Government of Canada - Translation Bureau

Assists the Canadian government to provide services to Canadians and communicate with them in the official language of their choice.


The Translation Bureau is one of the world’s leading translation organizations and Canada’s largest employer of language professionals. Founded in 1934, it assists the Canadian government to provide services to Canadians and communicate with them in the official language of their choice.

With some 1,800 employees, including more than 1,200 language professionals, located across Canada, the Bureau offers translation, interpretation, terminology and localization products and services to Parliament, the courts and federal departments and organizations, in both official languages and in over 100 Aboriginal and foreign languages.


In 1995, the Translation Bureau became a special operating agency that reports to the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada. It bills its clients for translation services, linguistic services and certain interpretation services on a cost-recovery basis.

The Bureau has more than 30 service points in the National Capital Region (Ottawa-Gatineau). In the rest of Canada, it has offices in Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Moncton, Halifax, Charlottetown, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

Interpretation Services

The Translation Bureau is the exclusive provider of translation, revision and interpretation services to Parliament.

The Parliamentary Interpretation Service supports the Senate, the House of Commons, Cabinet and all their committees, as well as press conferences and parliamentary associations with interpretation services in English and French. Interpreters regularly travel across Canada and abroad with the Senators and Members of Parliament who sit on parliamentary committees. The 50th anniversary of the inauguration of simultaneous interpretation in the House of Commons was celebrated in 2009.

The Conference Interpretation Service supports international and bilateral events, departmental conferences, meetings between federal ministers and their provincial or territorial counterparts, and high-level missions between Canada and other nations. It offers services in Canada’s two official languages, in foreign languages and in Canada’s Aboriginal languages.

The Translation Bureau also provides interpretation services to hearing-impaired federal public servants:

  • American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ)
  • oral interpretation in English or French
  • tactile interpretation for those who are both deaf and blind

Since the fall of 2007, the Translation Bureau has been offering a French captioning service for the televised Question Period in the House of Commons via voice recognition software. Thanks to this new service, francophone Canadians who are hearing impaired or deaf can participate more fully in the political process through a renewed civic commitment.

The deliberations of the House and of parliamentary committees are broadcast on television and over the Web in both official languages.


The Translation Bureau is the largest employer of conference interpreters in Canada.

In total, the Bureau has approximately 70 staff interpreters and contracts work out to many freelancers. Staff interpreters work almost exclusively in Canada’s official languages, although some are also accredited in a third language.

On average, the Bureau provides Parliament and Canadian government departments with over 18,000 days of interpretation services each year.

Nature of the work

The Bureau’s interpreters enjoy a wealth of opportunities to exercise their skills in a wide variety of contexts, given that they provide interpretation in the official languages, Canadian Aboriginal languages and foreign languages at:

  • international summits;
  • bilateral or multilateral discussions between heads of state/government;
  • intra- or inter-departmental conferences;
  • meetings between federal ministers and their provincial or territorial counterparts.

Recruitment qualifications and fringe benefits

Professional interpreters are in great demand in Canada and they are well paid. The Translation Bureau is constantly looking for MA-level students in interpretation. Over the next few years, nearly a third of the Bureau’s interpreters, translators and terminologists will be eligible for retirement.

The Bureau’s dynamic team deals with a broad spectrum of topics of current interest in a rewarding and stimulating working environment.

Head office

The Translation Bureau’s head office is in Gatineau, Quebec.


Translation Bureau
Richelieu Building
975 Saint-Joseph Blvd, 5th floor
Gatineau, Quebec   K1A 0S5

Telephone: 819-997-3300
Fax:  819-997-1993
Web site:          

Our permanent staff interpreters work mainly in Ottawa, Ontario, but are called upon to travel all over Canada and at times abroad. In 2008, the Bureau upgraded its interpreter training installations, which feature world-class, state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment.

Life in the National Capital Region

The National Capital Region includes two main cities, Ottawa and Gatineau, and many small municipalities. It is one of Canada’s most bilingual regions, given that nearly half a million of its residents speak both French and English. It extends on both sides of the Ottawa River and enjoys a continental climate (hot and humid summers, cold and snowy winters). The region is brimming with exciting activities all year round – take for instance the Rideau Canal Skateway in winter and the many festivals in summer, where visitors and locals alike enjoy a vast range of recreational resources. You can also take in museums, concert halls and art galleries, or you can just bask in the region’s natural beauty.

The region has an excellent public transit system, as it is served by city buses (STO, OC Transpo), by rail and by air transportation. In addition to these conveniences, there are also plenty of restaurants and shopping centres.


Recommended citation format:
Staff Interpreters. "Government of Canada - Translation Bureau". July 26, 2012. Accessed October 15, 2019. <>.

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