Effectively communicating human rights

On 20 June, the Centre was pleased to host two representatives from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), based in Vienna: Dorothee Reinfried, who is responsible for editing and different language versions (Communications and Events Unit), and Magdalena Bielecka, a translator. Around 40 staff members attended the half-day seminar, including translators from all language teams and terminologists.

Thierry Fontenelle, head of the Translation Department, welcomed the two guests from Vienna, highlighting that FRA was a long-standing client of the Centre. He explained that the main objective of the seminar was to clarify new key concepts in the area of fundamental rights for the Centre’s translators, as its terminology was evolving rapidly.

Dorothee Reinfried firstly presented the brochure on ‘10 keys to effectively communicating human rights’.  The brochure, which the Centre translated into 21 languages, came about as a result of FRA’s discovery that public and political interest in, and support for, human rights was on the wane. They therefore decided to compile a brochure on best practices and started a debate to try to secure help not only from stakeholders and interest groups, but also from other expert groups and influencers, such as epistemologists, cognitive scientists, critical discourse analysts, art experts, satirical cartoonists and media specialists. 

In her presentation, Dorothee Reinfried talked about FRA's multilingual communication and publications policy, including its publishing and editing processes and upcoming projects. 

Next, Magdalena Bielecka presented FRA's quality assurance processes for translations. Numerous different topics were addressed in collaboration with the Centre’s in-house translators.

Dorothee Reinfried then looked at the terminology issues that had been submitted by the Centre in advance, and outlined the Agency’s recommendations and preferences for these. Topics included the terminology in the recent LGBTI survey launched by FRA a few weeks previously.

Finally, the group discussed the gendering of language. Generally, the audience was of the opinion that gendering should be applied in such a way as to not compromise the readability of a text.

The topic of fundamental rights sparked intense interest among participants. The seminar was expedient for discussing terminology preferences and gaining a better understanding of FRA's activities and priorities, and was highly appreciated by all attendees.