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Bravo to EU's young translators
The names of the 27 winners of the European Commission’s annual EU
Young Translator Juvenes Translatores contest for secondary school pupils are
More than 3 000 pupils from 750 schools sat the contest in November
The winners – one per EU country – will be invited to an award ceremony
in Brussels on 11 April to receive their prizes from Commissioner Androulla
Vassiliou and will also have the chance to see the Commission's translators at
“The contest is an excellent way to promote language learning and
translation as a possible career.
Language skills are a fantastic asset: they broaden the mind and can
boost employability, something which is especially important in the current
economic environment," said Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education,
Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
The contestants translated a one-page text based on their choice of any
of the 506 language combinations possible among the EU’s 23 official languages.
All 23 were indeed used as source languages.
The winners also exhibited a fair share of linguistic diversity, -11
translated from English, 5 from French, 5 from Spanish, 4 from German, 1 from
Estonian and 1 from Irish.
The texts were marked by the Commission's translators.
The contest, which was first organised in 2007, continues to grow in
Nearly 1 750 schools registered to take part in the 2012-2013
competition – this was reduced to 750 for logistical reasons following a random
The contest has created its own network, enabling students, teachers
and professionals to interact through Facebook, Twitter and a blog.
It also gives schools an opportunity to learn from each other and try
out different methods of language teaching.
The Salzmannschule Schnepfenthal school in Thuringia, Germany, is
clearly one to watch: its students have won the title three times.
Perhaps the name of its head languages teacher – Susanne Bravo – is a
clue to its success.
The translation texts focused on solidarity between generations, the
theme of the 2012 European Year, and ranged from stories of the young teaching
the old how to use computers to history lessons given by elders to children.
The texts were prepared by Commission's translators to ensure the same
level of linguistic challenge in all the languages.
Croatian pupils will be able to take part in the 2013-2014 contest for
the first time after their country joins the EU and Croat becomes its 24th
The ‘Juvenes Translatores’ (Latin for ‘young translators’) contest is
organised every year by the European Commission's Directorate-General for
Its aim is to promote language learning in schools and give young
people a taste of what it is like to be a translator.
It is open to 17-year old secondary school pupils (in the case of the
2012-2013 contest for those born in 1995) and takes place at the same time in
all selected schools all over Europe.
The contest has encouraged some entrants to take up language studies
and to become translators.