Translation at the UN
The United Nations is one of the world's largest employers of language professionals. Several hundred language staff work in UN offices in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi, or at the United Nations regional commissions in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut, Geneva and Santiago.
Translators are one type of language professionals employed at the UN.
UN language specialists include:
- Copy preparers/proofreaders/production editors;
- Reference assistants and;
- Verbatim reporters.
United Nations translators handle all kinds of documents, from statements by Member States to reports prepared by expert bodies. The documents they translate cover every topic on the United Nations agenda, including human rights, peace and security, and development. New issues arise every day.
UN documents are issued simultaneously in the six official languages of the Organization (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). Some core documents are also translated into German. This multilingual documentation is made possible by United Nations translators, whose job is to render clearly and accurately the content of original texts into their main language.
Interested in working as a language specialist at the United Nations? Please check UN Careers on Competitive examinations for language professionals