In an Unusual Process, Spain Set to Hire Dozens of Translators and Interpreters

Spain Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares Bueno Translation Test

Based on an official resolution, Spain’s Foreign Ministry announced an open call (in Spanish) on October 14, 2022 to fill 49 translator and interpreter vacancies.

Although the announcement does not mention a specific deadline, interested parties have “20 business days” from October 15 to submit their applications. Holidays included, that would put the deadline around November 11, 2022.

The requirements for each individual post are outlined in the official bulletin (download). The 49 official Translators and Interpreters Corps vacancies include three posts carried over from 2020 that remain unfulfilled. There were 26 posts created in 2021 and 20 posts approved for 2022. Two of the 49 posts were reserved for people with disabilities.

Beyond basic language fluency requirements — which include a combination of three languages, or one language and two variants of another language — an undergraduate degree is required. It can be a bachelor of arts in any discipline or an undergraduate degree in engineering or architecture. A degree in translation or interpreting is not required, a fact that has caused some people to rant on social media.

“I am totally outraged to see that, to enter the state’s Translators Corps, any degree will do” — Celia Rico @celiaricoperez

The entire selection process is atypical. After the initial application and documentation submission, candidates must pass several qualification rounds, the first of which includes a multiple-choice test.

The way the test is scored is also unusual. It has 50 questions, but only the first 45 are scored. The other five are “reserved” in case any of the other 45 questions are “annulled.” Then, candidates do have to pass a translation or interpreting test.

The qualification process includes three more rounds of “exercises,” or practices for which there are no established dates. Instead, a selection committee will announce the dates of said exercises as candidates are eliminated in each qualificatory round.

Adding to the quirkiness of the process, the first candidates to be called for the next round will be those whose last name begins with the letter “U.”

The languages mentioned in the open call are Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Interestingly, no other official language of Spain, such as Catalan, is included in the open call. However, in some language combinations, candidates are allowed to have any official EU or UN language as their third language.

Image: Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares Bueno