation policy for professional services for events?
Untimely cancellations are an unfortunate reality for events. Spf.io can provide professional services for your events including live technical support, remote operators, professional captioning and translation. When you hire these professionals, they are allocated to your event and are unable to work for other customers during that time. That is why we have the following cancellation policy for these services.
A gig is an event that is up to 3 hours long requiring only a single translator, remote operator or captioner. A gig may be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance without incurring a charge for the gig. If a gig is cancelled less than 24 hours before the event, the full value for the gig will be charged.
A major event requires the coordination of multiple captioners, operators, interpreters, etc. As an example, this could be a for a 1 hour event that requires multiple captioners across multiple rooms in parallel, or it could be for a multi-day event requiring coordinated technical support and interpreters for 2 hours each day. For major events, professional services can be cancelled up to 2 weeks in advance without incurring a charge for the services that would have been provided during the event. If the services hired for the major event are cancelled less than 2 weeks before the event, the full value for the event will be charged.