A young translators’ contest

3000 European teenagers have participated in this contest

The 17-year old pupils put their command of foreign languages to the test while trying their hand at being a professional translator.

The Juvenes Translatores contest is an excellent way for us to promote language learning and translation as a fulfilling career for young people, said Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. Since most of those taking part are translating into their native language, the contest also underlines our commitment to linguistic diversity, one of Europe’s biggest assets.

The pupils translate d a one-page text based on their choice of any of the 506 language combinations possible among the EU’s 23 official languages. This year the theme of the texts was volunteering, to mark the European Year of Volunteering.

European Commission translators will mark the texts and select one winner per country. In March 2012 the winners will be invited to Brussels to receive their prize from Commissioner Vassiliou.

The contest, now in its fifth year, was for the first time extended to schools located on islands which are part of EU Member States: New Caledonia, the Canary Islands, Madeira, Guadeloupe and Martinique.

The contest has inspired similar initiatives in the United States and Turkey. The US version, organised by the University of Illinois, requires participants to translate into English from any of the official EU languages The Turkish contest, Genç Çevirmenler Yarışması (Young Translators’ Contest) is open to university students translating from English, French or German into Turkish.

It is open to pupils born in 1994 and takes place at the same time in all selected schools (10 am to 12 noon).

The number of schools taking part from each country is based on how many MEPs each will have in 2014. Each school has enrolled up to five pupils to sit the contest.

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