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Translator profile

This profile will give you an idea of the qualities, skills, and qualifications our translators need, and what challenges they face.

It is not an official list of requirements for a particular position. For that, you will need to refer to the competition notice, call for expression of interest or call for tender when you apply. All competitions are organised and published by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO), the body responsible for selecting staff for all EU institutions.

Your profile

Commission translators are required to translate political, legal and administrative texts, and web texts — usually into their main language. These are frequently complex and encompass all the European Union's areas of activity (economic, financial, scientific, technical, etc.).

We are looking for high-calibre graduates — including people with science degrees or non-language arts degrees relevant to EU policies.

Basic requirements

  • an ability to grasp varied and complex issues, react swiftly to changing circumstances, manage information and communicate effectively;
  • initiative, imagination, and intellectual curiosity and motivation;
  • a capacity to work consistently and under pressure — independently and as part of a team — and to fit into a multicultural working environment;
  • an ability to maintain the self-discipline required to work in a large public-service organisation.

Specific skills

In addition to these basic requirements, which apply to all Commission recruits regardless of their specialisation, our recruitment profile focuses on graduates who have — or are prepared to acquire — the specific skills set out below, and are willing to upgrade these and other skills throughout their term of employment.

Language skills

  • perfect command of all aspects and stylistic levels of your mother tongue/main language.
  • thorough knowledge of two or more official EU languages — at least one of which must be English, French or German.

Thematic skills

  • familiarity with economics, financial affairs, legal matters, technical or scientific fields.

Translation skills

  • a capacity to understand texts in the source language and to render them correctly in the target language, using a style and register appropriate to the purpose of the text
  • a capacity to research topics and terminology quickly and efficiently — in both source language and target languages.
  • a capacity to master computer-assisted translation and terminology tools, as well as standard office-automation software.