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EU: Commission raises translator training standards

The European Commission is encouraging universities to join its European Masters in Translation (EMT) university network as part of its new aim to encourage more European universities to offer high-quality courses for students who want to work as translators. The move is in response to a growing shortage of properly qualified translators in the job market.

So far 34 European universities have joined the network, and have had their courses assessed by translation experts. The EMT project - funded by the commission - recognises certified courses and promotes the exchange of good practice through an annual conference, held this year in Brussels from 11-13 October.

Translators need more than just linguistic ability to succeed in the in the modern job market: they also require skills in entrepreneurship, project management and negotiation.

Androulla Vassiliou, European commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth, said: "In many countries, anyone can claim to be a translator without any guarantee of professional competence. The long-term aim of the EMT project is to raise the standard of translator training."

Demand for translation services across the world is rising rapidly. A 2009 study on the EU language industry forecast that its current turnover will increase by at least 10% annually over the next few years.

In this regard, the EMT project has much work to do. Nearly 250 universities and other higher education institutions in the European Union currently offer courses for aspiring translators, but not all are as multi-dimensional as the EMT-recognised programmes.
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