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Deadline: 31 January 2020

Following up on the commemoration of International Translation Day, celebrated every year on 30 September, the Conference Services Section of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is pleased to announce the launch of the fifteenth edition of the St. Jerome Translation Contest.

The contest is open to the following participants:
  • Current and former United Nations staff members in all entities of the United Nations system, irrespective of occupational group, contractual status or duty station
  • Current and former interns in all entities of the United Nations system, irrespective of occupational group or duty station
  • Staff from all accredited permanent missions to the United Nations
  • Students enrolled at universities that have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Nations or at partner universities

The test piece for contestants translating into English is a French text entitled “Je m’enfile dix-huit valium avant de prendre l’avion (mais sinon, ça va)”. The test piece for contestants translating into Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish or German is an English text entitled “Tina Turner is having the time of her life”.

Participants should submit their entry as a file attached to an email together with the completed registration form. Participants who are on short-term contracts are asked to use a personal email address so that they can be contacted later. Students at MoU or partner universities should only submit entries through their University Focal Point; texts submitted directly by students cannot be considered.

Entries should be submitted to the following email address by 31 January 2020:

The entries will be evaluated by a panel of two to three judges for each language. Judges will pay particular attention to accuracy in conveying not only the meaning but also the nuances of the source text, and to style. As in previous years, each submission will be identified by a number and not by the name of the contestant to ensure anonymity in the selection process. The winners’ names will not be disclosed until the official announcement at the awards ceremony, to be held at ESCWA in May 2020. The exact date and venue will be announced in due course.

Contestants are requested to download the registration form below: registration form UN system/$FILE/15th_SJTC_ registration form UN system.docx

About the St. Jerome Translation Contest

Launched in 2005 by the English Translation Service at UN Headquarters, the contest is held each year to commemorate International Translation Day. In 2017, the contest was welcomed by the General Assembly in its resolution 71/288 on the role of professional translation in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development. It serves to celebrate multilingualism within the United Nations, and highlights the important role that translators and language professionals play in the work of the United Nations and in the world at large.