[lg policy] On the Radar: ATA Survey, Basques’ EUR 5.8m Translation Tab, EU Says No to Dutch Only

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Jul 19 11:09:14 EDT 2016

 On the Radar: ATA Survey, Basques’ EUR 5.8m Translation Tab, EU Says No to
Dutch Only
by Marion Marking <https://slator.com/author/marion-marking/> on July 18,

[image: On the Radar: ATA Survey, Basques’ EUR 5.8m Translation Tab, EU
Says No to Dutch Only]

In the world of translation and interpretation, company owners reported the
highest gross income at USD 55,630, slightly ahead of full-time private
sector employees at USD 55,547 and full-time independent contractors at USD
52,323, the latest survey
released by the American Translators Association (ATA) showed.

The ATA culled responses from translation and interpretation professionals
worldwide: two-thirds living in the US, 15% in Europe, 6% in South America,
4% in Canada, and 6% in other locations.

Part-time independent contractors (USD 17,746) and educators (USD 17,344)
reported the lowest incomes. Some 50% of respondents reported a higher
gross income from translation and interpreting in 2014 compared to 2013,
almost a third reported no change, while 23% reported a decrease.

Surveyed translators said three-quarters of their income came from
translating, while 15% came from editing or proofreading. Only 14%,
however, said they offer editing or proofreading services, and a mere 1% of
translators said they offer post-editing machine translation. They reported
a daily target output of 2,855 words and averaged 380,000 translated words
in 2014.

Meanwhile, interpreters reported most of their income as coming from the
judiciary (27%), medicine/life sciences (22%), business (12%), and
conference (12%). Services they most commonly offered were consecutive
(96%), simultaneous (74%), sight (44%), and phone (42%).
Basque Government Runs Up EUR 5.8m Translation Tab

Between 2013 and 2015, the government of the Basque Autonomous Community of
Spain spent EUR 5.8m (USD 6.4m) to translate official documents into
Basque. The Basque Government’s translation spend was in keeping with
regulations on bilingualism, which state that text produced by the
Executive government must be translated into the two, co-official languages
of the region, Basque and Castilian (Spanish).

The Basque translation budget for 2016 is EUR 1.3m (USD 1.4m), which
includes the translation of state laws and legal documents. Most official
documents are in Castilian.

Despite the policy on bilingualism, only one in five government employees
use Basque in drafting official documents, a Language Policy report dated
May 2016 showed.

Documents submitted by the government further revealed the Basque Institute
of Public Administration (MVI in Basque) to have run up the largest tab,
which includes translation from other government departments, but for which
these departments must pay. The MVI has been known to outsource translation
to private companies or freelancers when its own translators cannot keep up
with demand.
Invoicing: Going Dutch-Only Won’t Do With EU

On June 21, 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled a
Flemish Decree contrary to EU law as it restricted the free movement of
goods within the union. The decree in question requires invoices for
cross-border transactions be only in Dutch if the issuer’s business is
located in a Dutch-speaking region.

As two lawyers with law firm Loyens & Loeff pointed out
a business based in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium selling goods to an
Italian customer will probably decide to issue an invoice in English or
Italian. But if the Italian customer defaults on payment and the business
decides to take the customer to court, the customer can simply claim the
invoice null because it violates the Flemish Decree.

Something similar happened in a case brought before a Belgian court, which
asked the CJEU to weigh in on the matter, triggering the ruling. The CJEU
ruled that encouraging the official language of the linguistic region was
not enough to justify the restriction of the free movement of goods within
the EU.

The CJEU recommended, therefore, that laws of a Member State not only
require the use the official state language in invoices for cross-border
transactions but also, additionally, allow a version of those invoices to
be in a language the parties involved in the transaction understand. In
other words, if you are based in a Flemish region, draw up your invoices in
English, Italian, French, or whatever language your customer understands,
in addition to Dutch.


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