Translators—Key to European Integration

Improving the position of translators and interpreters and resolving the problems in the translation industry, but also creating opportunities for their continuing professional development are key to the European integration processes of the Republic of Macedonia is one of the conclusions one could draw from the presentation of  MATA founding member and professor at the Translation and Interpreting Department of the Faculty of Philology in Skopje, Mirjana Aleksoska-Čkatroska, PhD, at The European Union in the 21st Century: Challenges and Perspectives conference, organised by the Macedonian Institute of European Studies and the Iustinianus I Faculty of Law from Skopje.

At the conference, which took place on 18th May 2013, she opened the panel discussion entitled The Future of the EU Enlargement and the Europeanisation of the Balkans with her paper on ‘Translators and Interpreters: The Indispensable Link for the EU Integration of the Republic of Macedonia’.

According to Prof. Aleksoska-Čkatroska, positive changes in the profession are particularly important if one considers the need for some 250 translators and interpreters that are to be employed by European institutions, as well as for numerous independent contractors who by Accession Day are to translate the complete acquis communautaire—consisting of approximately 130,000 pages of text.

As she was the sole linguist among the presenters, most of whom stemmed from the legal and economic professions, her presentation introduced fresh and novel ideas in the discussion, while raising the issues directly concerning translators and interpreters in the country, as well as pointing to the benefit of their resolution to the overall progress of Macedonia, particularly the progress in the European integration processes.

The audience response was very positive. Some attendees found most information concerning the translation process, introducing and adhering to the EN15038 European Standard for Translation Services, and the disregard for the role of translators in Macedonia’s European integration quite new. But even some of the translators in the audience were surprised by the challenges awaiting their profession in the future.

MATA shall strive to encourage its members to keep advocating for the importance of the translation and interpreting profession to the socio-political and economic development of the country beyond the philological context and make Dr Mirjana Aleksoska-Čkatroska’s presentation the first in a series of appearances of this kind. After the anthology of texts from the conference is published, Prof. Aleksoska-Čkatroska’s paper shall be made available to a wider readership.