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Rules and Instructions


The European Commission's Directorate-General for Translation (DG Translation) is organising a translation contest for schools in the European Union. The main stages of the contest are:

  • preparations
  • a translation test and
  • an award ceremony.

The detailed rules and instructions for each stage are set out below, in sections 1–8.


These include the announcement of the contest, the registration, the selection of the schools, the enrolment of the students by the schools and local preparations, as set out in sections 1–3.

DG Translation will announce the contest on its dedicated website:

Any school wishing to participate must respond by registering electronically on the website between 1 September and 20 October 2014 (section 1). The registration will start and end at 12.00 midday on these dates.

A random draw (see section 2) will be held to select schools to take part in the contest from among those that register.

After that, the selected schools can choose between 2 and 5 students to take part in the contest and must enter their names and language pairs in the database by 20 November 2014 at the latest (section 3).

The schools will be responsible for organising the event locally. This includes all practical arrangements, e.g. providing premises and personnel for the event, and ensuring that the test is carried out under fair and impartial conditions (sections 1.3, 1.4, 4 and 7).


This will take place on 27 November 2014. On the day of the test, DG Translation will provide the schools with the texts to be translated. In each school, the test will take place as the school has arranged. The translations must be uploaded on the same day to a database managed by DG Translation (see section 4).

DG Translation will evaluate the translations and choose 1 winning translation from each EU Member State (section 5).


The winners will be invited to an award ceremony in Brussels in spring 2015. DG Translation will pay travel and accommodation expenses for one winner, one accompanying adult and one teacher per Member State (section 6).

As all important information about the contest will systematically be published on the Juvenes Translatores website, the responsible teachers should check this site regularly to be sure not to miss any important information.




The DG Translation will launch the contest on its dedicated website: on:

1 September 2014, at 12.00 midday Brussels time.

If your school wishes to participate, you must complete the online registration form (see section 1.2).

In submitting a registration form, your school makes certain commitments (see section 1.3).

1.1. Which schools can take part?

Schools must:

  • be located in a Member State,
  • be recognised by the education authorities of one or more Member State(s),
  • select between 2 and 5 students who were born in 1997,
  • have Internet access
  • have a computer that can open and print PDF files (the tests and the translation sheets will be sent in this format), and
  • have access to a scanner (in order to be uploaded to the DGT database, the students' translations must be scanned and saved as PDF files by the teachers)
1.2. Registration

Before registering, the responsible teacher must have the head teacher’s (principal's) approval for the school’s participation.

When registering (1 form per school only), you must provide:

  • name and address of the school
  • name of 1 contact person
  • at least 1 valid e-mail address.

As this e-mail will be the main way for us to communicate with you, please:

  • regularly check the mailbox
  • make sure it is not full.

Registration will take place from 1 September, 12.00 midday (Brussels time), to 20 October 2014, 12.00 midday (Brussels time). Incomplete or late forms will not be admitted to the selection process.

Each school that is registered – and later on the students enrolled – will be assigned a registration number. You must have these numbers to hand on the contest day.

1.3. What commitment does your school make when registering?

In submitting a registration form, your school commits to following the rules and instructions for the contest and, if selected, to organising the translation test in the school.

This includes, for example:

  • selecting and registering students born in 1997
  • providing suitable facilities and staff for the translation test
  • printing and distributing the correct texts to be translated and the translation sheets
  • enabling the selected students to take part in the test
  • ensuring the test is held under fair and impartial conditions
  • if a student from the school is a winner – allowing them time off from school to go to Brussels for the award ceremony.

Your school also agrees that, if selected for the contest, its name will appear on the Juvenes Translatores website.

1.4. What if your school does not honour the commitments in section 1.3?

It may be excluded from the contest. This would mean an immediate end to your and your students' participation in the contest.



A random electronic draw will be held to select a certain number of schools from among those that have duly submitted their registration forms.

The list of selected schools will be published on the Juvenes Translatores website by the end of October 2014.

For the purposes of this selection, schools will be counted in the quota of the Member State where the school is located.

