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Not lost in translation

A SPECIAL exhibition "Do you speak European" opened at the EU Pavilion, showing visitors how the 27 European countries work together in 23 languages. The exhibition will run for one week.

"The negotiating table is the most powerful symbol of European cooperation," said Marco Benedetti, director general of interpretation, European Commission. "The European member states between them speak different languages and they need interpreters and translators in order to work together."

One video introduces the work of interpreters in the EU and another short film talks about the EU-China interpreter training programs.

"Giving everyone at the table a voice in their own language is a fundamental requirement of the democratic legitimacy of the European Union," said Ian Andersen, external communications adviser of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Interpretation.

"There should be no obstacle to those attending meetings understanding what is being said and putting forward their view," he added.

Currently there are more than 4,000 interpreters - 1,100 full-time employees and about 3,000 freelancers - who make sure that when leaders, lawmakers and officials meet they can all understand each other, even if they speak different languages.

Since 1985, the European Commission has been training Chinese conference interpreters in cooperation with Chinese authorities and select universities in Beijing and Shanghai.

More than 400 interpreters have been through five months of advanced training in Brussels, Belgium.


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