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     Why the Translation Centre was established
 
   The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between Armenia and the European Communities and its fifteen Member States (signed in 1996 and entered into force in 1999) covers virtually all areas of relations except defence and provides a solid framework for the EU and Armenia to establish closer economic, political and cultural links. In 2006 the National Programme for PCA implementation was approved by a Protocol Decree of the Government of Armenia.

        Meanwhile, in 2004 Armenia was included in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), and the ENP Action Plan for Armenia was approved in 2006, offering new opportunities for Armenia to achieve closer integration with the EU.

        Both the PCA implementation National Programme and the ENP Action Plan envisage large-scale reforms on the basis of approximation of the Armenian legislation with that of the EU. In this respect, it is necessary to ensure the availability of high-quality translation of the EU legislation - subject to approximation - into Armenian and the official translation of the Armenian legislation - already approximated - into English. According to preliminary estimates, the EU legislation subject to translation totals to at least 100 000 pages, whereas the number of Armenian legal acts exceeds 30 000. To this end, the National Programme envisaged establishment of a translation centre to undertake the aforementioned translation activities and ensure the availability of official and quality translations.

        On the other hand, the availability of Armenian legislation in a language that is used world-wide is essential in terms of developing and strengthening economic relations, fostering integration into the global market, and ensuring foreign investors’ access to the Armenian legislation.

        On 22 February 2008, recognising the need for establishing a specialised institution to deal with translation of legislation, the Government of the Republic of Armenia adopted the Decree No. 163-N on establishing “Translation Centre of the Ministry of Justice of Republic of Armenia” state non-commercial organisation.
          Objects and scope of activities of the Translation Centre
 
        According to the Statute approved by the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No. 163-N of 22 February 2008, the objects and scope of activities of the Translation Centre shall be:
  1. translating the legal acts of the Republic of Armenia into English;
  2. translating the legal acts of the European Union into Armenian;
  3. developing terminological glossaries, as well as creating, updating, developing and maintaining terminological databases;
  4. ensuring the accessibility of translations through its website;
  5. undertaking linguistic, including terminological, scientific-theoretical and applied research and peer review;
  6. undertaking publication activity and sales of output;
  7. preparing info-analytical materials.
          Launch of activities
 
        With a view to ensuring successful launch of activities and high quality of output, in February-March 2008 the professional staff of the Translation Centre participated in training courses organised by the Armenian-European Policy and Legal Advice Centre (AEPLAC). The core objective of the trainings was to provide the staff members of the Translation Centre with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce high-quality translations and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of activities.

        The Centre commenced its activities on 4 April 2008.

        The Armenian-European Policy and Legal Advice Centre (AEPLAC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have provided technical assistance in the establishment of the Translation Centre.
          Quality assurance mechanisms
 
        The key policy of the Translation Centre is to ensure high-quality translations which clearly and accurately reproduce the content of the originals, their style and objectives, follow the linguistic norms, and that the terms and concepts in these translations are used in a consistent manner.

        Studying the experience of other countries, especially the best practice of translation centres established in new Member States of the EU and other countries that have EU accession perspectives, the Government of Armenia acquired licenses for ‘Trados’ – a CAT tool which is widely used in all such translation centres. Currently, the staff members of the Translation Centre use this software which enables ensuring consistent use of terms, enhancing the quality of translations and, at the same time, raising the effectiveness and efficiency of translation works. Trados is a ‘translation memory’ and a ‘database of terms’ where all translations and terms are incorporated to be later on used during translation of similar texts.

        The Translation Centre activities are organised on the basis of the AST EN:15038 standard – “Translation Services. Service Requirements”. The process of translation comprises different separate phases such as technical processing of texts, pre-translation processing, translation, checking, revising by linguists, lawyers, relevant experts, harmonisation of terms and concepts, and final proofreading.
   
 
   
  Tel: (37410) 380542, 380543   Fax: (37410) 380542   E-mail: info@translation-centre.am