The number of schools selected from each Member State will be equal to the number of seats the Member State has in the European Parliament:

Member StateSchools
Czech Republic21
United Kingdom73


In these rules and instructions, the terms "student" and "selected student" refer to all the students (between 2 and 5) proposed by the selected schools.

These students must:

  • have been born in 1997 and
  • be regularly enrolled in a school that fulfils the criteria in section 1.1.

Your school must specify the language pair each selected student has chosen, i.e. the languages from and into which they intend to translate (see section 3.4).

3.1. Names of students and language pairs

If your school is selected, you must register the students you have chosen to represent the school by 20 November 2014 at the latest. Each school can register between 2 and 5 students by entering their names and chosen language pairs in the database via a link that will be emailed by the Juvenes Translatores team (JT team).

You may also register a 6th student as a backup in case one of those initially registered can't take part e.g. because of illness.

After 20 November 2014, you cannot change either the students you nominated or their choice of language pairs.

The school must inform the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the selected students about their participation.

3.2. How are students to be selected?

Schools may establish their own criteria for selecting participating students, but these must be identifiable, fair and non-discriminatory. If DG Translation considers that a school has used unfair or discriminatory criteria, it may decide to exclude the school from the contest.

3.3. What about protection of personal data?

DG Translation will ensure that any personal data received is protected in accordance with the applicable law.

The names of the schools and the national winners and their translations will be published (see section 5), and there may be media coverage of the winners' visit to Brussels for the award ceremony.

More detailed information on how DG Translation will fulfil its data protection obligations is given in the Juvenes Translatores release form and attached privacy statement. These documents will be emailed to the 28 winners via their teachers only.

3.4. Language pairs

Each student can choose to translate from any official EU language into any other official EU language.

These languages are:

Bulgarian (BG), Croatian (HR), Czech (CS), Danish (DA), Dutch (NL), English (EN), Estonian (ET), Finnish (FI), French (FR), German (DE), Greek (EL), Hungarian (HU), Irish (GA), Italian (IT), Latvian (LV), Lithuanian (LT), Maltese (MT), Polish (PL), Portuguese (PT), Romanian (RO), Slovak (SK), Slovenian (SL), Spanish (ES) and Swedish (SV).

You must indicate each student's choice when you register the student (see section 3.1) and you can't change it after the 20 November 2014 deadline.

We strongly recommend that students translate into their native or strongest language.




On the day of the test, the source texts will be distributed to the schools in electronic form only (either e-mail or download from website). The texts will be marked with "2014" on top, as well as the code of the source language.

The translation test must be carried out simultaneously in all participating schools between 10.00 and 12.00, Brussels time, on 27 November 2014. It must take place on the schools' premises.

Between 2 and 5 registered pupils may participate officially per school. However, schools may allow other pupils to take part unofficially in the test (and, for instance, organise a parallel internal competition or use it for student evaluation), but they should not send any such translations to DG Translation.

Schools must do everything possible to ensure the test is carried out under fair and impartial conditions. Pupils have to work individually, not in pairs or teams, and teachers are not allowed to help them.

No computers or any other electronic devices may be used during the test.

Translations must be handwritten and legible. Illegible texts will be eliminated.

After the test the translations should be scanned and saved as PDF of good readable quality (one single file for each translation with a maximum size of 500 KB), and uploaded to the JT database, using the link sent to the contact person in the school. If persistent technical problems occur, the translations can be sent by registered mail to DG Translation in Brussels:

"Juvenes Translatores"
European Commission,
Directorate-General for Translation,
attn: Pinuccia Contino
G-6 06/16
B – 1049 Brussels,

Schools must keep the originals for six months.

If obstacles beyond the school's control prevent you from sending the translations, contact the JT team for instructions.

4.1 Disabled pupils

Schools may not discriminate against disabled pupils. The JT team is aware that special measures may have to be taken to allow disabled pupils a fair and equal chance at the test. If the school finds that the necessary special measures are in contradiction with the rules (e.g. if a disability slows a pupil's writing so much that this student needs more time to finish the translation, or if a computer is indispensable to allow a student to participate), the school must inform the Juvenes Translatores team, describing the disability and the proposed arrangements, for prior approval.

