More than 3000 teenagers from 720 secondary schools across Europe took part in the EU Young Translator (‘Juvenes Translatores’) contest this morning.
The 17-year old pupils put their command of foreign languages to the test while trying their hand at being a professional translator.
They had to translate a one-page text based on their choice of any of the 506 language combinations possible among the EU’s 23 official languages.
This year the theme of the texts was volunteering, to mark the European Year of Volunteering.
European Commission translators will mark the texts and select one winner per country. In March 2012 the winners will be invited to Brussels to receive their prize from Commissioner Vassiliou.
The contest, now in its fifth year, was for the first time extended to schools located on islands which are part of EU Member States: New Caledonia, the Canary Islands, Madeira, Guadeloupe and Martinique.
The full list of participating schools is available on the contest [ fcp://@mail.eurodesk.org,%231015448/Mailbox/ec.europa.eu/translatores/selected ]website.
The contest has inspired similar initiatives in the United States and Turkey. The US version, organised by the University of Illinois, requires participants to translate into English from any of the official EU languages The Turkish contest, Genç Çevirmenler Yarışması (Young Translators’ Contest) is open to university students translating from English, French or German into Turkish.