Translating for the European Union Institutions  book cover
2nd Edition

Translating for the European Union Institutions

ISBN 9781905763924
Published April 28, 2014 by Routledge
152 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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Emma Wagner, Svend Bech, Jesús M. Martínez