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I heard from news and people around me, the global economic crisis affects industries a lot, and many industries/ people suffer from it. Does it affect conf-interpreting? If yes, how?

For seniors working as freelancers, do you have any personal/ individual experience? Thanks.

asked 15 Sep '12, 08:20

Paris%20Si%20de%20Chine's gravatar image

Paris Si de ...

Your question might tie in with this one

(15 Sep '12, 12:22) Tanja most certainly does and I most certainly do... and not just crisis-driven but in addition to a previous trend towards commoditization at the expense of communication: communication used to be the very raison d'être for conferences - as in what transpired within the conference hall - I'm afraid that is no longer the norm, what goes on inside the hall is more often than not a mere ritual where the only ones sweating blood over communication are the interpreters, everybody else (organizers, sponsors, speakers and audiences) got the memo and they're there for the trip, the coffee-breaks, networking, the social programme, ancillary events, the proceedings, another couple of lines for their cv' name it.

From meetings that do w/o CI to language regimes that shrink to a couple of languages instead of the usual - and needed! - 3 or 4, conferences that used to last 3 to 5 days getting compressed to 1,5/2, constant attempts at cramming speakers within sessions beyond reason, driving them to un-intelligible speeds, adding no-interpretation break-out sessions, trying to get away with 9/10-hour working days with normal teams, trying not to pay for cancelled days, un-relenting downwards pressure over travelling conditions, changing recruiting patterns over as little as 5% "savings" -and less "aggro", the new name for proper working conditions...!

And now this so called remote interpreting... where in anticipation of machine interpreting they want to treat us and what we do as if we were devices, not professionals.... don't get me started :-): mind you, it's not change as such I object to (change is one of the welcome features of CI!) but de-naturing.

This being said, proper CI continues to be practiced (one just has to be selective) for how long is the question :-(.

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answered 15 Sep '12, 11:10

msr's gravatar image


edited 15 Sep '12, 11:14

Thank you, MSR, for your comprehensive and prospective answer. It seems that the situation for CI is somehow worrisome; and besides AIIC, is there any other body to protect the benefits of conf-interpreters? I'm afraid this situation may lead to shrinking of the successive force.Thanks. Paris.

(15 Sep '12, 20:21) Paris Si de ...

As Numbers are Worth a Thousand Words, we can quote from AIIC statistics in the past:

2009 was a difficult year by all standards. The economic and financial crisis [...], meant that the overall market plummeted with no segment of it able to cushion the fall. Compared to 2004, however, all market segments are larger, with the average number of days worked showing an upward trend.

In 2010 worldwide statistics seem to confirm a recovery, but one in which not all regions shared equally.

The conference industry depends on the economic situation of our customers. As conferences are planned some years in advance, in many countries we feel the impact of any crisis one or two years later. The statistical report for 2011/2012 will be interesting and probably sobering.

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answered 15 Sep '12, 13:28

Angela's gravatar image


Dear Angela, thanks for your convictive answer. I understand that the bigger economic picture is becoming better, and domino offect has also been transferred to CI trade. Thank you again. :) Paris.

(15 Sep '12, 20:12) Paris Si de ...
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question asked: 15 Sep '12, 08:20

question was seen: 4,162 times

last updated: 15 Sep '12, 20:21 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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