Whisper Interpreting

Whisper interpreting (also called 'chuchotage') is another variant of simultaneous interpreting.

When 'whispering', the interpreter also works simultaneously. In this case, however, neither are the interpreters located in a booth, nor do they use simultaneous interpretation equipment. Instead, they sit in the conference room, directly behind their listeners (a maximum of two listeners is possible for this type of interpretation) and render what is being said in low tones. In addition, there is portable interpreting equipment, the so-called 'guided tour kits' or 'bidules' (also called 'whispering equipment'), which are used on conducted tours. When such a kit is being used, the interpreter speaks into a portable wireless microphone while the audience receives the interpretation via wireless headphones.


Whispering equipment


As has already been mentioned above, chuchotage constitutes fully-fledged simultaneous interpreting, requiring the same high level of concentration. One might even say that whisper interpreting is more strenuous than working from a booth, because when employing this technique, the interpreter cannot help but hear all background noise occurring in the room, which doubtless puts an additional strain on his powers of concentration. This is why, with the exception of very short affairs of not more than 30 minutes, such events must always be covered by a team of at least two interpreters. The whisper technique is only suitable for conducted factory tours and the like or for meetings with a very small audience.

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