At the European Commission as elsewhere, but on a unrivalled scale, translation has to cope with conflicting requirements: ensuring the largest possible linguistic coverage not only of legal acts, but also of policy documents while making a prudent use of the taxpayers' money; continuously updating one of the largest set of websites in the world without discriminating citizens of smaller language communities, increasing quantity without compromising quality. Are efficiency and openness compatible? Is such a regime sustainable? At the same time we experience an increased call for multilingualism in the global village: Translation needs are diversifying, and with it, also the translation profession is changing. New technologies, the localization of the messages are adding to the challenge. Can the translation services cope?
Proclaimed the International Year of Languages by the United Nations, 2008 is also the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in the European Union, a perfect crossroads to present the language regime of the EU institutions and the role of the Directorate-General for Translation as a promoter of innovation and better communication between institutions and citizens, focusing on the impact of translation activities on the EU society and on the booming language industry of the EU.
(China.org.cn August 5, 2008)