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Translating for the European Union: Multilingualism in Practice Dr Angeliki PETRITS Language Officer European Commission, UK

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Presentation on theme: "Translating for the European Union: Multilingualism in Practice Dr Angeliki PETRITS Language Officer European Commission, UK"— Presentation transcript:


2 Translating for the European Union: Multilingualism in Practice Dr Angeliki PETRITS Language Officer European Commission, UK

3 06/11/2013University of Sheffield2 Why study languages?

4 06/11/2013University of Sheffield3 EU official languages over time

5 06/11/2013University of Sheffield4 European Institutions European Parliament European Commission Council of Ministers of the European Union European Court of Justice European Court of Auditors European Central Bank Brussels, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, Frankfurt

6 06/11/2013University of Sheffield5 Linguists in the EU Council Parliament Court of Justice Court of Auditors Economic & Social Committee Committee of the Regions Translators: ± 4300 European Central Bank Translation Centre Interpreters: ± 1000

7 06/11/2013University of Sheffield6 Different jobs for linguists Conference Interpreters Translators Lawyer linguists

8 06/11/2013University of Sheffield7 Interpreting for Europe... into English Translating for Europe... into English

9 06/11/2013University of Sheffield8 We translate and interpret from and into all the EU’s 24 official languages

10 06/11/2013University of Sheffield9 …and cover all subject areas

11 06/11/2013University of Sheffield10 Languages in EU and UN UN: 6 working and official languages EU: 24 working and official languages

12 06/11/2013University of Sheffield11 The legal basis Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union Citizens have a right to address the official EU bodies in any of the EU’s official languages and to receive a reply in that language. Council Regulation No 1/58 Regulations and other documents of general application shall be drafted in the official languages.

13 06/11/2013University of Sheffield12 Translation and democracy Thanks to translation, people can help build the European Union and contribute to its openness and legitimacy.

14 06/11/2013University of Sheffield13 Types of languages Official/working/Treaty languages: 24 Procedural languages: English, French, German Semi-official languages: Basque, Catalan, Galician, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh

15 06/11/2013University of Sheffield14 Semi-official languages UK or SpainCommission Citizens Commission Services Designated body Translation Reply in the „regional” language Written communication in the „regional” language Original mail + translation into official language Reply in the official language

16 06/11/2013University of Sheffield15 European Commission Initiates new legislation Implements EU policies and supervises compliance with EU law

17 06/11/2013University of Sheffield16 DG Translation Some 2500 translators and support staff 50% in Brussels 50% in Luxembourg Field Offices in Member States

18 06/11/2013University of Sheffield17 1.76 million pages translated in 2012

19 06/11/2013University of Sheffield18 Language of original documents (%) English French Others German

20 06/11/2013University of Sheffield19 Number of translated pages 2012 by target language (%)

21 06/11/2013University of Sheffield20

22 06/11/2013University of Sheffield21 Main document types 2012

23 06/11/2013University of Sheffield22 What else do we do? Links with schools and universities Machine translation LIND-Web Studies Terminology and tools European Day of Languages Visiting Translator Scheme

24 06/11/2013University of Sheffield23 Translation contest for Europe’s budding linguists Website: Twitter: @translatores@translatores

25 06/11/2013University of Sheffield24 Clear Writing campaign Be concrete not abstract KISS! Keep It Short and Simple Cut out excess nouns Ask before you start: what, who, when, where, how, why, how much?

26 06/11/2013University of Sheffield25 European Master’s in Translation

27 06/11/2013University of Sheffield26 Challenges ahead Future EU enlargements Doing more with less Modernity: efficiency gains by developing tools Recruitment: replacing retiring staff and attracting new blood

28 06/11/2013University of Sheffield27 Job opportunities Permanent job (EU official) Contract staff External contractor (freelance) Trainee

29 06/11/2013University of Sheffield28 Recruitment competitions for EU officials Publication: Official Journal of the European Union (C edition) EPSO (European Personnel Selection Office) website Selection procedure: 5 to 9 months

30 06/11/2013University of Sheffield29 Recruitment criteria You must be an EU citizen You must hold a full university degree (BA) in languages or another field (translator) Master’s in Conference Interpreting (interpreter) No professional experience is required

31 06/11/2013University of Sheffield30 Language knowledge Perfect command of your main language or mother tongue Very sound knowledge of English or German or French (first source language) Very sound knowledge of a second source language among the EU’s official languages

32 06/11/2013University of Sheffield31 Other skills People with non-language degrees please apply! Translator profile and skills needed: see

33 06/11/2013University of Sheffield32 The competition process Apply online (July for translators) Pre-selection test (numerical, verbal & abstract reasoning, linguistic knowledge) Translation or interpreting tests, group exercise, structured interview, oral presentation

34 06/11/2013University of Sheffield33 2013 Competitions for linguists Translators into Danish, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Maltese, and Slovene Deadline: 13 th August midday – CET Lawyer linguists into Dutch, German, Latvian and Portuguese (Court of Justice) 19 th September – 22 nd October Lawyer linguists into Danish, Dutch, English, German and Irish (Council and Parliament) 17 th October – 19 th November Interpreters into English, French, Romanian and Slovenian 4 th July – 6 th August

35 06/11/2013University of Sheffield34 What can the Commission offer you? €4500/month starting salary Good leave entitlement Varied and challenging work with scope to shape your own career in the Commission Excellent language learning opportunities Job security Multicultural environment Flexible working-time arrangements (translators)

36 06/11/2013University of Sheffield35 Duration: 5 months Two rounds per year, starting in March and October Applications in January (October) and July (March) For university graduates only For EU citizens – but a quota for other countries’ nationals Competence: able to translate from two EU languages into your main language Monthly grant Traineeships

37 06/11/2013University of Sheffield36 More information? Web:

38 06/11/2013University of Sheffield37 Cost of multilingualism Translation and interpreting in all EU institutions put together cost each EU citizen just over 2 euros per year. The cost of multilingualism adds up to less than 1% of the annual EU budget.

39 06/11/2013University of Sheffield38 Name of event/occasion

40 06/11/2013University of Sheffield39 Thank you for your attention!

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