“Chuchotage” or whispering

May 13, 2015 3:00 pm

“Chuchotage” (the French term) or whispering is one of the prominent modes of simultaneous interpreting. It is often used due to economic reasons as no technical equipment, like sound-proof booth, headphones or microphone, is required. For this type of interpretation, an interpreter sits next to or behind the recipient and just murmurs at a low volume to him or her to avoid distracting other participants. The common practice is that you use chuchotage only when you interpret for one or two people who are sitting close to you and are the only users of a specific language involved in the conference. Such interpreting can be viewed as the most flexible one. It is really suitable for both political delegations or conferences and guided tours with a maximum of 25 listeners. Even if it seems that this mode of interpreting has only advantages, you need to appreciate this great work. Bear in mind that whispering interpreters are exposed to many distractions as they don’t sit in a sound-proof booth, so they can hear all surrounding noises. Moreover, a constant strong focus on the speech is required as the interpreter needs to listen, translate and whisper at the same time.

To know more about the advantages and disadvantages of whispering interpretation, watch this video:


Written by Aleksandra Święcicka. Journalist, web editor and social media expert. Communication Trainee at TermCoord

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