School translators to battle it out for the third time

Up to 3 000 school students from all over Europe, including Kalix near the Arctic Circle in Sweden, Heraklion in Crete, Saint Martin in the West Indies and Paralimni in Cyprus, will be testing their language skills in the third Juvenes Translatores contest . The translation contest, whose name means “young translators” in Latin, is held simultaneously in all the participating schools, under the supervision of the schools .

This year's contest was launched in September, when all interested upper secondary schools in the EU were free to register for participation. From all these, 600 schools were chosen in a random selection, and their names were published on the contest website

Up to five pupils (who have to be 17 years old) from each selected school will do a translation test. They will receive a short text by e-mail in the morning, and will have two hours to translate it as fluently as possible from a language of their choosing into any other of the EU's 23 official language.

After the test, the translations will be sent to the Commission, where translators from the Directorate-General for Translation will evaluate and mark them. The contest jury will choose the best translation from each Member State, and publish the names of the winners on the contest website at the end of January 2010.

As in previous years, all winners win a trip to an award ceremony in Brussels to receive their prize and to meet a number of EU translators. It remains to be seen if this opportunity will have an effect on their plans for the future.

The European Commissioner for multilingualism, Leonard Orban, has defined the Juvenes Traslator Contest as "a contest that started off as a pilot project and has developed into a much-awaited highlight of the school year". The purpose of the contest is to give students a chance to use their language skills and try to "work" as a translator. "We find it especially gratifying that some of the previous winners are currently studying translation at the university," said Commissioner Orban