St Aloysius’ student amongst the EU’s best young translators
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Jobs & Education — 29 March 2010 — 10:30CEST

The winners of ‘Juvenes Translatores’, the EU translation contest for secondary schools, have received their award from Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, during an event held in Brussels.
Amongst the winners was Benjamin Camilleri from St Aloysius’ College, Birkirkara.

The pupils, one from each Member State, were given a trophy and a certificate for producing the best translation from their country. This is the third time that the European Commission has organised this competition.

“Picking the 27 winners from more than 2,200 translations that we received was not easy because the quality of the texts was generally very good,” said Commissioner Vassiliou. “The overall high standard of the translations and the 30 per cent increase in participation compared with last year show that young people are increasingly keen to learn languages. I find this encouraging, because languages can boost your job prospects, make communication with other people easier and open up new horizons.”

In addition to meeting the Commissioner, winners over the past days also visited the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation (DGT), where they saw professional translators at work.

The latest ‘Juvenes Translatores’ contest was held in November 2009 at the same time in every Member State. The pupils were given 2 hours to translate a text from one of the 23 official languages of the EU into another official language of their choice. All the official EU languages were included in the 139 language combinations used in the contest. For example, the winner from Luxembourg translated a text from English into Estonian and the Austrian winner translated from Czech into German.

Each translation was assessed by a Commission translator who is a native-speaker of the language into which the text had been translated. A board chaired by the Director-General of DGT then selected the best translation from each Member State.

The first ‘Juvenes Translatores’ contest was launched in 2007. The aim is to give 17-year-old secondary school pupils a chance to test their language skills in the real-life situation of a translator. The contest aims to raise the profile both of the translating profession and of language learning in schools.

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