23/9/2009 | EP
The European Commission has launched an awareness campaign about being a translator to encourage young Francophones with a good command of languages to choose a career with a future in the EU institutions.
The EU executive initiative is motivated by the shortage of interpreters of French and the prospect of having halved the number of translators of that language in the next ten years, since most current interpreters will retire by then.
The bulk of the French-speaking translators who work in the European insitu were recruited from the mid-seventies and mid-eighties, after the accession in 1973 of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark, but the rate of substitution of these professionals is not parallel to the retirement system.
It must be added to this that the increasing use of English as a global communications medium has spread the belief that it is enough to learn English to function in work and social life. Therefore, the number of students studying other languages in Europe has decreased significantly.
Brussels warns that the French translators are essential for the functioning of the interpretation service of EC because 75% of all meetings held within the European institutions – Parliament, Council and Court – are poured into French. According to estimates by the EC in the next 10 years will require about 200 French interpreters.