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English at the UN

St. Jerome Translation Contest

The United Nations St. Jerome Translation Contest is an annual competition that gives current and former United Nations staff in all offices and departments a chance to try their hand at the fascinating art of translation. The Contest, which was first launched by the English Translation Service in 2005, is named after the patron saint of translators, interpreters, editors and other language professionals.

The first four editions of the Contest (2005-2008) were limited to the translation of a text from Spanish or French into English. In 2009 the Contest was expanded to include translations into all the official languages and German.

The 2010 edition of the Contest is now in the judging phase. The test pieces were a Spanish text entitled "Haciéndose lenguas" for translation into English and an English text entitled "The starry universe" for translation into the other languages.

Submissions were received from staff in a wide variety of departments and duty stations.
For the English-language component of the Contest (i.e., the translation of the Spanish text into English), 19 entries were received. They were submitted by staff at seven different duty stations: three of the four headquarters duty stations, three regional commissions and one international tribunal.

Each submission, identified only by a code number, is reviewed by a panel of two judges; the contestants' names are not revealed until the judging is complete.

The date of the award ceremony has not yet been determined, but it is likely to be in April or May.

The 2011 edition of the St. Jerome Translation Contest will be launched this Fall.