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Europe

EU Translation Service on the Brink of Collapse

The increase in EU official languages from 11 to 20 following EU enlargement is proving to be a headache for the translation services of the EU who are increasing their backlog of work by 3,000 pages a week.

The considerable delay in translation of EU documents means there is a risk of the system collapsing as translators find they are unable to cope with the amount of increased work.Commission Vice-President Neil Kinnock has reportedly proposed to his colleagues that a substantial part of the official documents will not be translated into all EU official languages in the future. Instead, these texts will be available in all the languages in the form of a summary of around 15 pages. Under this proposal, only a translated summary will be available in all the other EU languages while the majority of documents will be in their complete form in the EU's working languages, English or French. The first reduced texts are likely to arrive on European bureaucrats' desks in early June. (EUobserver.com)

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