The European Commission Has Released A Translators Competition | EU Training

The European Commission Has Released A Translators Competition

The European Commission has just released an Official Notice of Competition calling forward applications from Danish, German, Finnish and Swedish translators:

The European Commission is looking for Danish, German, Finnish and Swedish translators to work at the respective language departments of the European Commission’s Directorate-General of Translation (DGT) in Brussels or Luxembourg, under a temporary contract.

Below we explore the specifics of this competition and the selection process that you will need to undertake.

Want to join the conversation and talk to other candidates about this competition? 
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Competition Snapshot  I  Eligibility Criteria  I  Selection Process  I  How Can You Apply?


Competition Snapshot

  • Open for Applications: 7 January, 2021
  • Application Deadline: 9 February, 2021 (12-noon Brussels Time)
  • Grades: AD5
  • The European Commission is looking for Temporary Staff (initial duration of the contract is four years).
  • The posts will be based at the European Commission DGT premises in Brussels or Luxembourg.

Under this competition, the following reserve lists have been advertised, from which the European Commission may recruit new temporary members:

Language Candidates Sought
Danish Language Translators 25
German Language Translators 35
Finnish Language Translators 25
Swedish Language Translators 25

As a translator, you will be required to translate documents from English into the language of your chosen selection procedure. These texts are often complex and deal with political, legal, economic, financial, scientific or technical subjects encompassing all of the EU's areas of activity.

You may also be required to revise translations (both translations by in-house colleagues and by external contractors) and do terminology research.

The work of a translator entails the use of digital skills and of specific IT and related tools.


Eligibility Criteria

Candidates will need to satisfy the following:

  • Have EU citizenship
  • Fulfilled any military service requirements
  • Meet the character requirements for the duties concerned
  • Have knowledge of at least TWO official EU languages:
    • Language 1: Have a perfect command (minimum C2 level) of one of the languages of the competition (Danish, German, Finnish OR Swedish) - will be defined as your Language 1.
    • Language 2: Have a thorough knowledge (minimum C1 level) of English - will be defined as your Language 2.
    • Please note that the application's Talent Screener component must be filled out in Language 2.

Qualifications & Work Experience

  1. Have a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least 3 years, attested by a diploma. 
  2. ONLY diplomas that have been awarded in EU Member States or that are the subject of equivalence certificates issued by the authorities of one of these Member States shall be taken into consideration.
  3. No professional experience is necessary.


Selection Process

You may complete the application in your chosen Language 1 (Danish, German, Finnish, Swedish) or Language 2 (English)​.


This phase of the competition is made up of a series of computer-based multiple-choice question tests.





Pass mark

Language Comprehension

Language 2

12 questions

25 min


Main Language Skills

Language 1

25 questions

25 min


  • You must reach the minimum pass mark in ALL tests in order to qualify for the next stage of the competition.
  • The results of the computer-based tests are eliminatory and will not be taken into account in your final overall competition score.


EPSO will check the data provided by each candidate via their online application against the eligibility requirements of this competition.  

Eligibility will be checked in descending order of the overall marks obtained in the computer-based tests until the number of eligible candidates for each language reaches the number of candidates allowed to progress to the Translation and Revision Tests stage. So it is important to do well in the computer-based tests.

Approximately 4 times, but no more than 5 times, the number of successful candidates sought for each language will move on to the next stage of the selection process. 


Those who meet the eligibility requirements according to the data in their online application and scored one of the highest total marks in the computer-based tests will be invited to take part in the Translation & Revision Tests. 

Revision Test: Revision of a text translated into Language 1 (Danish/Finnish/German/Swedish) from Language 2 (English) with the use of the candidate’s own non-electronic (paper format) dictionaries. 

  • Duration 30 minutes.
  • Pass mark of 35/70.

Translation Test: Translation into Language 1 (Danish/Finnish/German/Swedish) from Language 2 (English) with the use of the candidate’s own non-electronic (paper format) dictionaries.

  •  Duration 90 minutes.
  • Pass mark: 35/70

The Translation Test will only be marked if you reach the pass mark in the Revision Test .

You must score one of the highest combined overall marks in these two tests to move on to the next stage of the competition. 


A maximum of 2 times the number of successful candidates sought per language will be invited to this phase.

The Interview will need to be completed in both your chosen Language 1 (Danish/Finnish/German/Swedish) and Language 2.

The Interview will assess motivation and the following general competencies:

  • Analysis and Problem Solving
  • Delivering Quality and Results
  • Learning and Development
  • Oral Communication Skills

The Interview will be marked out of 60, with a pass mark of 30.

The marks obtained in the Interview will be added to those obtained in the Translation and Revision Tests in order to give candidates their final overall mark.


After checking candidates’ supporting documents, the selection board will draw up a List of Aptitude for each language, of eligible candidates who obtained the highest overall score, until the number of successful candidates sought is reached.

These lists will remain valid for 2 years.


How Can You Apply?

Make sure to ALWAYS check the official Notice of Competition and understand the rules relating to the exams. For full details on this selection procedure read the official Notice of Competition and the General Rules Governing Open Competitions to ensure you have the required qualifications and satisfy the eligibility criteria before applying. 

To start the application process, click below for the different languages:


Are You New to EPSO Competitions? 

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Useful reading:

The Motivation Challenge - What To Write In Your EPSO Application?

13 Best EPSO Preparation Resources - Free and Paid

What EU Job Applicants Should Always Keep in Mind

6 Reasons Why EU Exam Candidates Fail