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If I have understood things correctly, conference interpreters charge a daily fee. In community interpreting, the same does not seem to apply. I would like to know what is generally used as a basis, is it an hourly rate? If so, is the minimum two or three hours? What about the time you spend travelling to the place?

asked 03 Nov '11, 18:59

Sirpa's gravatar image


edited 03 Nov '11, 19:14

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck

It's difficult to give a general answer. It depends on the legislation of your country.

In Germany it depends even on the regional legislation (Bundesländer): The hourly rates are fixed by law, you cannot negotiate. You can only lobby your members of regional Parliament.

In some federal states, the rate for community interpreters is even lower than the rate fixed by the Law for Court Interpreters. Sometimes travel time is also remunerated.

A friend of mine (conference interpreter) works from time to time as community interpreter on a voluntary basis!

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answered 04 Nov '11, 03:02

Angela's gravatar image


In many countries lowest rates are not regulated and hiring of community interpreters is done through public procurement which usually means that the lowest bidder wins. Just as in Britain right now with ALS. This is a vicious circle since the low pay means that there are no incentive for community interpreters to get a proper training or to stay in the trade. Also, in many countries community interpreters are not organized and have a weak position against agencies and authorities (Britain today seems to be a wonderful exception, it's great to see how interpreters unite). I think InterpretAmerica is a great initiative and I also think that interpreter organizations need to support community interpreters to a much greater extent. Interestingly enough there usually is a difference of pay and working conditions between SL community interpreters and spoken language community interpreters, but SL interpreters work for yet another community.

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answered 04 Apr '12, 03:43

tulkur's gravatar image


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question asked: 03 Nov '11, 18:59

question was seen: 2,860 times

last updated: 04 Apr '12, 03:43 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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