1st Edition

Translating for the European Union Institutions

    The institutions of the European Union employ hundreds of translators. Why? What do they do? What sort of translation problems do they have to tackle? Has the language policy of the European Union been affected by the recent inclusion of new Member States?

    This book answers all those questions. Written by three experienced translators from the European Commission, it aims to help general readers, translation students and freelance translators to understand the European Union institutions and their work. Although it deals with written rather than spoken translation, much of the information it gives will be of interest to interpreters too.

    This second edition has been updated to reflect the new composition of the EU and changes to recruitment procedures.

    Chapter 1 – Why we translate

    Multilingualism: the principle
    Equality before the law
    Citizenship of the Union
    Legal basis of multilingualism
       Language versions or translations?
    Three common myths about multilingualism
    Exercises for students

    Chapter 2 – The EU institutions:  their roles and their translation services

    How the EU institutions interact
    The European Council
    The European Parliament
    The Council of the European Union
    The European Commission
    The Court of Justice of the European Union
    The European Court of Auditors
    The European Central Bank
    The European Ombudsman
    The European Data Protection Supervisor
    Financial bodies
       The European Investment Bank
       The European Investment Fund
    Advisory bodies
       The Economic and Social Committee
       The Committee of the Regions
       Joint Services of the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions
    Interinstitutional bodies
       European External Action service (EEAS)
       Publications Office of the European Union
       European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO)
       European Administrative School
       Common Security and Defence Policy Agencies
       Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters
       Other policy areas (‘Community’ agencies)
       Executive agencies
       EURATOM agencies and bodies 28
       European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) 28
    The Translation Centre
       An afterthought
    Exercises for students


    Chapter 3 – How to get in

    Working in-house for the EU institutions
       EPSO recruitment competitions for permanent translators
    Competition in two phases
       General conditions of eligibility for permanent translators
       Success rates in recent translators’ competitions
    Non-permanent staff: Temporary translators and contract agents
    Working for the EU institutions as a freelance translator
       ‘Calls for tender’ and ‘calls for expressions of interest’
       Calls for tender – more details
       Freelance translation in practice: the steps involved
       Rapid post-editing by freelance post-editors
    Working for the EU institutions as a trainee (intern)
       Paid and unpaid traineeships
    Cooperation with universities training translators
       Visits to the EU institutions
       European Master’s in Translation (EMT)
       Visiting translator scheme (VTS)
    A final idea: translators as guinea pigs
    Exercises for students


    Chapter 4 – What we translate

    Legislation involving several institutions
    The preparatory stages
    Legislation issued by a single institution
    Political scrutiny
    Judicial scrutiny
    Public scrutiny and administration
    Information for the public
    "We never translate alone!"
    A footnote: Language range
    Exercises for students


    Chapter 5 – Problems

       Non-transferability of concepts
       Supranational concepts and Eurospeak
       Slogans and puns – mission impossible
    Crossing cultural barriers
       Translating for in-house readers
       Translating for readers outside the EU institutions
       Translating for ... who knows?
    Quality of originals and the effect on translations
       Drafting by non-native speakers
       Collective drafting
       New drafting guidelines for legislation, clear writing campaigns
       Interinstitutional Agreement on the quality of legal drafting
       Fight the FOG campaign
       Citizens’ summaries
       Clear Writing campaign
       Editing of originals
       Interference between languages
       Interference between registers
       Interference by non-translators
    Exercises for students

    Chapter 6 – What the job involves

       Organisation of work
       Interaction with clients
    Translation tools and aids used in the EU institutions
       Inputting translations
       Online teamwork
       Full-text databases and document collections
       Translation memories
       Machine translation
    In-house training
       On-the-job training
       Language training
       Subject training
    Job prospects for in-house translators
       Career development
       Alternatives to translation
    The future
       Interinstitutional cooperation
       Decentralised translation
    Exercises for students


    Chapter 7 – EU enlargement and its impact on translation

    Enlargement: translation facts and figures
       Defending multilingualism
       Enlargement dates
    Pre-accession and post-accession needs
       Translation of the acquis communautaire (EU legislation in force)
       Revising the translations of primary and secondary legislation
       In-house preparation for enlargement
    A virtual accession: Newland joins the EU
       Translation of the acquis into Newlish
       Translation out of Newlish: training of in-house staff
       Translation into Newlish: training of future translators in Newland
       Translation into Newlish: recruitment to the EU institutions
       Public reactions in Newland to EU translations
    Exercises for students


    Chapter 8 – Translator profiles

    Angelika Vaasa, translator at the European Parliament
    José Cuenda Guijarro, translator at the Council of the European Union
    Wanda Vrbata-Gr?plowska, Polish translator and terminologist at the European Commission
    David Monkcom, editor and former translator at the European Commission
    Simon Bartolo, translator in the Web Translation Unit at the European Commission
    Simona Pe?nik Krži?, Slovenian translator at the European Court of Auditors

    Annex 1

    The Treaties
       The Constitutional Treaty and the Treaty of Lisbon

    Annex 2

    A brief guide to European Union legislation
        1. Types of instrument
        2. The anatomy of an instrument


    Emma Wagner