Number of interpreters in the worlds
Thread poster: Jeremy Engel

Jeremy Engel  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 12:04
English to French
+ ...
Sep 1, 2015

Hi everyone,
I was wondering if it possible to have statistics about the number of professional interpreters in the world (for all types of interpretation: conference, legal, public services). It seems impossible to have an idea of the size of our profession. Thanks for your help!


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 17:04
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Unqualified interpreters? Sep 7, 2015

Jeremy Engel wrote:

Hi everyone,
I was wondering if it possible to have statistics about the number of professional interpreters in the world (for all types of interpretation: conference, legal, public services). It seems impossible to have an idea of the size of our profession. Thanks for your help!


If unqualified interpreters are included, the number is uncountable.
Most people can speak two or more languages and claim as interim/ad hoc interpreters. The question is how we exactly define the word "interpreter."

Soonthon L.


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PatrickMoreschi
United States
Local time: 04:04
interpreters in the worlds Sep 12, 2015

Hey Jeremy,

Nice query! It is something to think about!

As Mr. Soonthon already mentioned, it is actually tough to count the number of actual interpreters across the world. There are a number of trained interpreters who professional work to serve the people, while there are others who have known more than one language and therefore claim to be interpreters. You still need to check how many registered companies are actually working on translation and interpretation services. It is here that you might get a rough idea of how many true interpreters actually exist. It is yet difficult though, since there are a number of interpretation service providers in almost every country.

[Edited at 2015-09-16 10:15 GMT]


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Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:04
Serbian to English
+ ...
what's the point? Sep 14, 2015

it's easy to have an educated guess that the number of professional interpreters in the world is tiny compared to the total world population - probably one of the professions with the lowest number of all.

Depending on how high or low you set the bar, it could vary wildly, but it would still be a pretty low number.
If you set the bar reasonably high - exclude all wannabe amateurs, for a middle sized country it would be in the range between few scores and few hundreds - anyway, a more relevant indicator would be the number of professional interpreters per 1 million of population - probably a pretty low number - for one country I know pretty well I would make a guesstimate of around 10 max 15 per 1.000.000 of population.

Make any extrapolation you want yourself.


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leeshin
China
hi.... Dec 17, 2015

even i surfed for the answer after you posted the question, tough i cannot find the accurate answer. instead i found an presentation regarding the basic difference between translators, transcription and interpreters which i wish to share http://www.slideshare.net/leeshin12/translation-transcription-and-interpretation

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Number of interpreters in the worlds

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