The Belgian Chamber of Translators and Interpreters (CBTI-BKVT) is a non-profit organisation set up in Brussels on 16 April 1955. In Belgium, the CBTI-BKVT works for the professions of translator and interpreter and for the recognition of the specific expertise these require. It seeks to sensitize providers and users of the translation and interpretation professions about the importance of quality and responsibility. On 23 May 2006, the title of Royal Association was bestowed on the CBTI-BKVT.
The General Assembly is the highest body of the association and sets its general policy.
The Board of Directors includes 7 to 15 members elected for a two-year term by the General Assembly. It is responsible for the daily management of the association.
The CBTI-BKVT has at its disposal two bodies for the settlement of disputes: an Arbitration Committee responsible for the settlement of professional disputes among members or among members and their clients, and a Disciplinary Committee.
The Sectoral Commissions deal with particular areas of translation and interpretation or with special categories of members whose interests they defend and for whom they regularly organise specific activities.
In 2019, the CBTI-BKVT counted 543 members:
- Translators: 449*
- Interpreters: 123*
- Sworn interpreters or translators: 170
- Associate members: 110
- Supporting members: 8
* Some members are included in both categories.
Activities and services
The Linguist: a quaterly information journal. More info…
The self-employed translator’s vademecum: a booklet designed to answer the questions self-employed translators might ask themselves at the beginning of their careers. It provides useful information on the studies and the work of a translator, with a concise overview of the administrative, financial, juridical and practical sides of the profession. More info…
Training courses and meetings
Conferences and study days: they enable our members to follow the developments of our profession. Study themes already treated: commercial and financial sides of our profession, the new technologies useful for translators, the CBTI-BKVT 50th anniversary, the forthcoming law applicable to sworn translators, ethics in our profession, translating for doctors and their patients, working in partnership, Interact. J. – an intensive training course for interpreters in the judiciary -, Best Practices in Revision etc. These events are also open to non-members.
Mini-training courses and workshops: they are organised by one of our members or by a guest speaker specialised in the topic to be dealt with; these workshops aim at cascading the expertise that we have acquired over the years to colleagues. study themes already treated: translation memories, e-mail, OCR and scanner, macros, internet, ergonomics, spelling reform, how to sell yourself as a translator etc.
FastInfo: an electronic mailing list enabling all CBTI-BKVT members to announce a professional event, to communicate useful information or to ask the help of colleagues to solve professional problems. FastInfo also acts as an information channel for numerous job offers. FastInfo is being phased out in favor of a more modern and powerfull tool, Yammer.
More informal gatherings: they give members the opportunity to get better acquainted with one another, to exchange experience and to set up a closely woven collaborative network.
Benefits to the members
Professional liability insurance: our members can subscribe to this insurance specially designed for translators at preferential terms. More info…
Advantageous rates: in their capacity as members, affiliates can obtain very keen rates when placing group orders for dictionaries, reference books, etc.
Contacts with training centres
The CBTI-BKVT maintains close relationships with all Belgian and foreign institutes which train translators and interpreters. Students from Belgian institutions can take part in the Award of the Best Master’s thesis bestowed every two years by the CBTI-BKVT. In collaboration with the CBTI-BKVT, these schools also organize refresher courses on subjects of prime interest to our members.
Contacts with the market and the authorities
The CBTI-BKVT strives to make its members and their professions better known to professional federations, companies, ministries and other entities which call on translators’ and interpreters’ services. To this end, they regularly attend meetings, take part in fairs and conferences and relays job offers or announcements from international organizations to our members.
Twice a year, the CBTI-BKVT organises exams in order to check the language skills of candidates applying for the title of sworn translator; it also takes part in several working groups which focus on these translators’ needs. Moreover, it regularly answers information queries about the various practical sides of the profession (ethics, common practices, etc).
Collaboration with interprofessional federations
The CBTI-BKVT is affiliated with the UNPLIB (Union nationale des Professions libérales et intellectuelles) and with the FVB (Federatie Vrije Beroepen). The CBTI-BKVT has the right to speak on the political scene for decisions related to its professions. Since the UNPLIB functions as a platform of communication with the UCM (Union des Classes Moyennes – Union of small firms and traders ) and since the FVB maintains contacts with UNIZO (Unie van Zelfstandige Ondernemers – Union of self-employed entrepreneurs), CBTI-BKVT members can also - through the latters’ publications and others - showcase themselves to the associations and Member-SMEs as a pool of translators and interpreters. Moreover, you have the direct link to their websites, numerous offers for conferences and other training courses at very keen prices and the representation of the CBTI-BKVT at European level.
The CBTI-BKVT sits at Sectoral Commission 15 – other independent and intellectual professions of the High Board of Self-Employed and SMEs – as national professional association. As such, the CBTI-BKVT has obtained a national recognition: it is the only association in Belgium entitled to hold the right to defend translators and interpreters.
The CBTI-BKVT has been a member of FIT (Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs) since 1st January 1956. FIT is recognized by UNESCO and is a grouping of 107 translator associations in more than 60 countries. Several CBTI-BKVT members take part in the various commissions set up within FIT, as well as in the Babel editorial committee, its official body.
The CBTI-BKVT maintains close ties with several translator and interpreter associations in other countries, especially within the French-German network, the French-English and the French-Spanish networks.