Speakers & Profiles


Title: Quality in Institutional EU Translation: parameters, practices and research


Institutional EU translation is subject to a complex array of political, procedural, and institutional factors which contribute to the overall hybridity of EU discourse. The translation of multilingual EU law differs from typical legal translation and challenges some central concepts of Translation Studies, such as a source text and a target text, a translation process, and equivalence. Another concept which is challenged, extended and adopted is quality. Quality in institutional EU translation may be viewed in terms of a relationship to the source text (fidelity, equivalence) and to other language versions (uniform application and interpretation of law) and in terms of a relationship to corresponding nontranslated legal texts produced in the Member States (textual fit). The talk will first overview quality parameters and institutional practices aimed at quality assurance, then it will map research into EU translation, concluding with a case study of the Polish Eurolect.


Łucja Biel is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw, Poland. She was a Visiting Lecturer on the MA in Legal Translation at City University London from 2009 to 2014. She is a deputy editor of the Journal of Specialised Translation and a Secretary General of the European Society for Translation Studies.  She has been an English-Polish legal translator since 1997 and an expert for the Polish Normalization Committee. She holds an MA in English/TS (Jagiellonian University of Kraków), PhD in Linguistics (University of Gdańsk), Diploma in English and EU Law (University of Cambridge) and a School of American Law diploma (Chicago-Kent School of Law and UG). Her research interests focus on legal translation, translator training and corpus linguistics. She has published over 40 papers in this area, e.g. in The Translator, Meta, Jostrans, Fachsprache and a book Lost in the Eurofog. The Textual Fit of Translated Law (Peter Lang, 2014).



Title: The changing role of translation support in ensuring quality in institutional translation


Language services in the United Nations system are in transition and are undergoing drastic changes, both in the documentation units themselves, and in the services provided, such as translation support. Language support services have gone from being paper-based to being almost entirely electronic and web-based, changing all aspects of translation support. In the past, translation support–providing references, terminology and editorial support—was mandated in order to ensure quality, consistency and accuracy in document translation. With the emergence of many rapidly evolving electronic tools, are traditional ‘referencing’ and translation support still relevant? In my presentation, I would like to discuss how the Translation and Editorial Support Section in the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management at the United Nations in New York has been addressing these challenges.


I joined the United Nations in 1978 right after my University studies in Russian and German. I started my UN career in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, and then joined the Reference and Terminology Section in what is now Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, as a Language Reference Assistant. I eventually became the supervisor of my 20-person team. In 2007 I accepted a temporary position at the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague as the Head of the Reference, Terminology and Documentation Processing Unit. There I worked mostly with staff speaking Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian (BCS). When I returned to Headquarters, I was appointed Chief of the Reference Unit within the Reference and Terminology Section. In 2014 I was tasked to manage the Text Processing Section, which comprises six language Units. In 2015 I also became the Chief of the Translation and Editorial Support Section (TESS).I will retire from this position in a few weeks’ time.



Title: Summary of the 2015 Cracow conference “Points of View on Translator’s Competence and Translation Quality”

Panelist in panel discussion

Title: Professional translator or smooth operator? EU bodies and institutions as translation market shapers


In the panel discussion I will focus on the changing skillsets and competencies of professional freelance and in-house linguists who translate and/or revise documents for the European Union. Besides, I hope to discuss the EU procurement policy regarding linguistic services and the crucial role of EU bodies and institutions in shaping the translation market. All these factors should be taken into account in translator training at the university level as my recent research confirms students increasingly demand professionalization.


Krzysztof Łoboda is a translator trainer and researcher at the Chair for Translation Studies and Intercultural Communication, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland. A translator by profession and passion, he has revised and/or translated over 15,000 pages of documents published in the Official Journal of the European Union, including legal acts such as the EU Regulations and Directives. He has also gained experience as a proofreader, localisation professional, project coordinator and consultant in translation technology. His research interests include machine translation (MT) and computer-aided translation (CAT) tools, specialised and audiovisual translation, software localisation and e-learning tools in translator training. He is currently involved in developing TRALICE consortium of translation professionals and researchers, a regional platform to facilitate cooperation between business and academia.



Title: Comparing institutional QM practices in several European countries


The contribution will compare/contrast translation regimes in governmental institutions in several EU countries (notably Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Slovakia) with respect to Quality Assurance. To this end, relevant governmental bodies were addressed with a common questionnaire, soliciting positions on Institutional Translation practice, with special attention paid to Quality Management.

The main lines of inquiry include the following:

* What translating/interpreting institutions (ministries/agencies) are there?

* Some basic statistics (languages supported, volumes of text and/or financial turn-around, the array of clients).

* To what extent are translation/interpreting assignments outsourced?

* What is the practice in using technology in the translation process (file management, CAT, TM, MT)?

* Are there centralised translation guidelines (manuals/style-guides) in place?

* What is the practice in terms of: revisions, training, the quality aspect in the procurement process?


In the Institute of Translation Studies Prague (ITS), Tomáš Svoboda is Head of German Department. He graduated from ITS in English and German translation and in 2004 he earned his Ph.D. in Translation Studies. From 2004 to 2007 Tomáš Svoboda worked in-house for the Directorate General for Translation, European Commission, Luxembourg, and subsequently as contractor for the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. In ITS, he lectures on Technical and Institutional Translation, Tools and Technologies, Translation History, etc. He is an active translator as well as auditor under the ISO 17100 standard. His publications cover Translation Quality, Institutional and Technical Translation, Translation Technology, Future of the Translation Profession.

Board Memberships:

* Czech Union of Translators and Interpreters

* FIT Europe Technology Group

* European Masters in Translation network



Title: Legal and political multilingualism in the European Union endangered with multiple crises.


The European Union is unique supranational organization integrating (now) 28 member states and 500 million people. It has 24 official languages. Its law is to be prepared, adopted, interpreted and applied in these languages due to its broad direct effect. Solely elites – government, academy, business – resort to working languages – English, French and German, the first one becoming dominant. Multilingualism determines level and limits of integration in the European Union. It curtails free movement of workers and services and most types of cooperation in administration. It undermines political integration: election of the European Parliament, operations of the European Commission. European nations debate European issues in their own national languages. The European Union now faces several serious crises which can easily become fatal: debt crisis which can result in disintegration of the Eurozone, refugee crisis which endangers the Schengen system of suppression of, crisis of rule of law and democracy, incapacity to react in annexation of Crimea by Russia and recent devastating conflicts in the Middle East and decision of Britons for leaving the European Union (Brexit). European Union law continues to be weak in routine practice also due to its separated reflection and consideration of variable quality in the member states. Populist and nativist movements put European integration into doubt. Nevertheless, it is also endangered with eagerness of significant part of European elites.


Filip Křepelka is lecturer (since 1997) and associate professor (since 2009) for European Union law at Masaryk University in Brno (Czechia). He teaches also healthcare/medical law. He focuses on liberalization of trade in services, state aid rules, legal multilingualism, federalism in the European Union, integration of healthcare and education and legal aspects of medicine and healthcare in comparative perspective. He was legal assistant to vice-chairman of the Constitutional Court (1999-2003) and adviser for European law of the Supreme Administrative Court (2004-2008).



Title: What do we mean by quality and why does it matter? Quality in institutional translation: from fidelity to fitness for purpose  


In any kind of service provision, to determine whether a product is good or whether a process works appropriately, you first need to define your quality requirements. What is it that you want to achieve? Over the last years, in the institutional translation environment of the European Commission, the mounting pressure for cost-efficiency has triggered a detailed scrutiny of all workflow processes and an increased use of outsourcing. In this context, with 24 language communities and many different stakeholders, we have tried to get to grips with the challenge to agree on a common definition of quality applied to translation. What characterises institutional translation? What does it mean that all language versions are equally authentic? What is the role of work organisation? With examples from our context, I will try to show how we move forward on the long and winding road from fidelity to fitness for purpose.


Ingemar Strandvik works as a Quality Manager at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation, where he formerly was a translator. He has a background as state-authorised translator and court interpreter in Sweden. He also taught translation at Stockholm University and worked for many years as a lexicographer at the publishing house Norstedts. Apart from studies in Philology and degrees in Translation and Interpretation, he has a Master’s degree in EU Law.



Title: Quality Assurance at the Council of the EU’s Translation Service – A Frontline Translator’s Perspective


The presentation will describe the peculiarities of translation at the General Secretariat of the EU Council. It will focus on quality requirements as well as on tools and procedures introduced to help translators produce translations of required quality. Furthermore, it will briefly present the translation quality monitoring systems that are used at the Council and a special procedure to ensure the best quality of the Translation Service`s hallmark product– the European Council conclusions.


Jan Hanzl graduated from the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Economics in Prague and from the Faculty of Arts at the Charles University in Prague. Between 2004 and 2007 he worked as a reviser at the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic in a department responsible for the translation of EU legislation adopted before the accession of the Czech Republic to the EU, and as a freelance translator for EU institutions. Since 2007 he has been working as a translator at the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU.



Title: Quality Aspects in University Teaching of Translators


In this presentation, we would like to discuss the question of QUALITY of translation in the university context. During the last 10 years, the DGT and EMT have contributed to the promotion of high quality in the translation programs. EMT wheel of competences which the universities should teach was adopted and we try to do our work to the best of our capacity. Meanwhile, on the one hand, it needs to be stated that the new competences are probably needed in the market, but on the other hand, the teachers’ criteria for assessing students’ work are often inconsistent. Recently, I have conducted a survey among the teachers who teach in different groups of our program. I asked them to present their criteria for both good and bad grades. Consequently, I investigated the individual criteria of select students at the beginning of the program, after each translation exercise, at the end of the term, as well as the final criteria at the end of the studies. What seems to be most relevant is the opinion concerning the assessment of acquisition of all the competences other than translation competences.  Although all the teachers work in the context of the same program, their opinions differ. It will be the point that I would like to present in the panel discussion.


Teresa Tomaszkiewicz is a professor at Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznań, Poland). She teaches in the Institute of Romance Languages, she is the director of the Laboratory of Translation Studies and former Dean of the Faculty of Modern Languages and Literature. She has organized the program of European Master’s in Translation (EMT) at her faculty and the program of European Master in Interpretation. She is also involved in doctoral studies. She is member of EMT Board. She is the author of 7 books and 120 articles concerning theory and practice of translation. 3 of her books concerne audiovisual translation or intersemiotic translation: Les opérations linguistiques qui sous-tendent le processus de sous-titrage des films” (Poznań, 1993), Texte et image dans les communications aux masses. (Poznań, 1999), Przekład audiowizualny (Audiovisual Translation) (Warszawa, 2006). Some other scientific interest: specialized translation, collaborative translation, reformulation in interpretation.

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