Some 45 representatives from 29 EU agencies, bodies and institutions attended the Centre’s 7th Translation Contact Network meeting held online on 28 April 2022.
In her opening speech, our Director, Ildikó Horváth, highlighted the Centre’s strengths:
- an attractive language service offer, which combines the latest technologies with human skills and expertise;
- the integrated eCdT workflow management system as a single, secure platform linking all players involved in the production workflow: our clients; the external language service providers we work with; our in-house translators, workflow administrators and technical teams; and even clients’ national authority experts; and
- the staff’s strong quality focus and client-orientation.
She also emphasised the importance she attaches to regular interactions with our clients ‘to understand [their] expectations and discuss the areas in which we can further develop, improve and find synergies that may benefit us all.’
In the first presentation, the Translation Support Department presented a detailed overview of the Centre’s service offer in the areas of translation and language consultancy. The Centre’s clients were encouraged to rethink their approach to multilingual communication by choosing the service they need based on quality-for-purpose considerations.
The Head of the Translation Department then shared useful tips for authors with participants. To yield good-quality translations, authors should follow the principles of clear writing in general, and the Centre’s tips for writing for machine translation whenever relevant, keeping in mind the purpose of the text and the reader.
The next presentation focused on web translation as a means for boosting external outreach. Running a multilingual website is achievable by applying a few principles such as: taking a phased/gradual approach in shifting from a monolingual to a fully multilingual website based on web analytics and audience statistics; conscious drafting (shorter texts that offer a clear message and will make translation production smoother); dividing the website into a section for the general public, accessible in all languages, and a section for expert audiences, which may have less translated content; and using a web translation module, such as the one that the Centre offers for Drupal-based websites, which makes it easier to manage multilingual websites.
A representative from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) shared the Authority’s experience with the Centre’s custom web translation module. EFSA is a good example of how an agency can gradually expand its language regime (see its website) by applying a mixture of both traditional human translation and machine translation.
One of the Centre’s Irish translators then presented his mother tongue, which has made a long journey through the history of European integration. As of 1 January 2022, Irish is a fully fledged EU language. The Centre is well prepared in terms of both staff and linguistic resources to translate into Irish.
The final presentation focused on terminology projects for IATE (the EU terminology database) and the creation of ontologies for EuroVoc (the EU’s multilingual and multidisciplinary thesaurus), which are closely interlinked. Terminology files can indeed be delivered as ontologies.
Each presentation was followed by a lively round of questions and answers, so all in all, it was once again a very fruitful event, leaving everyone involved with a lot of food for thought on the topic of multilingualism and the opportunities it offers.