UN Careers - jobs in this network (Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.)

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peninsular  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:00
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Unlucky me Dec 7, 2014

I am qualified as an interpreter in Russian, Spanish, French and Arabic languages. I knew all UN languages except Chinese. I sat for the English Translators Examination in 1993. I had prepared well and was confident in getting through. My main language was Russian, but was quite conversant with Spanish, and French as well. The French text was quite easy. But I was not prepared for the bomb shell in the Russian paper. The paper setter had just taken a page out of a Russian journal and the language of the text was so complex, it was difficult to render the text into English to my satisfaction. I had prepared from the sample exam papers obtained from UN Headquarters which I could easily translate. But the degree of difficulty of this text was at least four levels higher. Any way I completed the other papers translating from French as well as Spanish.
When I did not get a call for the interview, I realised that the Russian part had done me in.
Looking back, I feel sad but have no regrets because I have used my knowledge of Russian in commercial ventures which have given me total satisfaction
Nevertheless it would have been something, working for the UN


The Misha
Local time: 01:30
Russian to English
+ ...
Lucky you Dec 7, 2014

The UN is a hornet's nest of inefficiency, intrigue and backstabbing. Consider yourself lucky you have never had to experience it firsthand.

[Edited at 2014-12-07 16:37 GMT]


Darmali  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:30
English to Indonesian
+ ...
UN Translation careers Dec 8, 2014

Thanks for the article, which gave insight on translation work at an international, global level organization. Could you perhaps provide information on the translator recruitment process and contacts or links. I am really interested in working for them. My native language is Indonesian, but I have accreditations for English > Indonesian and Indonesian > English. Thanks in advance.


Chien Nguyen  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:30
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
as a consultant in local office Dec 9, 2014

I am used to work as translator for UNICEF in VIETNAM, but here the position of translator is not a staff member, you can only enter with individual consultant contract, meaning that you are derived all the benefits that a staff member is deemed to entitle. That is very unequal as compared to the benefits that other people in the same office entitled to as a staff member.
That's why, I quite as full time, but consultant contract basis with UNICEF to work for other company and continued to work as freelancer for UNICEF.
Until now, I know that that are still employing the full-time translator on consultancy contract basis.

Lucky for you that you work their full time and as a staff member of UN.


Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:30
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Bureaucracy Dec 14, 2014

Be prepared for a LOT of bureaucracy,
I applied for a job at the UN once and they asked for over ten different documents scanned AND sent by post. With the tight deadline I had to send it express mail and this alone cost me 60 Brazilian Reais (about 25 USD). I never heard from them again.
Yesterday I attended a translators' event and one of the speakers touched on the subject saying that three languages are normally required and that Portuguese is given little value. Maybe this is why I never got a reply (I offer only English and Portuguese, not French, for example).


LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:30
Russian to English
+ ...
You need three languages for the UN Dec 16, 2014

I think all of them have to be the official languages of the UN. Two on the top level, one on a slightly lower level--just fluent.

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