This year marks the second edition of Juvenes Translatores (young translators) contest, which was launched by the European Commission in 2007 to promote language learning and translation at schools throughout the European Union.
The registration period has now closed and a random list of 618 selected schools has been published. These schools now have to announce the names of up to four participating pupils who will take on the challenge of the translation contest, to be held on 27 November 2008.
As stated in the press release, the EU hopes this will enable pupils to discover “the challenge of moving text from one language to another and the fundamental role of translation for the life of the Union.”
Last year the UK winner was Coralie Sharpe, a student from South Yorkshire. She and 26 other prize-winning young translators were invited for a three-day visit to Brussels in March to receive a certificate from the European Commissioner for Multilingualism, Mr Leonard Orban.
There are 58 participating schools in the UK, but only 2 from Scotland. Although the selection is said to be random (the total number is directly proportional to the number of votes held by each country, i.e. 29 votes for France, Germany, Italy and UK = 58 schools), there would seem to be an urgent case for ensuring a fairer representation of Scottish schools!
The two Scottish schools included in the 2008 competition are St Georges School, Edinburgh and Falkirk High School.
The texts will be posted on the website on 27 November for simultaneous translation by all the 17-year-old competitors.
Good luck to all who take part!