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Whispered interpreting

Whispered interpreting (also called ‘chuchotage’) — is a form of simultaneous interpreting. The term implies that the interpreter is interpreting simultaneously for one or two recipients by whispering. Chuchotage comes from the French word chuchoter (to whisper).

This mode of interpretation is preferred in a variety of settings, e.g.:

  • The official language of a conference/forum is English but there is a small group of attendees who only speak Portuguese;
  • A foreign participant of a business meeting needs the help of an interpreter to follow the flow of the discussion;
  • Chuchotage turns out very helpful at formal dinners and corporate receptions attended by foreign guests.

These are the main features of whispered interpreting:

  • This form of interpretation is considered more challenging for the interpreter than simultaneous interpretation in a booth. There are more distractions and background noise. There are no shifts as it usually performed by a single interpreter. It is therefore important to set certain time limits when planning the work.
  • Special portable equipment may be used for whispered interpreting such as guided tour kits. In this case the audience of listeners can be greatly increased thanks to wireless headphones and microphones.
  • The basic rule of thumb that should be observed to provide high-quality chuchotage (as in any other mode of interpreting) is to make sure the interpreter can hear the speaker clearly. Keep this in mind when choosing the event location. Pay attention to technical conditions in the area and the equipment available.

If you have any questions about whispered translation (chuchotage), feel free to ask.


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