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Whispered Interpreting or ‘Chuchotage’

What is it exactly?

Whispered interpreting or ‘chuchotage’ is a type of simultaneous interpreting whereby the interpreter whispers what is being said into the recipient’s ear whilst the speaker is talking.

This is limited to one or, at the very most, two participants. It would be impractical to include more people as it would make it hard to hear the whisper. Even talking more loudly would disrupt the other participants. In meetings that last more than one hour, two interpreters would take turns to interpret.

What is it used for?

Whispered interpreting is very useful for visits to different types of facilities such as factories or construction sites, as well as for face-to-face product demonstrations. It is also used when one or two people attending a conference speak a different language, allowing them to understand the other speeches.


If the interpreter is not in a soundproof  booth, any background whispering can become distracting. It is important to advise all participants that whispered interpreting is being performed, so they know not to interrupt anyone at any time during the proceedings.

This post is also available in: Spanish