Brussels, 11 February 2010
Top of the class: Young translators' contest winners announced
The winners of the European Commission's third annual ‘Juvenes Translatores’ (Latin for ‘young translators’) contest for schools are announced today. The 27 winners, one from each EU Member State, will be invited to Brussels in March to receive a prize from the European Commissioner responsible for multilingualism. Full details, as well as the winning translations, can be found on the ‘Juvenes Translatores’ website at http://ec.europa.eu/translatores .
‘ I congratulate all the winners ', said Androulla Vassiliou, the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. ‘Our translation contest is becoming more popular each year. This time 599 schools across the EU took part, with registrations up 30 % compared to a year ago. I hope that the contest will encourage more young people to learn languages. Knowledge of languages can take you far and boost your job prospects. ’
In the course of a three-day trip to Brussels for themselves and an accompanying adult, each of the 27 winners will receive a prize and a certificate from Commissioner Vassiliou at an award ceremony on 25 March 2010. They will also get a chance to meet EU translators at work.
The latest contest was held on 24 November 2009 at the same time in all Member States and supervised by the schools. The pupils were given two hours to translate a text from any of the 23 official languages of the EU into another official language of their choice (for example, from Polish into French or from Swedish into Spanish). No fewer than 2 253 translations covering all the official languages and 139 language combinations were submitted.
Marking and evaluating the translations was no easy matter as the quality was very high and competition really tight. The panel entrusted with this task consisted of translators from the European Commission’ s Directorate-General for Translation (DGT). Each translation was assessed by a native speaker of the language into which the text had been translated. A board chaired by the Director-General of DGT then picked the best translation from each Member State.
The Juvenes Translatores contest is the only one of its kind in which 17-year-old school pupils can test their translation skills in any of the official languages of the EU. It was run for the first time in 2007 as a pilot project aiming to give a foretaste of what it is like to be a translator and to raise the profile both of the translating profession and of language learning in schools. From the outset it has created a lot of enthusiasm among the participating schools as it provides a true challenge in testing the language skills learned at school. Feedback from the teachers involved shows that it is also a lot of fun for the participants.
The names of the winning students (plus their chosen language combination) and their schools are:
Map showing where the winners come from:
For more information:
BG: Bulgarian; ES: Spanish; CS: Czech; DA: Danish; DE: German; ET: Estonian; EL: Greek; EN: English; FR: French; GA: Irish; IT: Italian; LV: Latvian; LT: Lithuanian; HU: Hungarian; MT: Maltese; NL: Dutch; PL: Polish; PT: Portuguese; RO: Romanian; SK: Slovak; SL: Slovenian; FI: Finnish; SV: Swedish.