The Translation Industry and the European Union | Translation Services | Dublin City University Language Services | Metaglossia: The Translation World |

On Thursday 13th of September 2012, Ms Pinuccia Contino, Head of Unit of Multilingualism and Translation Studies at the Directorate General for Translation (DGT), European Commission, delivered a presentation on the topic of 'Translating for the European Commission' at Dublin City University.

Ms Contino visited DCU as the University is part of the European Masters in Translation Network (EMT), which acts as a quality mark for Masters level translation programmes. In addition, DCU is an academic partner for the Centre of Next Generation Localisation (CGNL) a cooperation unit for universities and companies in order to develop new technologies in localisation business.

Did you know that more than 2 million pages have been translated for the European Commission last year?

This is only one of the facts that Ms Contino came up with showing how important a partner the European Union is for the translation industry as a whole. Since 2008 the demand for the language and translation business in the European Union has been on the rise, growing from 8.4 billion Euro to about 10 billion Euro today. As Ms Contino stated during her presentation, “Languages mean jobs”.

The EU itself employs as many as 5,300 translators and interpreters – 2,500 of which are working in the Directorate General for Translation (DGT) in Brussels and Luxembourg. They translate all subject areas, and document types range from laws (22%) or reports from member states (17%) as well as websites. The DGT translating services offers a large range of services that include not only translation but also editing, written and oral summaries, a translation hotline for other EU institutions, web translation, linguistic advice, translation of confidential texts and others. They also create Translation Memories, such as the EURAMIS (European advanced multilingual information system), and they are currently building up their own machine translation system.

About 30% of the translation work for the European Union is done by freelancers. Ms Contino made clear that it is very hard for individuals to get a contract with the DGT. Translators should rather approach agencies that already have big contracts with the institution to become a part of the EU translation family. For their work, translators can then also make use of IATE and EUR-Lex, terminology bases by the EU which are open to the public and a useful, well-known tool for translators.