Interpretation in the non-institution sector – is there a future?

There is plenty of information about interpreting for international organizations but it is not quite so straightforward for the private market because each region is different. Here Peter Sand – an experienced interpreter and prominent organizer – provides useful insights into working on the private market, both in his home base Switzerland and worldwide.

Many newcomers to the profession seek to establish a presence on the market by knocking on the doors of the major international organizations – and it’s a sound policy. It is however important to remember that there is work outside of the UN and EU, and Peter explains the demands of that market and has some tips on how a freelance interpreter can boost his appeal to recruiters.

Frequently on the private market an interpreter acting on the client’s behalf puts the team together and therefore recruits the interpreters. He or she is known as a consultant interpreter.

Getting a foothold as a newly qualified interpreter is a daunting experience and here Peter – who has given many newcomers an early break in the profession – explains how to make yourself attractive to recruiters, but he sets this advice within the context of how the interpreting market has changed over the past 30 year.

Whilst not wishing to publish any spoilers, Peter offers sound advice on not relying on a single employer, on what languages to learn, on the importance of soft skills and on the importance of thorough preparation.

This short talk shows that there is work outside the warm embrace of the international organizations.

Peter SAND.

4 thoughts on “Interpretation in the non-institution sector – is there a future?

  1. Pingback: Interpretation in the non-institution field – there will be a future | chinesetranslationblog

  2. Una charla estupenda Lourdes, ¡muchas gracias por compartirla!

    Peter, gracias por tu sinceridad y por tus consejos para los recién graduados. En muchas ocasiones falta esta claridad a la hora de hablar de la situación del mercado privado y lleva a que los estudiantes nos frustremos y pensemos en tirar la toalla. Es evidente que la calidad y los idiomas son la clave para poder desmarcarnos en un mercado cada vez más difícil ante el avance imparable del inglés, pero tanto el instrusismo como la falta de oportunidades solo nos ponen más trabas en el camino. Como nativo de español peninsular nunca había sido consciente de que el acento pudiese llegar a suponer un problema para un cliente latinoamericano, otro elemento a tener en cuenta además de la diferencia de léxico. Y por lo que cuentas, veo que tendré que desempolvar mis apuntes de danés, finalmente ese año y medio intentando pronunciar vocales imposibles quizás termine siendo útil. ¡Muchas gracias!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for this interview and the insights. I will certainly recommend my next week’s audience of students to watch it and learn. Although I haven’t been in the market for as long as Peter, I can only confirm his statements about the changes in the market, the languages needed, and as a German A with active Latin American Spanish, I was happy to hear that Latin America is more and more important, something I can confirm, too.


  4. I really enjoyed this interview, Lourdes. Not a lot of information about the European freelance market makes its way across the Atlantic.
    Peter, wonderful insights. I had not honed in on the need to alter my strategy for audiences who do not have English as a mother tongue, but, of course! Can’t believe it didn’t occur to me before!
    And, as an English A with active Spanish of the Latin American garden variety and passive Brazilian Portuguese, you have made me feel imminently useful. Thank you Peter.


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