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About the CBTI/BKVT

The Belgian Chamber of Translators and Interpreters (CBTI/BKVT) is a trade association of more than 500 members that was founded in 1955. It represents the professions of written translation, conference interpreting and translating and interpreting in judicial settings. It pursues the following aims:

  • promoting the professions,
  • professionalising the trades,
  • defending its members’ interests.

Our association works to reinforce contacts and cooperation with the public authorities, trade federations, related trade association and other market actors.

Verba volant, scripta manent

Language predated writing. And oral translation, which is nowadays termed interpretation, predated written translation, the first examples of which can be found on Egyptian steles dating back more than four millennia. The Bible, for its part, mentions interpreters at the court of the pharaohs (Genesis 42:23). 

Whilst the oldest and the best-known translation in Belgium is the Vulgate, known as the Antwerp Bible, translated from Latin into French by Jacobus Faber in 1523-1528, only at the beginning of the twentieth century were the translator and interpreter occupations professionalised, driven by the sharp rise in international trade and political cooperation that attended the First World War, League of Nations, creation of the International Labour Office, etc. 

Belgium, situated at the crossroads between the Latin world and the Germanic world, is a prime example of a multilingual country. With its history of Roman, Spanish, Burgundian, Austrian, French, Dutch and German domination; three official languages (French, Dutch and German); international organisations, amongst them the European Institutions and their twenty-four working languages; numerous expatriates and successive waves of immigration, over 100 languages are spoken within the country today. Brussels, let us not forget, is home to most of the institutions of the European Union, with a language industry turnover estimated to be worth some 20 billion euros. It is therefore not surprising that there is both ample demand and supply for translation and interpretation in the country, which is also home to the largest number of translation and interpretation schools in Europe.  

On this site you will find helpful explanations of the professions represented by the CBTI/BKVT, the life of the association, its various activities and the benefits enjoyed by its members, as well as a service providers search engine based on their professions, working languages and areas of expertise. 

The CBTI/BKVT, as a trade association, does more than speak out for these highly-skilled translators and interpreters. It is also, and above all, the expression of our love for our professions, as we hope this website will convince you.