"The floor is yours." … and that sentence is mine!Challenges and thrills in translating for the Hungarian Presidency, 2011 KOVÁCS Zsuzsanna Quality Controller, Hungarian Language Unit General Secretariat Council of the European Union The viewsexpressedarepurelythose of thewriter and maynotinanycircumstances be regardedasstating an officialposition of theCouncil.
INTRODUCTION Presidency: an important challenge for a language unit • more documentsto be translated • newtypes of documents • often very tight deadlines It is motivating for translators • creative: more freedom in handling texts • exciting: it allows insight into a large range of subjects and a glimpse intobackstage operations • rewarding:directuse and highvisibility of translations Better motivationresultsinbetter quality.
Preparationwithexternalinterlocutors • cooperation between Council language unitson dealing with translation during presidencies • Council translators and assistants meeting Presidency contact person from Permanent Representation • experts advised to limit feedback to substantial corrections • establish contact with EP translators • find out from Language Coordination which ministers will need translation and which parts of documents need to be translated
Preparationinthe HU language unit • creating templates from Presidency documents • create Presidency reference memory • check EP site "Current issues" • appoint contact translator tospend 6 months of Presidency in Language Coordination • appoint poolsof translatorsfor different types of Presidency documents and a pool of senior revisers • Quality Controller tobrief translators and assistants on Presidency document types, templates, procedures
TRANSLATION MEMORY FOR PRESIDENCY DOCUMENTS beforepresidency: create a new translationmemory: presidency memory import presidency programme, templates, models for document types, 18 month programme duringpresidency: update presidency memory daily (import TMX files created from the translation of presidency documents) concordance: translatorsusingpresidency memory as a reference memoryfor concordance purposes
CHALLENGES At start of the Presidency: • ministers' presentations of presidency programme and prioritiesbefore EP plenary and committees – allarrivewithin a fewweeks • during Presidency EU legislation published in the Official Journal is signed by ministers of the Presidency country specificities of the Hungarian language • HU names in reverse order, e.g. myname: KOVÁCS Zsuzsanna • composite letters made up of two orthreeletters: e.g. Zsuzsanna When only the initials of the ministers’ surnamesappear in the OJ, it is important to make sure that the correct letter should be used, e.g. forMatolcsyGyörgy: MatolcsyGy. and notG. Negotiatedoutcome: thesignatures and initials of HU ministersappearedintheHungarianwayinalllanguageversions of EU legislationpublishedintheOfficial Journal
DOCUMENT TYPES • Notesfor the President(NP): speeches/speaking points for ministers in EP plenary and committee meetings during Presidency • Briefsfor the President (NP): • to brief presidents in advance of Council meetings, and to guide them during the actual proceedings • one note for each item on the agenda (sometimes more), for each Council meeting up to 20 briefs • short (1-2 pages), short deadline • notes for Coreperrarelytranslated
DOCUMENT TYPES (continued) Presidency's replies to EP oral questions (H questions): • delivered by the Council President in person in his/her mothertongue before EP during question time in Strasbourg • receive them the week before EP plenary • for each plenary, about 30-40 oral questions expected consist of: - question (translated by EP translators) -background (not always translated) - proposed reply - supplementary replies for potential follow-up questions • translated into Presidency language only • prior requestforprovidingstandby for EP plenary sessions butusedonlyonce • quality is important because of high visibility: replies are given by the ministers on the Council's behalf in public (live broadcasting, home country, other media) – the Council’s voicein EP
DOCUMENT TYPES (continued) • CFSP declarations: as usual but with shorter deadlines, very short, published on the Council website simultaneously in EN, FR and language of Presidency • Press releases following Council meetings: also very short deadline, to be finished by COB of the day following Council meeting, published in EN, FR and language of Presidency
QUANTITY • depends on translation needs of ministers • e.g. translation of briefs for Chairs of Council formations: both background and speaking points or speaking points only • Language Coordination updating ministries' translation requirements based on negotiations with Permanent Representation and subject to available resources • after some time had to translate mostly only speaking points, not background • it is indicated on the translation jobslip if only some parts of the brief need to be translated (e.g. title, subject, points IV-V.)
Procedures of quality assurance • Quality Controller assistingLocal Coordinator with assigning filesfortranslation and revision • Quality Controller revising a largeamount of Presidency documents, especially in early days (ministers' presentationsbefore EP), updating templates, giving general feedback and guidelines • Translatorsidentifying and notifying QC of possibletemplates
GENERAL GUIDELINES Terminology Notes to the Presidency + speeches: direct user is the respective minister: if EU and national terminology clash, national terminology is to be used Translation style (in speeches, elements of speech in notes to the presidency, replies to oral EP questions): • simple, short sentences • sentences can be split or merged • easy, understandablestyle
GLOBAL TRANSLATION EXPERIENCE • quality of originals was good • not much need to do terminological research, all necessary information contained in background and reference documents • lengthy documents but not difficult because of clear drafting • although deadlines wereshort, they weremanageable • some documents were also translated in the HU ministries, some were transmitted to Council translators in time, others were received too late • translator pools for various document types proved useful
DIFFICULTIES forcoordination: • upredictability, sudden changes, short notice • CFSP declarations: often a great amount onFriday evenings • a few times requests for reverse translation: HU intoEN (revised by Council EN translators) fortranslators/assistants: • overtime: random, mostly regular overtime team provedsufficient
THRILLS • best experiencefortranslators: translation of speeches • insight into a large range of subjects and a glimpse into backstage operations • rewarding to hear one's own words and sentences being spoken by the minister presiding the Council meeting (during public parts of Council sessions) and in broadcasts of EP sessions, comingacrossone's own formulations being quoted in home media • forthequality controller: target language quality dramatically improved
WHAT TO EXPECT? • long documents, short deadlines • the unexpected - a certain degree of flexibility is definitely required • interesting texts and a motivating climate • new types of documents, more than normal overtime, documents more in the (political) limelight (ministers, media), increased sense of importance
FEEDBACK • Hungarian presidency: very positive feedback on timeliness and quality of translations • even two years after HU Presidency Council HU translatorsreceivepraise forthe quality of thetranslations theymade during the presidency
MESSAGE FROM A HU TRANSLATOR: Nottoworry, you'll be sorry once it's over!
Thankyouforyourattention. Foranyfurtherinformationcontact: email@example.com