NASHVILLE (BP) – Messengers and guests at the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting (June 14-15) in Anaheim, Calif., will have the opportunity to hear real-time translation of the proceedings in multiple different languages via their own smartphone or mobile device.
At the Anaheim Convention Center, a designated seating area will be made available for attendees to receive the live language translations. Once in the designated seating area, attendees will join a specific Wi-Fi network and download the WaveCAST Receiver App.
Upon opening WaveCAST while on the Wi-Fi network, the app will recognize the audio feed of the translations, and attendees will type in the channel number of their preferred language. Languages offered include Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin.
Signs indicating the channel each language is on will be displayed in that seating section. Volunteers will also be available to assist attendees or answer any questions.
Jonathan Howe, vice president for communications for the SBC Executive Committee, said the translation effort was prioritized because of the diversity among both California Southern Baptists, and the convention as a whole.
“This year’s annual meeting will be the most ethnically and linguistically diverse ever held, so it was important to us as organizers to provide as much as we could in various languages to facilitate messenger engagement,” Howe said.
Although the SBC remains a largely Anglo convention, trends over the last 20 years are impossible to deny. From 2000-2010, sizeable increases in the number of congregations occurred among Hispanics (53.1 percent), African Americans (52.2 percent), Other Ethnics (49.3 percent) and Asian Americans (37.5 percent) while Anglo congregations grew by only 3.7 percent. Growth continued over the next 10 years, if at a slower pace, with Other Ethnic congregations growing by 33.2 percent, Asian American by 20.7 percent and African American by 10.2 percent. The number of White Anglo congregations decreased by 3.3 percent.
Howe said the language translations will help provide ethic groups within the SBC an increased opportunity to become an active part of proceedings.
“We want every messenger to be engaged in the proceedings because informed messengers are effective messengers,” Howe said. “Through our translation efforts, we will be able to engage every messenger in the room so that they are an active participant of the meeting.”