National School of Public Administration and Local Government
Meeting at the EKDDA
PEM submitted to Ms Ifigeneia Kamtsidou, Chairperson of the National School of Public Administration and Local Government (EKDDA), and Ms Xanthippi (Titika) Dimitroulia, Director of the National School of Public Administration, its main findings and proposals relating to EKDDA’s role in upgrading translation and interpreting services in the public sector.
Dr Henry Liu, 13th President of the International Federation of Translators (FIT), led PEM’s team. Fotis Fotopoulos, PEM’s President, Angelos Kaklamanis, PEM’s Vice President, and our colleagues John O’Shea and Tatiana Michala also participated in the team.
Our findings and proposals
Professional translators and interpreters, and public administration and local government officers work closely together on a daily basis. This is why we need mutual understanding, respect and camaraderie.
The contemporary operational framework of the Greek Public Administration will become multi-lingual and multi-cultural.
Public Administration officers will be required to be fluent in foreign languages. However, language competence is not equivalent to translation competence.
For these reasons:
- Public Administration must develop a translation mentality. This is the only way to prevent mistakes, such as the lapse of the write-off period for certain offences in the Siemens cases.
- Public Administration officers and structures should efficiently employ the colleagues falling under the university-educated translator and interpreter categories, and choose suitable external suppliers.
- University-educated translators and interpreters working as public servants should only undertake relevant duties, and should develop professionally and be recognised based on their qualifications and experience in the terminology applicable to the Ministry they work for.
- The PEM membership seal should be recognised as equivalent to the lawyers’ one.