Cost of translating EU documents


Sir – I feel I must respond to “Irish translation of European Parliament documents costing ¤43 per page”, August 30th).

As a budget coordinator on the EU budgets committee, I am fully informed of any transfers of money or budgeting issues and participate fully in the decisions taken.

I can assure you that the reported figure of €43 per page is not the cost of translating documents into Irish.

That is the average cost across five outside companies for external translations. However, the European Parliament employs in-house translators and no outside agency has been needed as of yet.

Furthermore, the transfer you refer to is in fact a contingency measure and has not yet, and indeed may not at all, be spent.

Nor is Irish the reason for any possible overspend. It is across all 24 languages and is mainly due to an increased output of documents from the European Parliament due to a string of extraordinary events such as Brexit, the rise of extremism and controversial trade agreements such as CETA and TTIP.

In fact a language by language breakdown of costs is not even available from the European Parliament, so I find it strange that The Irish Times felt justified in pinning it on Irish. What we do know is that Irish is not even the most expensive of the EU’s 24 official languages to translate, let alone the reason for a budget overspend.

The fact that our native language is recognised as an official language by the EU, and is soon to be a full working language, is something we should celebrate. – Yours, etc,


Sinn Féin,

44 Parnell Square,

Dublin 1