Startseite > Renée Idzerda, linguistic assistant for the Dutch Translation Unit

Renée Idzerda, linguistic assistant for the Dutch Translation Unit

After gaining 15 years of experience in the private sector (mainly in internal and external communication), I joined the European Commission in 2013 and took up my current position at Directorate-General for Translation (DGT).

As a translation assistant at the European Commission, you are always in the middle of the news. Whereas in other Directorate-Generals the focus is on one policy area, at DGT all possible themes are covered. And we receive all types of text formats, such as legislative proposals, decisions, speeches, press releases, letters, etc. We are therefore always involved in current EU policy.

As an assistant you are at the service of others: translators, the head of unit, other assistants, etc. There is always someone who needs your help. Moreover, translators work to strict deadlines. Being able to quickly assess what is important, i.e. recognising priorities, is therefore a must. Especially as these priorities can change. In order to deal with unexpected twists in the planning, you need to have talent for organising. Good teamwork and communication with colleagues are also crucial.

As a translation assistant, you have many diverse responsibilities. It is therefore a plus if you like multi-tasking. Moreover, you work very independently: each assistant handles (every aspect of) the translation requests within his or her portfolio. The work is therefore varied. Translators count on you to spontaneously jump in where you can, so that they can focus on their work.

When I started out as a translation assistant, I had a lot to deal with. Fortunately, DGT provides all the necessary training. Moreover, during your induction period you are coached by experienced colleagues, either from your own or from another language department. Continuous training is encouraged. And this is very welcome, because the translation world quickly evolves, also from a technological point of view. Only if you master new applications quickly you can offer the best possible support.

Dutch and Flemish people work together in our department. The working atmosphere is surprisingly informal, more than you might expect from an EU institution. There is a lot of collegiality. This not only ensures that we deliver high-quality translations as a team, but also that it is a pleasure to work here, even in periods of heavy work pressure.

The official language in our department is Dutch, our mother tongue. That is quite special in such an international environment. It makes working together comfortable. We also use other languages - mainly English and French - on a daily basis in our contacts with colleagues from other departments.

As an assistant, you work with people at various levels within the organisation. Strong language and communication skills are therefore essential!

Working as a translation assistant at the European Commission means, above all, helping to steer the work of translators, the head of unit and your fellow assistants in the right direction. In this way, you contribute to the communication with EU citizens.

Linguistic assistant for the Dutch Translation Unit at European Commission (Directorate-General for Translation)