The European Central Bank (ECB) announced on March 20, 2017 who is going to get a piece of its EUR 2.4m translation pie. The framework agreement is divided into 19 lots for the translation of 19 source languages into English. Winning a place in the framework were 20 language service providers (LSPs) and 10 freelancers. Duration of the framework is three years.

Two lots remain unawarded as of press time: Lot 6 (Estonian into English) and Lot 13 (Maltese into English). According to the ECB notice, either “no tenders or requests to participate were received or all were rejected” for the two lots.

The ECB named eight criteria it intends to use, among others, to determine the importance of a document for translation: high-profile nature of text and/or author (e.g., Executive Board or Supervisory Board member’s speeches, articles, interviews), content relevance, potential market impact, sensitivity, technical complexity, translation turnaround time, revision, and further modification and/or publication.

Vendors for all lots were chosen based on which were “most economically advantageous” in terms of quality (given 60% weight) and price (40%). The ECB determined vendor eligibility from the results of a test around translation quality. The test taken by vendors was part of three sub-criteria under quality, the two others being experience and qualifications.

And the winners are…

The 20 LSPs awarded slots in the framework are Alumnus Translation, Better Business International (Scotland), CLS Communication, DG Translations, DNA Language, Eclipse Translations, Euronet, EXACT!, FORDuna Fordító, Hathaway Green, Xplanation’s Matrix Communications, P & V International Servicing, Donnelley Language Solutions (Luxembourg), sbv anderetaal, SeproTec, The Language Technology Centre, translate plus, UAB Metropolio Vertimai, Veritas Traducción y Comunicación, and Wessex Translations.

The most competitive lot, receiving 21 tenders, was Lot 5-German with total contract value of EUR 1.12m. The lot was topped (for both pools A and B) by freelancer Matthew Hart, a former ECB in-house translator according to his LinkedIn profile. Hart also ranked first in both pools for Lot 7-French.

Freelancer Hart shares the EUR 415,000 French lot with four LSPs and three other freelancers; and the German lot with six LSPs and three other freelancers.

Second most competitive lot, Spanish, received 14 tenders. Winning places in the EUR 370,000 lot aside from translate plus, were (by rank) Donnelley Language Solutions (Luxembourg), CLS, Euronet, Wessex Translations, Eclipse Translations, and Spain’s SeproTec and Veritas.

Freelancers either topped or were the only ones named for some of the smaller lots, such as Lot 1-Bulgarian (EUR 3,000), Lot 8-Croatian (EUR 15,000), and Lot 19-Swedish (EUR 3,000) topped by freelancer Carl Sholl.

The third biggest lot behind French and Spanish is Lot 9-Italian with a contract value of EUR 295,000. Only nine tenders were received for the lot, which the ECB did not categorize into pools. Ranked first under the Italian lot was Wessex, followed by Eclipse, and tiny Glasgow LSP DNA Language.

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