Aktuelles & Veranstaltungen

Lifting the lid on non-EU languages at the Centre

03 Mai 2012
What if 歡迎來翻譯中心 appeared on our main webpage? Meaning ‘Welcome to the Translation Centre’ in Mandarin Chinese, it would not be out of place as the Centre does provide linguistic services in languages outside the 23 official languages of the European Union. We interviewed Jacky Nazac, Head of the Demand Management Section, to find out more about other languages being offered by the Centre.

What is the Centre’s translation volume for non-EU languages?
In 2011, it was approximately 9 000 pages (8 201 pages/target language and 656 pages/source language), which was 1.2% of the annual total volume.

What are the most-requested non-EU languages?
In the last five years, the five most-requested, in terms of target language, have been Norwegian, Icelandic, Turkish, Croatian and Russian (followed by Macedonian and Arabic). In terms of source language, Norwegian topped the list again, followed by Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Japanese and Hebrew.
In addition, we’ve had some other, even more unusual language requests. For example, we’ve translated texts into Swahili, Bengali, Azeri and Korean. And we’ve translated texts from Vietnamese, Indonesian and Georgian.

As we know, these translations are outsourced to external translators, could you tell us a little about the outsourcing process?
The first stage of the outsourcing process is to choose the translator. In many of these language combinations, we have been collaborating with the same freelance translators or translation agencies for several years. Nonetheless we always ask the translation agency to submit the translator’s CV, so as to assess the suitability of the proposed translator. It can be that we request several CVs, so as to find the translator who best suits a client’s translation request, particularly when a client has asked for some specific regional preferences (Farsi, Persian spoken in Iran as against Dâri, Persian spoken in Afghanistan, for example). Then when the translation is returned to us, several teams are involved in processing it in-house to ensure the final quality of the document.

Is it possible to draw up a list of clients who regularly request linguistic services in non-EU languages?
There are already about thirty clients who request linguistic services in these languages. They include DG EMPL of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, EASA, ECDC, EEA, Eurofound and the European Central Bank.
The requests are all the time becoming more interesting: recently we had a request from the EEA for Danish into Greenlandic. The official language of Greenland is Kalaallissut, which belongs to the family of Inuit languages spoken in Arctic areas, and differs from other Inuit languages spoken, for example, in Alaska (Inupiatun) and Canada (Inuktitut), and their regional variants (e.g. Qawiaraq, Inuinnaqtun, Inuvialuktun, Inuttitut, etc.).

Have there been any calls for tender for any non-EU languages?
Yes. In 2011, the Legal Affairs Section put out tenders for linguistic services in relation to Croatian, Icelandic, Norwegian and Turkish in line with the increasing demand from our clients.

متمنين لكم دوام التقدم والنجاح («Good luck for the future» in Arabic).