Translation prize for Confey student

LANGUAGE skills may not be national assets in Ireland but there are many exceptions to the rule.

LANGUAGE skills may not be national assets in Ireland but there are many exceptions to the rule.

A Kildare student has won won a European Commission translation competition. Fintan McGrath, a 6th year student at Confey College in Leixlip, has won the Irish section of the European Commission’s annual ‘Juvenes Translatores’ Young Translators Contest.

This allows secondary school students from across Europe to test their translation skills in any of the 23 official EU languages. Each entrant has two hours to translate aone-page text, with Fintan choosing to translate from Irish into English.

Irish has been an official language of the EU since January 2007. The Commission said around 3,000 17-year-old secondary school students participated in the competition on 23 November last and the winners will attend an an award ceremony in Brussels on 7 April. The completed translations were marked by staff translators from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation. Fintan’s prize include a three-day trip to Brussels for himself and an accompanying adult.

The award ceremony will take place on 7 April where the winners will receive their prizes and certificates from Rytis Martikonis, the new head of the Commission’s Translation Directorate-General. They will also have the opportunity to meet EU translators at work in the Commission. Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said record numbers involved highlights a strong commitment to language learning. Confey College Principal, Niall Hare, was delighted with the success of Fintan Mc Grath. He said Confey College was the only school in Ireland to receive an award.

He said their teacher, Ms Ursula Ni Dhufaigh, has been very proactive in ensuring that the Irish language is taught in a very creative way making the most of all modern resources in the classroom. Such a teaching approach has lead our students to have a great ‘gra’ for the Irish language and also to see it as part of modern Irish culture, said Mr. Hare.