Translators Associations Europe: AFILS

Working towards the recognition of French Sign Language interpretation

Translators Associations Europe: AFILSThe French Association of Interpreters and Translators of Sign Language (Association Française des Interprètes et Traducteurs en Langue des Signes or AFILS) was founded in 1978 in Paris with the purpose of bringing together performers and interpreters located throughout France.

This translators association promotes interpretation and translation from French into French Sign Language, represents French interpreters and translators of French Sign Language and works towards the recognition of their profession.

Its aims are to promote professional and quality working conditions; encourage the continuing education and training of its members; stay in touch with interpreters and translators in France, Europe and worldwide; organize regional and national meetings; and stay abreast of technological and societal changes.


For many years the French Sign Language interpretation was provided by people from the deaf community, mainly children of deaf parents. The origins of the profession we know today go back to 1970: under the leadership of the French National Confederation of Deaf a "committee of interpreters" was created aiming primarily to interpret the Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf held in Paris in July 1971.

As a result of this, in 1978, the French National Association of Interpreters for Hearing Impaired came to life. In 1988, this interpreters association changed board and initials. The term "hearing impaired" disappeared in favor of "sign language". Half of the people in the association’s Board of Directors were deaf, which was an unprecedented situation in Europe.

In seven years the association changed its name several times and these changes reflected a growing awareness: the deaf required trained, graduates and recognized professionals.
Thus, in 1987 a code of ethics that has since become a reference was written.

AFILS only got its current designation in 1995, when this translators association became aware of its value both at a national and European level.
In 2008, AFILS began welcoming deaf translators as well as interpreters.

How to join

This translators association welcomes as members professional French Sign Language interpreters and translators, as well as beginners who want to meet colleagues and share their experiences and ideas.

The members of this translation association get to participate in meetings with colleagues; receive AFILS’s newsletter and are put in the mailing list of the translators association; are automatically included in the list of AFILS’s members that is visible online; and benefit from special rates when signing up for seminars and subscribing AFILS’s Journal.

Plus, members have access the private area of AFILS´s website, including information on working groups, contacts, news on the world of interpretation, articles and dissertations freely available, and the newsletter.

There are two categories of active membership: individual members and corporations such as translation agencies and companies that provide interpreting services as well.

You can join this translators association all year. Membership fees are: 60 Euros for those who hold a diploma recognized by AFILS; 15 Euros for New grads; 120 Euros for corporations; and 30 Euros for new services/recent services providers.

For more information write to the email or check out AFILS’s Facebook page.

Keep in mind that French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the province of Quebec and the Acadia region in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Around the world there are around 130 million French speakers.

When you sign up as a Premium member, Lexis and
Red Horse offer you a comprehensive and customisable multilingual non-disclosure agreement to sign together with your clients. Lexis – Connections with meaning

Read other news about translators associations in Europe.

back | print


Are you a language service provider?

Become a member of the LEXIS professional community and an official SYNTAX provider