Technology-free Interpreting

There are times when you only need your trusted interpreter with you or when it is simply not possible to use any simultaneous interpreting technology.

In that case, you have two options:

  • Whispered Simultaneous Interpreting
  • Long or Short Consecutive Interpreting


A.K.A. chuchotage, in this case your interpreter will whisper what is being said simultaneously and in the opposite language to your ear.

This can only be done when only one or two people need to hear the interpretation with the caveat that it results in additional noise being created in the room as the interpreter/s whisper in the background and an invasion of personal space that not all delegates or meeting participants welcome.


This is turn-taking interpreting; that is, someone says something while the interpreter takes notes and memorises the message, then that someone pauses and waits while the interpreter conveys the message in the opposite language and, once done with this segment, pauses and waits for the next bit to translate.

This type of interpreting only requires one interpreter and a notepad and can be applied to an audience of one or of thousands of hundreds.

On the downside, even in the best-case scenario with a very competent interpreter, the meeting, event or conversation takes twice as long, simply because everything is said twice.

Surprisingly, not all interpreters know how to do this, especially long consecutive interpreting with note taking, which is common in very formal settings such as state visits. However, short consecutive interpreting (done in shorter segments) can get you out of a jam during a phone conversation or a video call.

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