Interpreting Marketplace Study Available for Free

Many of our readers might be familiar with the Common Sense Advisory, the only research firm that studies the translation, interpreting and localization market. Every year, they produce a myriad of in-depth reports and studies about our industry. Their clients are language service providers and companies of all sizes around the world -- and naturally, not freelancers who do not have the need for formal marketing research. However, the data is highly interesting, but also a tad on the expensive side for individual translators and interpreters. That's why we were very excited to hear that Common Sense Advisory had teamed up with InterpretAmerica, a national forum for the interpreting profession run by Katharine Allen and Barry Slaughter Olsen, and had been commissioned to do the first-ever study on interpreting in the North American market. The entire 88-page report is available for free on the InterpretAmerica website. 

Here are some of the main findings as detailed by Nataly Kelly, chief research officer at Common Sense Advisory (CSA), on the CSA blog:

  • Most interpreters specialize in multiple areas. The majority of interpreters reported working in diverse settings and across geographic boundaries, even though associations are divided on the basis of industry sector as well as countries, regions, and states or provinces.
  • By and large, interpreters are translators. The vast majority of interpreters also do written translation work. Nearly eight out of 10 interpreters reported that they also work as translators. This does not mean that the reverse is true (that most translators are interpreters).
  • Interpreters are getting older. The data reveals a clear "graying of the profession," as the majority of interpreters are now getting on in age, while smaller numbers of new recruits are entering the field.

You can download the entire study, titled "The Interpreting Marketplace: A Study of Interpreting in North America" by Nataly Kelly, Robert G. Stewart, and Vijayalaxmi Hegde here. Please remember that the Common Sense Advisory holds the copyright to the report. When citing the data, please be sure to attribute it to the source. Happy reading!


EP on November 16, 2011 at 9:14 AM said...

Interesting. And I'm sure that what they found out about interpreters, especially that part about how they tend to specialize in multiple areas, also applies to freelance translators. And this all the more so when you consider that 8 out of 10 interpreters are translators, too.

dblog2008 on November 19, 2011 at 12:20 PM said...

I too am a blogger of language however, my blog is based on language learning and not so much of interpretation. but I am also interested in translations and would appreciate some friendly advise on where one would begin the search of - say - companies interested in translators, or where to start for freelancers. On my website at:, you can find my blog as well as additional contact info. Enjoyed reading your blog!

Polish translator on November 23, 2011 at 1:46 AM said...

Good then I'm young cos it's a lot of market for me to gain soon :)

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