The best young translator from each of EU’s 28 Member States will now travel to Brussels to collect their awards and to meet with European Commission’s professional translators.
The European Commission has today announced the authors of the best 28 translations on the topic of the European Year of Cultural Heritage in its annual Juvenes Translatores competition for secondary school students. The European Commission’s translators – the organisers of the contest – selected them among this year’s 3,252 participants from 751 schools across Europe.
Commenting on the results from the competition, Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger in charge of Budget, Human Resources and Translation, said: “I am impressed by the language skills of these talented young people. Learning languages is key in today’s society. Languages open the door to more job opportunities and help people understand each other’s cultures and standpoints better. I wish all winners and participants to continue pursuing their interest in languages and spread the love for languages around them.”
This year’s edition of the Juvenes Translatores competition took place on 22 November and ran simultaneously in all participating schools. The competing students used 154 out of the 552 possible language combinations between each of EU’s 24 languages. Some of the most interesting choices were translations from Portuguese into Dutch, and from Hungarian into Finnish.
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation has been organising the Juvenes Translatores (Latin for ‘young translators‘) contest every year since 2007. Over the years, the competition has become a life-changing experience for many of its participants and winners. For example, following her trip to Brussels, the Slovenian winner of the 2010 edition, Ms Tina Zorko, decided to study translation at university and has recently joined the European Commission’s translation department as a full-time translator. “My trip to the award ceremony in Brussels is one of my fondest memories,” Ms Tina Zorko said. “Seeing Commission translators at work gave me an insight into the life of a real translator and reinforced my dream of someday becoming one.”
The contacts of Italy’s 2016 winner, Ms Carolina Zanchi, with the translators from the European Commission, inspired her to learn more about applied languages and she is now studying patholinguistics in Germany. She said:“It is no hyperbole to say that Juvenes Translatores really changed my life. My sincere thanks to all those who make it possible every year.”
The goal of the “Juvenes Translatores” competition is to promote language learning in schools and give young people a taste of what it is like to be a translator. The competition is open to 17-year-old secondary school students and takes place at the same time in all selected schools across the EU.
Translation has been an integral part of the EU since the Community was first created, and was the subject of the very first Regulation (EEC Council: Regulation No 1) adopted in 1958. Since then, the number of languages has grown from 4 to 24, along with EU’s enlargement.
This year’s winners are: