EU translator /EU-Übersetzerin in der FAZ

An article in the FAZ, Anderungsanträge per stiller Post (I would have expected per stille Post in the accusative – stille Post is Chinese whispers) by Philip Eppelsheim is about translation in the EU parliament. (It can be found in the online archives and bought for 1 euro – I got the paper)

Angela Wicharz-Lindner studied translation – Italian and French – at Heidelberg
joined the translation service in 1985
at first did (at least) one page an hour, eight pages a day, dictating, all kinds of topics
later did her own typing

The number of pages translated internally increased: it’s not clear whether each translator’s page output increased. Stille Post refers to the practice since the EU enlargements in 2004 and 2007 of translating everything first into English, French or German.

All documents are translated before the deadline, or at most one day later. Some deadlines are extended in advance. The external private translators produce more and are about one-third cheaper. The internal translators, however, review translations too and also do further training: Wicharz-Lindner has attended English classes and also learnt Spanish and Dutch. She refers to the time spent researching, originally in books or on the telephone, now on the Internet.

She agrees with the principle of language equality, but finds that in EU institutions there is an increasing inclination to use (sometimes bad) English, which started when Scandinavians joined the EU.

55 Prozent aller Ausgangstexte, die die Übersetzer erhalten, sind mittlerweile auf Englisch abgefasst. Abgeordnete riskierten schlechtes englisch, vermutet Wicharz-Lindner, um sich mit Weltgewandtheit zu profilieren. Die Ergebnisse lassen die Übersetzer dann oft verzweifeln. „Manchmal ist das ein reines Rätselraten“, sagt Wicharz-Lindner. Ihr wäre es lieber, ein Spanier würde sich seiner Muttersprache – dann aber korrekt – bedienen.

But now Frau Wicharz-Lindner has taken early retirement and is moving to Bonn.

Jetzt will sie mehr wirkliche Literatur übersetzen.

It appears from Google and amazon.de that she has already translated some ‚real literature’.

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