By: Mark On: July 30, 2019 In: Interpreting Comments: 0
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Chuchotage is a form of interpreting where the linguist stands or sits alongside a small target audience and whispers a simultaneous interpretation of what’s being said.

The term chuchotage is French for “whispering”.

When is Chuchotage Beneficial?

Chuchotage is best suited to situations where only a small number of people require interpretation. Chuchotage is ideal for single person audiences, but it can also be used for audiences of several people, if they’re grouped close to the interpreter. The technique is ineffective for audiences greater than four.

The benefits of chuchotage:

  • It usually doesn’t require special technology (although equipment may be used to enhance delivery).
  • It is a form of simultaneous interpreting, so it takes less time than consecutive interpreting.
  • It is usually performed by a single interpreter, which can make it more economical than other techniques

The Limitations of Chuchotage

Chuchotage does have several limitations:

  • It’s not appropriate for larger audiences.
  • The interpreter must listen, translate, and speak at the same time, which can be mentally taxing.
  • The target audience has to concentrate closely too; ambient noise and the voice of the speaker can be distracting.

Additional Information About Chuchotage

During chuchotage interpreting, interpreters whisper at a low volume. Their pronunciation will often be de-voiced, meaning the interpreter will purposefully reduce the resonance of vowels and certain consonants.

Interpreters will sometimes use a technique called “murmuring,” whereby the interpreter maintains standard voicing, at a reduced volume.

All chuchotage is “simultaneous” in the sense that the interpreter will whisper while the speaker is talking. However, some interpreters will stick closely behind the speaker and whisper continuously, while others will interpret in short, intermittent bursts.

Chuchotage Services from Accredited Language

Chuchotage is still used in a variety of settings, including conference interpreting, court interpreting, and liaison interpreting. If you require chuchotage or any other type of interpreting, contact Accredited Language Services by calling us at 1-800-322-0284 or filling out the free quote form below.

We have experience interpreting for all types of clients from Fortune 500 companies and high profile government bodies to individuals and conference organizers. And we offer chuchotage (as well as a wide variety of other interpreting services) in 200+ languages and dialects.

Have experience using chuchotage interpreting? Let us know about it in the comments below!

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