What Is Whispered Interpretation?

Whispered interpretation is a form of simultaneous interpretation without the use of a booth and audio system. In whispered interpreting, the interpreter simultaneously whispers the rendition of the speaker’s message directly into the ears of the audience that requires interpretation(ideally limited to three people or less). The interpretation is kept in low volumes so that it is not disruptive to the speaker and others who present.

Whisper interpreting is also known as chuchotage, meaning “to whisper” in French. Although considered a subtype of simultaneous interpretation, the UN and EU recognize whispering interpreting as one of the main modes of conference interpreting. Directorate-General for Interpretation(DG Interpretation/SCIC) and European Parliament also acknowledge and employ this technique.

Whispered interpretation also applies to less formal contexts such as site visits to factories or workshops, guided tours through museums, small-scale business meetings, etc., where only one or two people are unfamiliar with the speaker’s language.

what is whispered interpretation
whispered interpreting skills

Whispered Interpreting Skills

When it comes to skills, whispered interpretation is more mentally and physically demanding than simultaneous interpretation when without a soundproof environment and the assistance of audio equipment. In whispered interpreting, the interpreter works alone and doesn’t have a partner to take turns to relieve stress. If the event lasts for over an hour, it’s best to have two whispered interpreters to alternate the job.  

Wordspath only contracts the best-qualified and industry-specific interpreters worldwide proficient in their specialized language pairs with an excellent understanding of cultural nuances. They have extensive experience providing whisper translation services utilizing technical, social, and interpersonal skills to deliver accurate rendition while remaining discreet in sensitive and delicate situations.

Whispered Interpretation – How It Works

Chuchotage interpreting is useful for events in which only the minority of participants(ideally no more than three people) require interpretation between a specific language pair in relatively quiet settings. When performing chuchotage, the interpreter is in close proximity to the delegate(s) needed interpretation – whether sitting/standing next to them, leaning towards them, or walking with them. So whispered interpreting is more dynamic than simultaneous interpretation in a booth.

In these challenging times of COVID -19, when in-person whispered interpreters become less accessible than before, remote interpreting is used as an alternative to whispered interpreting. Although remote interpreting is less expensive and not as distracting to other attendees as whispered interpretation, it is more difficult to keep up with the speaker when without full access to the body language and verbal cues or when the environment suddenly gets noisy. So when there’s an option, whispered interpretation is always the preferable solution.

how does whispered interpretation work

Why Wordspath for Conference Interpreting?

quality assurance

Quality Assured

As an ISO-certified language service provider, Wordspath goes above and beyond the rigorous vetting and recruiting procedures to ensure our interpretation work achieves unrivaled quality and customer satisfaction.

subject matter expertise

Domain Experts

Our accomplished interpreters have amassed thorough knowledge of specific industries through years of practice to guarantee the highest linguistic quality and technical accuracy are delivered.

customer service

Round-the-clock Support

Wordspath manages an extensive network of mother-tongue translators and interpreters worldwide, ready to work 24/7 to help break down communication barriers in your project, on time and within budget.

language delivery

All World Languages

Wordspath is home to over 30,000 professional linguists who are well-trained experts specialized in their fields. We provide superior interpreting services in 150+ languages, from the most common to the rarest.

customized services

Personalized Services

Whispered interpreting needs may arise in various forms. We can cater to any interpreting need with over two decades of linguistic expertise, providing a solution living up to your expectations.

absolute confidentiality


Our whispered interpretation solution is ideal for confidential matters because the assigned interpreter strictly adheres to the code of ethics and must sign a non-disclosure agreement before getting to work.

Sectors We Work With

We have provided linguistic assistance for clients in diverse fields and helped them achieve their objectives.

Chuchotage Interpreting - When to Use

Whispered interpretation works best for short-duration events where only a tiny portion of delegates don’t understand the speaker’s language. This type of interpreting finds application in the following scenarios:

Benefits of Our Whispered Interpreting

dynamic time efficient
Dynamic & Time-efficient

Whispered interpretation is executed simultaneously yet dynamic in nature, providing the flexibility simultaneous interpretation fails to offer.

no technical setup
Technical set-up not required

Though infoport or simulport is used to translate via wireless devices in guided visits, whispered interpreting requires no equipment most of the time.


Costs are reduced without renting technical interpretation equipment and hiring two interpreters to take turns in short meetings.

Challenges of Whispered Interpretation

Apart from its benefits, whispered interpreting also presents some challenges:

  • It will distract the attention of and speaker and other attendees.
  • The interpreter must listen, analyze, and deliver the rendition concurrently.
  • In-person whispered interpreting is more expensive than other forms of remote interpreting.
  • Whispered interpreters for some language pairs are less available in certain areas.
  • It is ineffective for events with large audience numbers and long durations.


challenges of whispered interpretation

Multilingual Whispered Interpreting

Wordspath provides whisper translation in Spanish and 150+ other languages and dialects. We recruit interpreters around the globe for their experience and unwavering commitment to superior quality. So our team can pair your project with the best-matched professional based on the subject matter and language pair needed every time.

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