Brussels, 28 January 2013
Bravo to EU's young translators
The names of the 27 winners of the European Commission’s annual EU Young Translator Juvenes Translatores contest for secondary school pupils are published today (28 January, list of winning pupils/schools below). More than 3 000 pupils from 750 schools sat the contest in November 2012. The winners – one per EU country – will be invited to an award ceremony in Brussels on 11 April to receive their prizes from Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou and will also have the chance to see the Commission's translators at work.
“The contest is an excellent way to promote language learning and translation as a possible career. Language skills are a fantastic asset: they broaden the mind and can boost employability, something which is especially important in the current economic environment," said Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
The contestants translated a one-page text based on their choice of any of the 506 language combinations possible among the EU’s 23 official languages. All 23 were indeed used as source languages. The winners also exhibited a fair share of linguistic diversity, -11 translated from English, 5 from French, 5 from Spanish, 4 from German, 1 from Estonian and 1 from Irish. The texts were marked by the Commission's translators.
The contest, which was first organised in 2007, continues to grow in popularity. Nearly 1 750 schools registered to take part in the 2012-2013 competition – this was reduced to 750 for logistical reasons following a random computer selection. The contest has created its own network, enabling students, teachers and professionals to interact through Facebook, Twitter and a blog.
It also gives schools an opportunity to learn from each other and try out different methods of language teaching. The Salzmannschule Schnepfenthal school in Thuringia, Germany, is clearly one to watch: its students have won the title three times. Perhaps the name of its head languages teacher – Susanne Bravo – is a clue to its success.
The translation texts focused on solidarity between generations, the theme of the 2012 European Year, and ranged from stories of the young teaching the old how to use computers to history lessons given by elders to children. The texts were prepared by Commission's translators to ensure the same level of linguistic challenge in all the languages.
Croatian pupils will be able to take part in the 2013-2014 contest for the first time after their country joins the EU and Croat becomes its 24th official language.
The ‘Juvenes Translatores’ (Latin for ‘young translators’) contest is organised every year by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Translation. Its aim is to promote language learning in schools and give young people a taste of what it is like to be a translator. It is open to 17-year old secondary school pupils (in the case of the 2012-2013 contest for those born in 1995) and takes place at the same time in all selected schools all over Europe. The contest has encouraged some entrants to take up language studies and to become translators.
The winners (plus their chosen language combination for the test) and their schools are as follows
The winning pupils are available for interview (details available from spokesperson).
Map showing where the winners come from:
Contest website: ec.europa.eu/translatores
JT blog for teachers: http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/translatores/
DG Translation: ec.europa.eu/dgs/translation
Androulla Vassiliou's website: ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/vassiliou