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Winchester College student is Britain's best young translator
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25/02/2010 00:00:00

A student from Winchester College, Hampshire has won a prestigious competition for young translators organised by the European Commission.  James Lane was chosen as Britain's best young translator in the third annual "Juvenes Translatores" (Latin for young translators) contest for schools.

On learning of his success, James said:  "It was a really interesting test of both my English and French skills and I thoroughly enjoyed taking part".

James' winning translation from French into English was selected by a board chaired by the Director-General of DG Translation from 138 British entries.

In recognition of his achievement, James will travel to Brussels on a three day visit where he will get a chance to meet EU translators at work. He will be joined by 26 winners representing the other EU member states.  On Thursday, 25 March, James will receive his prize and certificate from the European Commissioner for Multilingualism, Androulla Vassiliou. 

Congratulating the winners, Androulla Vassiliou, the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth said:

"Our translation contest is becoming more popular each year. 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."

Cricket loving James studied Spanish and Latin at GCSE level and is currently studying the equivalent of five A levels: physics, chemistry and French (PreU[1]), and maths and further Maths (A level).  James has an offer to read natural sciences at St Catherine's College, Cambridge, in October 2010.

[1]PreU is a new post-16 qualification, an alternative to A Level run by Cambridge International examinations.

    The Juvenes Translatores (young translators) is the only contest of its kind in which 17 year old school pupils can test their translation skills in any of the EU official languages. 

    The contest was held simultaneously in all member states and supervised by participating schools on 24 November 2009. 

    Pupils were given two hours to translate a text from any of the 23 official EU languages into another official language of their choice.  

    Some 45 schools across the UK took part in the competition.  In total, 599 EU schools participated representing a 30 per cent increase in registrations compared to a year ago.  No fewer than 2,253 translations covering all the official languages and 139 language combinations were submitted.

    The competition was first run by the Commission's Directorate-General for Translation in 2007 as a pilot to give a taste of what it is like to be a translator and to raise the profile of the profession and language learning in schools.

    The competition provides a true challenge in testing the language skills learned. From the beginning it has created tremendous enthusiasm among participating schools with ninety nine per cent saying they would participate again.  Some schools even organised their own pre-selection tests to ensure they put their best pupils forward for the contest.

    Full details of the competition, as well as James Lane's winning translation, can be found on:

    Participating schools:

    Also DG Translation:

    For interviews: Barbara MacKinnon, Winchester College – Tel: 01962 621 165


    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.

    Last update: 30/10/2010  |Top