4.2. Who handles the practical organisation of the test?

Schools are responsible for physical organisation of the tests on their premises. This includes all the practical arrangements on the day of the test, namely:

  • ensuring the texts sent by DG Translation are properly handled, e.g. without causing any delays or jeopardising confidentiality
  • assembling pupils at the test location
  • distributing the texts and ensuring each student receives the appropriate language version and appropriate year
  • making sure pupils put the required information on the translation cover sheet: their name, date of birth, school and country as well as the school’s and their own personal contest registration number
  • supervising pupils during the test
  • collecting and uploading the translations to the Juvenes Translatores database as one single PDF file for each translation.

Schools must keep the original translations for six months. DG Translation will send the texts to be translated on the morning of the test day, and simultaneously publish them on the Juvenes Translatores website. DG Translation will also, as far as possible, answer questions and provide advice via e-mail.

4.3. Can pupils use dictionaries or any other help during the test?

Dictionaries are tools of the profession, and as such pupils are allowed to use them during the test – but only paper versions.

No electronic aids of any kind – computers, mobile phones, electronic versions of dictionaries or term collections, other electronic translation tools. etc. – may be used.



Each translation will be evaluated by a panel consisting of professional translators and revisers from DG Translation.

Following the evaluation, a jury, chaired by the Director-General of DG Translation, will choose the best translation from each Member State.

The work and the deliberations of the panel and the jury are confidential. Individual marks will not be given out.

The decisions of the panel and jury are final.

5.1 Announcement of winners, and release form

The list of 28 winning students will be announced by the beginning of February 2015.

DG Translation will email each of them a release form, which their school must print, sign and send back to the DG Translation in Brusselsby the deadline – together with a copy of the student's valid ID.

The form must be signed by the:

  • student
  • school's head teacher (principal)
  • student's parent(s)/guardian(s) (if the student is under 18 at the time of the award trip)

On this form, the pupil and their parent(s)/guardian(s) agree that:

  • the student will be allowed to go to Brussels for the award ceremony,
  • photos and video recordings of the award ceremony and the visit to Brussels may be published on the Juvenes Translatores website and Facebook page, and
  • a parent or guardian, or an adult approved by them, will accompany the student to the award ceremony in Brussels (not an obligation if the student is 18 at the time of the award trip).

A privacy statementpdf(58 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  annexed to the release form specifies how personal data will be collected, processed and used, in strict compliance with the applicable legislation.

5.2. Which criteria will be used for the evaluation?

The panel will apply similar criteria to those used to evaluate translations carried out within DG Translation, i.e.:

  • accuracy of translation
  • ability to write correctly (choice of expressions and grammar)
  • ability to write fluently
  • creativity of solutions applied.

The panel may eliminate any translation it believes has not been produced under fair and impartial circumstances.




The winners, 1 accompanying adult per winner and 1 teacher will be invited to an award ceremony in Brussels at which the Commissioner for Multilingualism will present the awards.

If the winner is under 18 during the award trip, they must be accompanied to Brussels by a parent or a guardian, or an adult approved by them - who will take full responsibility for both persons during the trip and their stay in Brussels.

The pupil, the teacher and the accompanying adult must provide the requisite travel documents for the trip. The European Commission will arrange and pay for travel (except short transfers such as taxi to and from the airport) and accommodation for one winner, one teacher and one accompanying adult per Member State.



The school will cover the costs of organising the tests on their premises, e.g. printing the texts to be translated and providing the facilities for the test.

The European Commission will pay for the award ceremony, and cover the costs of providing the texts to be translated and the evaluation process.

The European Commission will pay travel costs for each winner, each winner's teacher and a parent or guardian for each winner, from their country of origin to Brussels.



DG Translation's interpretation of these rules and instructions is final.

Need more information?

Ask the contact person for the contest in your local Commission office (