The Centre’s key achievements in 2018

2018 was a notable year for the Centre in terms of volume of documents (over 369 000 pages), technological advances and strategic development.

By the end of 2018, the Centre had translated over 10.5 million pages since its establishment in 1994, both into the 24 official EU languages and from and into various non-EU languages, amounting to over 700 language combinations in total.

The translation volume reached almost 782 000 pages in 2018, registering a steady increase over the past few years. Of these pages, over 369 000 were documents, the highest ever volume, and 412 834 pages consisted of EU trade marks for the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) based in Alicante.

In addition to translation, modification, editing and revision of documents, the Centre also provided various other language services. Some 672 person-days were devoted to terminology work and almost 47 500 term list entries were translated. The need for video subtitling was once again confirmed: eight clients ordered 3 127 minutes of subtitling in 2018, showing a 27% uptick over the previous year.

Since clients are the Centre’s raison d’être, the Centre renewed its commitment to delivering quality services, and met its deadlines in 99% of cases, with a 5% renegotiation rate. It also met with 18 of its 65 clients over the year, either in person or via videoconference. Furthermore, it held its fourth annual Translation Contact Network meeting in Luxembourg, which aims to enable exchange of information and best practice with clients.

The Centre made great strides forward in the use of translation technologies in 2018. It designed a new translation memory strategy and integrated Euramis (the interinstitutional repository of multilingual translation memories fed by the various European institutions) and the machine translation output of eTranslation (the neural MT system developed by the European Commission) into eCdT, its advanced workflow management system developed in-house. At the same time, the Centre’s translators underwent training on the post-editing of machine translation output.

The Centre also continued to actively contribute to interinstitutional and inter-agency cooperation during 2018. A major highlight was the launch, in November, of a brand-new version of the InterActive Terminology for Europe (IATE) database to public users. The Centre manages this terminological database on behalf of its institutional partners. To mark the occasion, the Centre organised an official launch event in Luxembourg, attracting over 300 guests. The interinstitutional version of IATE, which offers specific features for EU terminologists and allows database management, was released on 25 February 2019.

With an eye towards the future and in the wake of an externally commissioned study, the Translation Centre designed an exciting two-year transformation plan that is due to be presented at the March 2019 Management Board meeting. To foster staff engagement and empowerment, all staff members were invited to contribute to the plan, which hinges around state-of-the-art technology and continued delivery of excellent customer experiences.