Oct 25, 2015

European Commission Workshop - Contracts for translation services

What the Linguistic Sausage Producers don't want you to know:
Did you know that tenders for work with the European Commission are not just for the big Wortwurstläden but can be submitted by individual translators who are EU citizens - and that these individuals have equal standing before the Directorate General for Translation? The DGT does not differentiate and many of its best external contractors are individuals, either self-employed persons or dynamic teams of two or three professionals.

The DGT uses taxpayers’ money and must be transparent, with fair and equal treatment for each candidate. Reading their specifications may appear daunting at first, but taking a closer look is worthwhile! Questions may be submitted and are answered during the weeks when the call for tender is open; this can be done in three languages, almost in real time, with all questions and replies made public on the DGT web site.

Quality pays and they will pay for quality: decisions are based on a quality/price ratio of 70/30, in favor of quality. For each job done, a quality note with feedback is sent to facilitate ongoing improvement.

But to get this far, you must first submit a persuasive offer to the selection board.

On November 28, 2015 from noon to 4 pm, IAPTI's UK chapter is hosting a workshop in Manchester (UK) to inform you of what it takes to tender and win at Europe's highest public level for translation. Profit from this important business event at yet another iconic venue! Registration information is available here.

The beautiful Manchester Central Library, venue for the EC tender workshop!


The speaker: Monica Garcia-Soriano started her EU career as a lawyer linguist 24 years ago at the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. She later joined the Spanish Translation Unit at the European Commission in Brussels and for the last 8 years she has been in charge of procurement at the Commission's External Translation Unit.


  1. Very interesting! I'm sorely tempted to go even though there are no direct flights from Bremen airport... I visited that library quite a few times during my studies at UMIST.
    Wortwurstläden? Did you invent that term?

    1. Yes, this sounds like an excellent thing for individuals, teams or smaller groups to look into. I have only seen these things up close from a large agency perspective (EP contracting) with volumes and format issues that would have overwhelmed small operations, but since then I have heard of individuals doing what is discussed in this talk, and it seems to work well.


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