Home to approximately eight-hundred native Inuit and a handful of southerners, the municipality of Kugaaruk brushes up against the Arctic Ocean, in the far northern Nunavut Territory of Canada.
It is the location of Canada’s coldest recorded wind chill (-78 degrees Celsius) and a place where a rising or setting sun is seldom seen.
It is also the location of very favorable seal hunting and a place where polar bear sightings are commonplace.
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 an aged and problematic conference system with a new Sennheiser conference system that delivers spoken word with perfect clarity and intelligibility.
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. Previously, the council fought with a conference system that, despite the fact that it was wired, 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 feature a series of push buttons and a backlit display that allows him to take command of the translations. It took very little time for the interface to become second nature, so that he could focus entirely on the translation itself, paying no conscious heed to the technology.
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.
“The Sennheiser equipment has made my job much easier,” enthused Amautinuar. “I can hear every detail of every statement, and the council members and public can listen to my translations with equally high-fidelity.”
“It has worked flawlessly from the moment it was installed and I look forward to many, many years of trouble-free performance.”