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Other Language Functions

Language Coordinator

Language Coordinators are responsible for organizing and administering courses in relevant language and communications skills for United Nations staff, as well as staff from other United Nations organizations and permanent missions to the UN.

Acting as the leader of a cohesive and effective team, Language Coordinators counsel learners; supervise language teachers in both their daily activities and special projects; set programme objectives; prepare analyses on the evolution of the programmes and learners’ test results; oversee the design and methodologies of courses and workshops; and provide teacher training. Language Coordinators also prepare teaching and examination schedules; design, administer and supervise language examinations and tests, including the Language Proficiency Examination; and carries out other staff development activities when requested. They work with teachers and programme coordinators at offices away from Headquarters, and assist them if needed. Finally, Language Coordinators work closely with the other language coordinators on joint projects for the United Nations Language and Communications Programme.

Language Requirements: Perfect command of one relevant official language of the United Nations, with an advanced university degree in language teaching methodology, second language acquisition, linguistics, applied linguistics or a related field.  

For more information visit http://www.unlanguage.org.

Language teacher

Language Teachers at the United Nations offer courses in the six official UN languages:  Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. They aim to promote linguistic balance and multilingualism within the Secretariat. Language teachers are a crucial part of giving staff the opportunity to learn the official languages of the Organization.

Teachers are highly qualified and experienced in the field of language teaching. All teachers and coordinators must hold at least a master’s level degree in applied linguistics or a related field, and have a minimum of 5 years of teaching experience. Many of the language teaching unit’s staff members also publish and present at conferences. They use a wide variety of tools and techniques to provide language instruction to the diverse staff of the United Nations.

Teacher tasks include instruction design, setting up exercises, giving direction to the class, and evaluating student progress. The aim of language teachers is to encourage participation and active learning, which leads to an increased sense of language confidence for students.

Language Requirements:
A perfect command of one relevant official language of the United Nations, with an advanced university degree in language teaching methodology, second language acquisition, linguistics, applied linguistics or a related field.  

For more information visit http://www.unlanguage.org.

Editorial assistants

Editorial Assistants provide useful reference materials to editors in the six official languages. They are trained to identify and retrieve documents from the Official Document System of the United Nations, as well as use the UN Intranet, DTsearch, the  United Nations Multilingual Terminology Database, and the internet for reference searches.

Editorial Assistants are often called to provide official language versions of titles of organs, meetings and publications of the UN, the specialized agencies and other international organizations; they are also asked to identify precedents and prepare translations of new portions of texts.  They work in multilingual teams and have the advantage of being able to see all language versions of a text before the document is issued.

Editorial Assistants use various electronic, desktop publishing, and database tools for their trade, but must also rely on their language skills to produce high quality texts that are clear, consistent, and free of inaccuracies.

Language Requirements: Perfect command of one relevant official language of the United Nations; this is considered the candidate’s main language. They must also have excellent working knowledge of English.

For more information visit http://www.unlanguage.org.

Editorial and Desktop Publishing Assistant

Editorial and Desktop Publishing Assistants produce camera ready documents ready for reproduction. Using desktop publishing tools, they format documents from various sources, including audio and live dictation. Working closely with editors, translators and revisers, they ensure that the final version of a document incorporates the needed changes. They often work against the draft translation for its content, and use the original language manuscript for its format. Colleagues from various services rely on their attention to detail to spot that changes have been incorporated as marked in the draft copy, and alert responsible authorities if obvious errors or discrepancies are found in the translated text.

Editorial and Desktop Publishing Assistants use various electronic tools for their trade: desktop publishing systems, databases such as the United Nations Multilingual Terminology Database and the United Nations Editorial manual. They must also rely on their language skills to produce high quality text free of inaccuracies that are clear and coherent.

Language Requirements: Perfect command of one relevant official language of the United Nations; this is considered the candidate’s main language. They must also have excellent working knowledge of English.

For more information visit http://www.unlanguage.org.

Language Reference Assistant


Language Reference Assistants carry out research in three official languages of the United Nations and provide support to translators to ensure accuracy, uniformity and timeliness in the area of translation. Their tasks involve verifying all references, terminology and documentation necessary for accurate editing and translation of documents, publications and treaties.

Language reference assistants are often asked to analyse documents submitted for translation to determine whether all or part of the text has been taken from previously translated sources and identify these sources.

Colleagues rely on their ability to identify possible translation difficulties and inaccuracies, and also on their organizational ability to index and reference research materials in an electronic format.  This includes creating a reference “e-folder”, generating bitexts, and inserting comments for the guidance to the translators. They create hotlinks to relevant documents and terminology records and index the reference packages. Language Reference Assistants pre-treat documents for computer aided translation (CAT) processing as well as manage translation memories and make analyses of pre-translation texts.

The language reference assistants use various electronic tools for their trade, such as CAT, desktop publishing tools, databases such as the UN Official Document System, the United Nations Multilingual Terminology Database, and the internet.
They must also rely on their language skills to produce high quality text that are clear, coherent, and free of inaccuracies.

Language Requirements: Excellent working knowledge of English and of two other official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish).

For more information visit http://www.unlanguage.org.


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