France: insight into professional interpreting practices

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2023 survey results

On 6 February 2024, the Société française des traducteurs (SFT) and the International Association of Conference Interpreters France (AIIC France) held a webinar to present the results of their 2023 survey on professional interpreting practices, which the two organisations had conducted together for the first time.

During a one-hour presentation, Bruno Chanteau, SFT Chair, Benoit Riou, Managing Director of Stat & More, the statistical consultancy that produced the survey, Nathalie Joffre, SFT Vice-Chair, and Camille Mercier-Sanders, President of AIIC France, took turns revealing this major survey’s detailed numbers. It was also an opportunity for SFT and AIIC France to make recommendations.

Topics in the survey included interpreters’ employment statuses, the number of spoken and signed languages used, freelance services offered, interpreting modes and equipment, the proportion of remote work, the number of days worked per year, average income and fees by service type, client profile, perceptions of agencies and professional organisations, reasons for joining professional organisations, outlook about the future, and overall satisfaction.

Full of valuable findings, the survey will be used to steer the activities of SFT and AIIC France for several years and will help interpreters with their positioning in the French market.

The results indicate that the vast majority of interpreters are satisfied with their profession and pay, but that they are concerned about the rise of artificial intelligence as well as increased pricing pressure. The survey also shows that membership in one or more professional organisations helps interpreters adopt better practices and ensure a sustainable career by advocating for higher rates and adapting better to market developments and uncertainty.

For example, while an average of 47% of interpreters say they have not increased their fees in the last three years, this statistic rises to 68% among interpreters who do not belong to any professional organisations.

You can watch the webinar here.

Read the survey results (in French) in detail here.

Joint letter warning about the risks of artificial intelligence

In response to growing concerns about the growth and reckless use of artificial intelligence in the interpreting and translation sectors, SFT joined forces with two other organisations representing the interpreting profession in France – AIIC France and the Association française des interprètes de conférence indépendants (AFICI) –  to take action. The result is a letter that they sent to public authorities on 22 April warning them of the risks artificial intelligence poses for translation and interpreting, as well as for multilingual and intercultural communication in general.

You can read the letter and share it on social media here.

SFT’s Statistics Committee and board

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