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What counts as an "appropriate justification" for my languages?

We accept the following documents as proof of your skills in your declared language(s):

  • language certificates (including exam marks and level of attainment e.g. for IELTS or TOEFL). Attendance certificates for language courses do not count
  • university degrees/diplomas/transcripts obtained in the declared language
  • official courses at any level of education followed in your declared languages.
  • proof of work experience in a job in a particular country that implies that you made active and intensive use of the declared language (e.g. 1 year working in a call centre in Ireland)
What languages would I need to have to qualify for a translation traineeship?

During the traineeship, you will translate into your main language from at least two other official EU languages.

At least one of the languages you offer must be French, English or German. This is because:

  • the EU receives a large volume of translations and documents in French, English or German
  • French, English and German are the languages that EU staff members most frequently use in their work.

Most documents sent to DG Translation in languages other than French, English and German come from the Member States.

Some documents come from international organisations and national associations that write to the Commission in English.

In 2015 some 81% of the total translation volume was translated from English, with French accounting for 3.7% of all translations, German for 2.8% and all the other languages together accounting for 12.5%. The predominant position of the English is explained by the fact that it is the principal drafting language at the Commission.


What level do I need to have in the source languages I translate from?
  • First source language chosen among English, French or German: C1/C2
  • Second source language: B2 at least but level C1/C2 best suits the needs of translation


- No, if this was part of your university courses (mandatory or not) and the university is part of the contract/agreement with the employer. Grouping education or training is not admitted.

- Yes if this was an external activity while you were studying and the contract/agreement with the employer does not include your university.

Be aware of the fact that in the section Work Experience you must indicate a start and an end date and work should be considered continuous, not made on a casual basis. You should explain in the free text how often your work was carried out and make sure that this declaration is unequivocally confirmed in some documents. Should this not be the case, you should instead declare this experience in the Motivation or Quality of reasoning section.

- No. In order to apply you must have completed a full university degree of at least three years of studies (corresponding to a Bachelor Degree). You must have already graduated on the day when you submit the application. Even if you are scheduled to graduate the day after the deadline, you will have to wait for the next session to submit your application.

- Yes. In the application form you can declare up to three mother tongues. You do not have to send any certificates and no points will be given during the assessment. Points are awarded only on the basis of merits.

- No. Living or working abroad is not equal to being proficient in a given language. Nor providing a certificate issued many years ago coupled with the assumption that your current level is higher. If you declare a high level of language knowledge, you must prove it unequivocally.

- Not necessarily. 4 exams are the minimum requirement, not the maximum. Grades also play a relevant part in assessing your level. There is also a difference between C1 and C2, corresponding to Effective Operational Proficiency and Mastery respectively. If you have only these 4 exams to prove your declared C knowledge make sure that the grades are as high as to unequivocally prove your declared level.

- No. Marks are needed on your certificate/s in order to prove that not only have you attended courses, but also that you have successfully reached the declared level.

- It depends on the level you declare. If you attend a bilingual school (i.e. topics are taught in the language declared at proficient level), they are. Otherwise, depending on the grades and the years of study, they can be accepted as proof for A or B level (basic or intermediate user).


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