The European Parliament is the only directly-elected body of the European Union. The 754 Members of the European Parliament are there to represent you, the citizen. They are elected once every five years by voters right across the 27 Member States of the European Union on behalf of its 500 million citizens. (from European Parliament website)
I did not know much about the European Parliament until I received an email the other day from DGTRAD, the Directorate General for Translation of the European Parliament. DGTRAD is a unit that networks about 100 terminologists spread across the various language units in the European Union.
European Union legislation is drafted in 23 official languages. Translation is an integral part of the process of elaborating and adopting legal acts. Thousands of translators in the European institutions cover 506 language combinations, a mechanism which must be regularly brought into line with constantly evolving language-related issues. The main aims of DGTRAD are to facilitate terminology research and production.
The terminology research and the repositories which are the result of intensive work by DGTRAD are also used to improve the quality of the Machine Translation (MT) systems used by the EU. In 2011, the European Parliament’s translation units translated over 1.5 million pages in all languages. Renato Beninatto wrote an excellent post last month about MT in the EU which describes some of the work that the EU is doing in that field. Clearly MT is an important topic at the EU as the demand for translation services increases.
Here are some great online resources that are provided by the EU:
- IATE (Interactive Terminology for Europe). This website incorporates all of the terminology databases of the EU’s translation services into one searchable resource. Provides online translation of terms across 24 languages.
- The DGTRAD website provides a wide range of glossaries which can be useful to translators and anyone who is working with the EU.
- Translation 2.0: Multilingual Terminology Search Engine
- EMM News Explorer: major news stories in various languages including tools that allow comparing how the same events have been reported in different languages.
by Dave Grunwald, CEO of gts-translation.com