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I noticed there are many changing factors in CI market, on one hand, economy is down for the current period, no idea how it will be in the future; on the other hand, interpreting schools are cultivating talents,although not all graduates are qualified every year and some senior interpreters are going to retire.

Maybe it is too early for me to ask such question, but the future perspective of CI market is in the interest of every CI practitioner, and worth noticing of any interpreter, either junior or senior, so any senior/ insider might give some clue/ idea to this question: in the coming 20 years, will CI market be a seller's one or buyer's one? Thanks in advance.

asked 15 Oct '12, 09:01

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

Paris Si de ...

edited 16 Oct '12, 03:19

Delete's gravatar image

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I think you already pointed out the key element here: Training and availability of talent. Thank you for your question because it just made me realize how exciting China must be as a market right now. I guess if you can turn out sufficient numbers of high profile conference interpreters it is definitely going to be a sellers' market.

On a more general note I can also give you the reason for my personal belief: I don't think we are in a finite market: Even though it may seem a truism, I think good communication (i.e. successful conferences) will always engender the need for more conferences. I do understand that there are challenges: Commoditization, price pressure etc. are frequently mentioned. But in my view the biggest danger to interpretation is poor quality - any delegate who sometimes travels hundreds or thousands of miles in order to attend a conference whilst at home mail etc. is piling up on their desk just to find out that they don't have a clue what is going on due to substandard interpretation is just going to think twice whether it's worth their while next time. Alternatively they will ask organizers to hold the conference in English as a lingua franca.

Now my guess is: People are lazy and this is nothing against our customers but if we can make their life easier they will have no reason to cut down on interpreter services and it is definitely going to be a sellers' market - if the Chinese market does not get caught up in competition issues and in-fighting but really meets the apparently soaring demand for interpreter training then boy, will I wish to have been born in a different part of the world in a few years time:)

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answered 18 Oct '12, 10:14

Tanja's gravatar image


Hi, Tanja:

Thanks for your kind reply/ insightful comment.It reminds me of the initiation of CI, also for CI, "how I am is the reason of my being and existence", am I right? Quality is not only important, it is vital.Plus,I love your humorous way of expressing yourself.

Thanks for your strong support again. :-)

Best regards

Paris Si

(18 Oct '12, 19:13) Paris Si de ...

At least in China, it could be a buyer's market because there is a boom in interpreter training in China, no matter qualified or not. The nominal oversupply will surely have negative impact on the interpreting sector. Jacken

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answered 15 Oct '12, 23:32

Chinese%20interpreter%20Jacken's gravatar image

Chinese inte...

Hi, Jacken:

Thanks for your kind reply.

Yes, I agree there is a boom of interpreting training, including formal one in uni's and informal one organized by companies. I ever joined training of latter type, and I doubted its contribution to the interpreter's pool. Supposing this boom surely helped somehow, there is another element, the economy. If the economic growth surpasses the supply of interpreters, there is the hope of a possible seller's market, although all parties (interpreting schools, universities, interpreters, employers) strive to cultivate more talents. I suppose finally it depends on the racing between economic growth and talents cultivation, or other factors which might be proposed by any senior. And I hope for any comment/prediction in this regard. Anyway, thanks for your support all the same. :-)

Best regards


(16 Oct '12, 08:02) Paris Si de ...

...not an easy question to answer reliably, like all entailing crystal-ball gazing :-) but looking at present trends when it comes to the (non-existent) regulation of the profession, multiplication of training initiatives and unfortunate lowering of admission requirements for both language combinations and depth of language and general knowledge, and - other than present economic circumstances which one hopes will not last for ever - last but very much not least the commoditisation of the profession together wih technological "developments"... it could well be a buyer's market!

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answered 17 Oct '12, 10:43

msr's gravatar image


Hi, MSR:

Thanks for your kind support/ sharing of overall/ comprehensive knowledge. I got your point that it seems all factors on the supply side are growing fast, while the factor on demand side is still open/ in question. Only hope that some genius will save the world from economic crisis and drive the demand to a higher, even much higher level to balance the relationship.But also, I believe that this is a theoretical analysis, and that quality is another weight factor.Thank you again!

Best regards

Paris Si

(17 Oct '12, 19:35) Paris Si de ...

My first English lesson at the school I'm working at in Shanghai was helping a 12-year-old student prepare for his bilateral EN/CH consec exam. That's right, TWELVE. I didn't go into ethics or anything with him but judging by his fantastic English he's going places. Once he's of age, that is.

Asia is the future.

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answered 19 Oct '12, 09:16

Louise's gravatar image


Hi, Louise:

Thanks for your kind answer, for sure, it's very impressive. Let's wish the best for Asia and the boy! :)

Best regards


(19 Oct '12, 09:23) Paris Si de ...
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question asked: 15 Oct '12, 09:01

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