17-year-old clinches gold for St Aloysius College in Europe contest for young translators

St Aloysius’ College win the Juvenes Translatores competition for the third time, after a three-year domination by the Junior College

Juvenes Translatores winner for Malta, Andrè Mifsud
Juvenes Translatores winner for Malta, Andrè Mifsud

Malta’s Andrè Mifsud from St Aloysius’ College was one of 28 winners in the European Commission’s ‘Juvenes Translatores’ – young translators –with a translation from English to Maltese.

The 28 winners, one from each Member State, will be invited to Brussels on the 10 April to receive their trophies and diplomas from Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger.

“It is amazing to see so many talented young people. Learning languages is a skill that is vital for your careers and personal development. Multilingualism defines us as Europeans,” Oettinger, who is responsible for the EU budget and human resources, said.

30 students from six Maltese sixth form colleges – equivalent to the number of Malta’s MEPs –  participated this year. The schools were Junior College, St Aloysius’, De La Salle, Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary, St. Martin’s and Gozo’s Sir. M.A. Refalo. Eight other Maltese participants were given a special mention for the quality of their translation.

The contest continues to garner strong support. This year, over 3300 students from across the EU translated texts on the 60th anniversary of the European Union. They could choose from any of the 552 possible combinations between any two of the EU’s 24 official languages. Students sat the competition in 144 language combinations, including Polish into Finnish, and from Czech into Greek. All winners chose to translate into their strongest language or mother tongue, as the staff translators in EU Institutions do.

The European Commission’s DG Translation has been organising the Juvenes Translatores (Latin for ‘young translators’) contest every year since 2007. Its aim is to promote language learning and give young people a taste of what it is like to be a translator. It is open to 17-year-old students and takes place at the same time in all selected schools across the EU.

The most successful Maltese school since 2007 is the Msida Junior College with five victories. De La Salle won the contest twice and the Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary once. This is St. Aloysius’ College third success.