First international meeting dedicated to translators in the field of inland navigation



Strasbourg, 9 February 2018  The Palais du Rhin was the venue on 8 and 9 February 2018 for the first International workshop dedicated to translators in the field of inland navigation, under the auspices of the European Committee for drawing up Standards in the field of Inland Navigation (CESNI). This event was the first ever opportunity to bring together the translation services of the international river commissions (Danube Commission, Moselle Commission, Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine, International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine, International Commissions for the Protection of the Moselle and Sarre), the European Commission (Directorate-General for Translation), international organisations (United Nations Office at Geneva, Council of Europe), as well as freelance translators who regularly work on inland navigation-related subjects. The workshop was moderated and conducted to perfection by Jean-Marie Gardette, Head of the French translation unit at the Court of Justice of the European Union. The meeting concluded with a visit to Arte (a Franco-German cultural television channel) and a presentation on their translation and interpretation service.

The importance of translation in the field of navigation was put into context, with particular reference to the experience of CESNI, which works in four languages (Dutch, English, French and German). The standards adopted by the Committee are intended to apply in the Member States of the CCNR and the Member States of the European Union, but also in third countries should they decide to refer to them within their own legal frameworks. The existence of high-quality translations of these technical texts is an essential factor in their successful promulgation in Europe and beyond.

Furthermore, the workshop was an opportunity to highlight the great diversity of inland navigation-related subjects, which is a major challenge for translators working for the river commissions and international organisations. Translators are required to master an extremely varied range of terminology covering diplomatic documents, nautical technology, professional qualifications, police regulations, lists of dangerous substances, police regulations, river law, infrastructure, environment, radiotelephony, economics and judicial rulings.

The exchanges between participants were enhanced by numerous presentations both on working methods and on the various tools used by the translators. Ideas for joint projects also materialised, such as sharing resources and translation tools, whether in the form of a shared platform, or by setting up a common inland navigation regulations database.

Participants have already expressed their wish for a further meeting to firm up on joint projects such as these, thereby confirming the resounding success of this initial event.


The following organisations took part in this first international meeting dedicated to translators in the field of inland navigation:


International river commissions


International organisations