18.6 2015
What was the aim of your visit in the Czech Republic and what is the message of your presentation at the Book Fair?

I was invited to this prestigious international book fair by the Publications Office, whose activity falls within the ambit of my portfolio. This was the first time that the Office participated at the International book fair. It sends a very important message to a forward looking union in communicating with its citizens and helping to lead the way in multilingualism.
My message at this book fair was manifold. Firstly, I encouraged publishers and citizens to visit the stand of the Publications Office, to promote further cooperation with the Office and to take advantage of the online services and titles it produces. The information is there, for free. It should just be taken and tailored for the national target audience.
My second message was that the free movement of books, meaning movement of culture, ideas across member states should be encouraged. As part of our commitment to safeguarding and promoting Europe's languages, the European Union's culture programme has made translation a priority. We gave funding to translate almost 30 works into Czech between 2003 and 2005. This year, funds are also available in the new Culture Programme for literary translation.

Is there any EU program to promote the production of literature and dictionaries in geographically little used languages?

The Lifelong learning program finances projects concerning languages, including minority or lesser used languages. Financing such dictionaries depends on the projects presented.

The Czech government considers that all the necessary steps have been taken to ensure that there are enough interpreters and translators of the Czech language for the coming Czech presidency. On the contrary Brussels is convinced that more should be done; otherwise there will be a lack of interpreters and translators. What is your opinion? What could be done?

I had several very good meetings with Czech authorities. They proved to be aware and very open and ready to make every effort to have a successful Czech presidency during the first semester of 2009. There is a need for more interpreters. There is a need mostly for staff interpreters, which are available for DG Interpretation at any time, for any meetings.
The Commission is helping Charles University with subsidies, bursaries and teaching assistance. The national authorities also need to contribute to this process of raising awareness, of getting the best candidates, supporting with the logistics, etc. I am sure the government will do its best.
With regard to translators, one needs a deeper specialization in law, economy, medicine, science, etc. These are fields the translators work with every day. The Commission is working to train them. Also, the government promised to try to find ways of sending seconded national experts, familiar with the Czech terminology used in different sectors, such as agriculture.

Many Czech representatives say that they do not need interpretation, as they can speak English at the meetings. What do you think about that?

I can also speak English. But if you ask me to say the name of a fish from the Black Sea in a language other than my mother tongue, then I say I need an interpreter. The vast majority of those who speak Swedish, Spanish, French or Greek at meetings can speak English. But they use their mother tongue. Because then they don't have to truncate their ideas and squeeze them into their limited vocabulary in a foreign language. We do not have to use the limited possibilities offered by "Globish" (how the International Herald Tribune called the international English), when we have a huge area of choices offered by our mother tongues. And, having a good interpreter, the message comes across much richer than one would be able to convey in a foreign language.
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European Commission International Federation of Translators Asociace konferenčních tlumočníků v ČR Komora soudních tlumočníků ČR Česká komora tlumočníků znakového jazyka Obec překladatelů Svaz českých knihkupců a nakladatelů Filozofická fakulta Univerzity Karlovy v Praze Filozofická fakulta UMB v Banskej Bystrici Svět knihy Opus arabicum Slovenská spoločnosť prekladateľov odbornej literatúry Pražský Literární Dům iLiteratura STAR Group Paraple Centrum


JTP je nezávislá, dobrovolná, profesní organizace profesionálních tlumočníků a překladatelů otevřená všem, kteří chtějí podpořit její činnost. JTP byla založena v roce 1990, aby hájila profesní, pracovně právní a sociální zájmy svých řádných členů, napomáhala jim k dalšímu vzdělávání, propagovala je na trhu práce a informovala je o pracovních příležitostech. JTP dbá na povznesení společenské prestiže profese i kvality překladu a tlumočení. JTP je členem Mezinárodní federace překladatelů FIT.



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