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Are there any statistics out there? Has anyone totted up the numbers in national associations?

asked 02 Jan '15, 05:08

Andy's gravatar image


Still no answer to this so I thought I would push it back to the top again with this comment

(03 Oct '15, 03:28) Andy

It depends on your definition of a conference interpreter. If you only take AIIC members, AIIC USA site says:"Founded in 1953, the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) now brings together 3000 professional conference interpreters in more than 250 cities and over 90 countries."

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answered 03 Dec '15, 23:08

Cyril%20Flerov's gravatar image

Cyril Flerov

Thanks Cyril. I know of that figure of course. I was looking for a number covering all conference interpreters. For example the German VKD ( of the BDU claims to have 600 members. AIIC only has 295 members in Germany. So it would seem that there are far more conference interpreters than members of AIIC (which is no surprise). But are there any figures anywhere to give a better idea?

(17 Feb '16, 06:54) Andy

I think this could be part of an interesting, wider research project!

(17 Feb '16, 10:04) David

...I'm afraid there are no hard figures anyone could put a finger on... if for no other reason because official (tax etc) figures, if any (none are available in most jurisdictions, because such level of dis-aggregation is not seen as useful)do not distinguish between professional conference interpreters and those who "do" conference interpreting. Furthermore, the latter are more often than not outside professional associations... whose membership is of course non-compulsory, not even for professionals. To make matters worse, professionals often are members of more than one association, not necessarily limited to conference interpreters, ie the effort involved in extracting meaningful numbers - if at all feasible and representative - is probably non-commensurate with their usefulness.

This being said, in my professional salad days (eg 20 years ago, when we were notifying DGIV) I used the following rule-of-thumb,based on experience and gut-feeling: aiic membership stood roughly for 1/2 of professional conference interpreters and 1/3 of all doing CI :-)... I wonder whether colleagues would still vouch for this breakdown, these days... or whether it should now be fourths, the latter section standing for 2 of them?

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answered 17 Feb '16, 10:33

msr's gravatar image


Thanks MSR. That theory seems to hold for Germany if you look at my quick bit of research above (300/600).

(17 Feb '16, 11:38) Andy

Yes, but some VKD members are AIIC members, and obvs vice versa. So I would think in that one case there is a bit of an overlap. In Spain, OTOH, I don't think people are members of both the national association and AIIC, and that could give you better stats.

(19 Feb '16, 09:09) JuliaP
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question asked: 02 Jan '15, 05:08

question was seen: 16,532 times

last updated: 19 Feb '16, 09:09 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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