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I'm looking at an AIIC rates page for freelancers from 2009 (the most recently listed) for group II, Belgium, is 517€ daily + VAT. The page:

I found several rates on the aiic website.

Do AIIC guidelines apply to all freelancers in the EU, even those not working for the UN or other governmental organization? Can this rate be applied to Germany? Can you help me make sense of this? Should freelance interpreters be going by these AIIC rates (and which one)? Any other thoughts/comments?

asked 14 Oct '11, 19:20

Holger's gravatar image


edited 27 Oct '11, 13:58

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck

There is no such thing as "AIIC rates".

The rates you'll see listed on apply to all interpreters, whether aiic members or not, when they freelance for international organisations that have negotiated a collective agreement with aiic. That's the UN, the EU, a motley crew going by the name of coordonnées that includes NATO and the Council of Europe, global trade unions, and the World Customs Organisation.

You cannot compare the rates paid under those agreements to private market rates, which are always negotiated freely between the interpreters and their clients, because agreement rates are:

  • usually not liable to national tax
  • include other benefits like contributions to old age insurance

If you want to get an idea of the going rates for professional interpreters working on the private market in Europe, multiply the net EU agreement rates for experienced interpreters by between 1.4 and 2.5 and you'll be withing the range reported by AIIC members for 2010 (AIIC does a yearly survey on work trends for the past year).

Of course, actual rates will vary a lot according to:

  • the type of interpreting ( simultaneous, consecutive )
  • how technical the meeting is
  • how long the meeting is scheduled to last
  • the language regime
  • etc.
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answered 16 Oct '11, 00:07

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck

You are quoting a specific agreement with trade unions. You'll find there other agreements (NATO, for example) with different rates.

The applicable law for the private market is competition law, which upholds the right of a professional to set his/her own rates. Hence, saying certain rates are a guideline may also be seen as contrary to its spirit, unless these are rates published as a result of a statistical survey:

Similarly, there are markets with higher going rates, so the potential partner could be moving in those circles. In the end, it could all boil down to the principle of what AIIC calls lucrum cessans -- what you stand to lose by making yourself unavailable on the days requested.

Hope it helps.

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answered 14 Oct '11, 19:32

Angela's gravatar image



+1 for making me google up "lucrum cessans". I would never have guessed!

(15 Oct '11, 18:59) Administrator ♦♦

I look for the rates for been a candidate Interpreter or a pre-candidate interpreter.


Flor Barbaa Celis

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This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 02 Sep '12, 18:41

Flor's gravatar image


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question asked: 14 Oct '11, 19:20

question was seen: 9,464 times

last updated: 02 Sep '12, 18:41 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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