Registrations open for young translators at EU schools contest

The European Commission has announced the launch of its annual translation contest for secondary school students from across Europe, Juvenes Translatores.

Schools from all EU countries will be able to register online so their students can compete with peers from other EU countries. This year, the participating teenagers will have to translate a text on the topic “Navigating in challenging times – together we are stronger”.

Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn said, ‘Young people in Europe know how important languages are in today’s society. Not only do they help people understand each other’s cultures and standpoints better, they can help you get a job. I encourage schools and students to take part in this year’s Juvenes Translatores contest and to discover translation.’

Participants will be able to translate between any two of the EU’s 24 official languages (552 possible language combinations). In last year’s contest, students used a total of 150 different combinations.

Registration for schools — the first part of the two-stage process — is open until midday on the 20th October 2020. Teachers can register in any of the EU’s 24 official languages.

After that, the commission will invite a total of 705 schools to the next stage. The number of schools taking part from each country will be equal to the number of seats the country has in the European Parliament, with the schools selected randomly by computer.

The schools chosen must then nominate two to five students to sit the contest. The students can be of any nationality but must be born in 2003.

The contest will be run online on the 26th November 2020 in all participating schools. 

The winners — one per country — will be announced by early February 2021.

If conditions allow, they will receive their prizes in spring 2021 at a ceremony in Brussels where they will also have a chance to meet professional translators from the commission and get to know more about working with languages.

What is Juvenes Translatores?

The Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation has organised the Juvenes Translatores (Latin for ‘young translators’) contest every year since 2007. The contest promotes language learning in schools and gives young people a taste of what it is like to be a translator. It is open to 17-year-old secondary school students and takes place simultaneously in all selected schools across the EU.

The contest has inspired and encouraged some participants to continue with language learning at university level and go on to become professional translators. The contest also provides an opportunity to showcase Europe’s rich linguistic diversity.

For more information you may click on the Juvenes Translatores website or Facebook page. You may also follow the European Commission’s translation department on Twitter: @translatores