The Centre’s key achievements in 2020

The least we can all say about 2020 is that it was a year of adaptation, creativity and flexibility. And, despite the pandemic, the Translation Centre managed to operate as usual and deliver 635 269 translated pages to its clients. It also successfully implemented 98% of its far-reaching Transformation Plan 2019-2020.

Between its establishment in 1994 and the end of 2020, the Centre translated almost 13.4 million pages, both into and from the 24 official EU languages and several other non‑EU languages, covering over 800 language pairs in total.

In terms of the translation volume in 2020, almost 335 000 pages were for documents and over 300 000 pages were EU trade marks for the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) based in Alicante. In 2020, for the first time ever, the volume of documents exceeded the volume of trade marks.

In addition to the translation, modification, editing and revision of documents, the Centre provided various other language services. Some 1 448 days were spent on terminology work and 49 277 term list entries were translated. The need for video subtitling was reconfirmed, with 11 clients ordering a total of 1 601 minutes of this service. For all  language services, the Centre is committed to on-time delivery, and in 2020 it met its deadlines in 99.7% of cases, with only a 3% renegotiation rate.

2020 was the second and final year of implementation of the Centre’s Transformation Plan, covering four areas (translation technology, human resources, quality and client orientation, and institutional aspects). This aimed to introduce structural changes and put in place an optimised business model based on state-of-the-art translation technologies with added value services for clients. As part of this, a separate programme with the EUIPO covered a number of specific IT projects of strategic importance for both organisations. The article ‘Final sprint towards our transformation’ (December 2020) provides an overview of the implementation of this ambitious parallel programme.

On behalf of its interinstitutional partners, the Centre continued to manage the EU database IATE ('InterActive Terminology for Europe') which is the terminology reference not only for language professionals, but also for national experts, policy advisers, public administrations, academics and private sector companies. The technical work in 2020 focused on continuous user support and the implementation of numerous change requests. In total, nine IATE releases were completed in 2020.

The Centre signed a cooperation agreement with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) and in 2021 will start offering a specific on-site machine translation solution built in collaboration with the European Commission. This brought the Centre’s client portfolio up to 69 clients by the end of 2020.

Throughout 2020, the Centre provided exceptional language support in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. It proactively offered its services to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to facilitate smooth communication between the agency and its experts and the public at large in a wide range of languages. Likewise, the Centre supported the European Medicines Agency (EMA) by translating important information on Covid-19 into all EU languages. In addition, on behalf of the IATE partners, the Centre ran an external communication campaign to raise public awareness of the IATE collections of terms related to COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 swiftly created by terminologists from the various EU language services in 2020.