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15/06/2010 00:00:00

Over 50 students, graduates, translators, careers advisers and academics will today find out what the work of a European Union translator entails and how to apply. The event, held at the European Commission's UK office, will see the launch of a video-clip "Translating for Europe – into English", showcasing a few of the 1800 translators who work for the European Commission. During the film, they will hear not only about the work, but general thoughts about living in Brussels and Luxembourg. At the event itself, there will also be presentations on the various other careers open to linguists and a chance to ask questions to people doing these jobs on a daily basis.

The event comes as English language translation approaches a recruitment crisis, so it is more important than ever to let bright young Brits with language skills know about the opportunities that exist.

Sarah Lambert, head of the European Commission's Representation in the UK said: ""The British are severely under-represented in the EU Institutions. In spite of our reputation for not speaking foreign languages, I know there is a lot of talent out there. I hope this short film will inspire the translators of tomorrow to choose a rewarding career in the EU."

The video-clip and this event are part of efforts to raise awareness of the career opportunities for linguists who speak native-standard English, ahead of the next recruitment competition.

The constantly growing demand for English translation, coupled with the forthcoming retirement of about 20% of the Commission's current English-language translators, means that there is a crisis brewing. If not averted, this situation will have severe consequences for the day-to-day work of the European Union.

Based in Brussels and Luxembourg, the team of 115 permanent translators in the European Commission's English department translate legislation, speeches and publications, as well as most of the incoming reports and correspondence that allow the Commission to function. The huge range of documents, subjects and source languages is unique and makes English translation particularly attractive.

In July new recruitment rounds will be launched, with opportunities for translators, interpreters and lawyer linguists. Candidates for English-language positions should be a national of an EU country, have a university degree in any discipline and be able to translate from two official languages* into native-standard English. Applications must be made online at The selection procedure, which takes about 9 months, has been completely overhauled. Successful candidates can look forward to:

  • a very attractive starting salary
  • opportunities to learn new languages throughout their career
  • interesting and varied work

The film can be viewed at:

    Note for editors

    Potential applicants, careers staff and current Commission staff are available for interview during the event. Call the press office to attend, or set up interviews.

    Translators translate written texts (legislation, policy documents, letters, speeches) into their native language (or a language they speak to that level). Interpreters ensure that meetings held in several languages can be followed, usually in the EU context by simultaneous interpretation from a booth in the meeting room. Lawyer linguists are highly specialised lawyers who ensure legal texts are watertight in all language versions.

    * The 23 official languages are: Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish.

    For English-language applicants, at least one of the foreign languages must be French or German.


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

    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 30/10/2010  |Top