Towards a European framework of reference for translation

  • Hurtado Albir, Amparo (Principal Investigator)
  • Rodriguez Ines, Patricia (Principal Investigator 2)
  • Conde Ruano, José Tomás (Award Associated)
  • Del Pozo Triviño, Maria Isabel (Collaborator)
  • Rosa, Alexandra Assis (Collaborator)
  • Agost Canós, Rosa Maria (Collaborator)

Project Details


In translation, unlike in language teaching —which has the CEFR— there is no common European framework of reference, nor a research tradition which can be compared to it regarding the development of performance levels.
The EFFORT project aims to continue the work initiated in the NACT project coordinated by the PACTE Group of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona This project was a pilot study towards developing a common European framework of reference for use in translator training and professional translation, and was completed between 2015 and 2018. It was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (ref. number: FFI2013-42522-P). An initial proposal of descriptors for the first levels (translation levels A and B, non-specialist translator profile) were defined. However, since it was a first step in the establishment of competence levels in translation, the proposal of descriptors on a large scale was not validated, nor were the descriptors for translation level C defined, which is the level of the different areas of professional translator specialization.
EFFORT continues the work undertaken in the pilot NACT project. Like the NACT project, it focuses on written translation and it is intended to be of use to both the academic and professional arenas. Its goals are:
(1) To refine and validate, on a large scale, the A and B levels of translation developed in the NACT project (non-specialist translator) in order to confirm their suitability.
(2) To establish a preliminary proposal of descriptors for translation level C (specialized translator) in the different areas of specialization (legal, economic and financial, technical, scientific and literary translation).
A consortium of 10 translator training institutions has been created, drawing on their prior collaborative experience in the NACT project, to guarantee complementarity at three levels: linguistic, geographical and of specialization in an area of translator training.
In addition, 31 associated partners from the academic and professional translation arenas and linguistic organizations will participate:
- 28 European translator training institutions from different linguistic-geographical areas and areas of specialization in translation in order to ensure the greatest possible number of linguistic combinations and specializations.
- 2 European entities and networks related to the practice of translation: International Federation of Translators (FIT Europa); European Language Industry Association (ELIA).
- 1 linguistic organization: Instituto Cervantes.
Furthermore, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Translation (DGT), the European Society for Translation Studies (EST) and the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe have expressed their wish to collaborate in the project.
Two studies will be conducted through questionnaires: one to refine and validate the translation levels A and B, addressed to translator trainers of non-specialized translation, translators, non-specialized professional translation associations and accreditation bodies; one to establish a preliminary proposal of level descriptors corresponding to translation level C, addressed to translator trainers of specialized translation, specialized translators and professional translation associations, and employers.
To ensure the highest possible geographical and linguistic representativity, the widest possible range of European languages has been selected. The goal is to cover 32 languages and 31 countries (27 EU, 3 Schengen area —Iceland, Norway and Switzerland—) and UK.
The expected results on the completion of the EFFORT project are: a Common European framework of reference for translation levels A and B; a preliminary proposal of Common European framework of reference for translation level C (areas of translator specialization). Six Intellectual outputs related to these results will be produced.
This innovative description of competence levels in translation will provide a common framework in the European educational and professional arenas, which is not currently available.
In education, it will be useful for teachers and students, as it will facilitate comparison between different grading systems and will be a useful guide when elaborating translation programmes and for progression of difficulty and assessment. In the professional arena, it will be useful for translators and their employers as it will clearly define each translator’s performance level and will facilitate recruitment procedures for employers. Furthermore, establishing professional quality guidelines will be useful for translator accreditation processes and will benefit translation users by guaranteeing greater translation quality.
Besides, this common framework will serve as guidance to: establish certificates; recognise and validate academic diplomas; develop textbooks and teaching materials.
Short titleEFFORT
Effective start/end date1/09/2031/08/23

Collaborative partners

  • University of Granada (UGR)
  • Uniwersytet Wroclawski
  • Universitatea "Alexandru Ioan Cuza"
  • University of Westminster
  • Univerza V Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana)
  • Aarhus University
  • Itä-Suomen yliopisto
  • University of Utrecht (UU)
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) (lead)


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