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Job Summary

In accordance with professional standards, translates a variety of often complex, urgent, and important texts intended either for external and international audiences, or for Centre staff for internal communications purposes, ensuring the high linguistic and terminological quality of texts. Revises texts translated by independent translators. Performs terminological research as required to ensure cultural equivalence between the source and target texts, and adapts texts to target audiences. Records the results to facilitate later work and expand terminology databases. On request, advises Centre clients and independent translators on language usage. On request, performs quality control of texts translated or written by clients or independent translators. Maintains business relations with clients.  

Pursuant to the requirements of the Official Languages Act, the IDRC Translation Unit provides service for the Board of Governors, the President’s Office, the various branches, divisions and secretariats of the Centre, by meeting their language needs (translation and terminology) at both the general and the specialized levels. It consists of a small team of three (3) translators and revisers, with backup from qualified outside agencies and independent translators, and strives at all times to ensure the excellence and efficiency of the services it offers.

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Translation, English-French

  • Pursuant to the requirements of the Official Languages Act, translates from English to French, in final form, texts related to IDRC’s various fields of activities (documents for the Board of Governors’ meetings, minutes, project documents, as well as texts that are of a scientific, technical, legal, or financial nature, policy manuals, users’guides, instructions on the use of information technologies, and Human Resources and Communications documents for the purposes of internal and external communications). Takes into account the subtleties of the language and the message, the context and aspects that must be treated with sensitivity; retains the distinctive character of the target language and the level of language appropriate for the end-users, and delivers a text that is culturally equivalent and of a quality comparable to that of a text originally written in the target language.
  • Ensures the accuracy and high linguistic quality of the translations and consistency in the use of Centre terminology. These texts may serve as reference documents or working papers, or they may be published and widely disseminated in printed format or on IDRC’s Internet/Intranet.


  • Revises translations done by independent translators of texts of the same nature as described above, applying the same criteria and verifying and validating the terminology used.
  • Evaluates the texts translated outside for the Translation Services, and occasionally for the Writing Team.
  • Revises texts originally drafted in French by other Centre staff.

Research and Documentation

  • Carries out terminological research and documentation searches in IDRC’s fields of activities, using electronic tools as well as printed materials. By doing this, contributes to the development of the Translation Services’ databases (i.e. IDRC Glossary and Acronyms), ensuring that Centre usage is respected and its corporate memory is perpetuated. The Glossary contains, inter alia, the official IDRC terminology for the various administrative units and Program Initiatives, as well as the position titles. The Acronyms database is divided in two sections: IDRC acronyms and those of other organizations.  All the acronyms are validated through extensive research. This is IDRC’s only easily accessible, accurate source of this information.
  • Independently or in consultation with clients, creates terminology when there are no established linguistic or terminological precedents. To fulfill these tasks, keeps abreast of all developments in the Centre’s fields of activities and reads related material, noting terminology of interest.
  • Recommends books to be purchased for the Translation Services’ modest documentation centre.

Linguistic Consulting

  • Answers queries from independent translators regarding IDRC terminology and usage. Answers questions from Centre employees on matters of terminology, style, grammar, and translation. Advises them on language usage and vocabulary appropriate to their field of work. This enables clients to standardize the terminology and improve the quality of their communications with employees, government departments and agencies, the general public and other countries. In carrying out this responsibility, interrupts work in progress, analyzes the request, exchanges information, and identifies the context to frame the question correctly and eliminate ambiguities.
  • Performs the research necessary to provide accurate, satisfactory answers.
  • Also provides explanations and advice on language usage to clarify the meaning of texts and suggest solutions to co-workers, using an in-depth approach to fully grasp the problem and provide an informed answer.

Internal and external communications

  • As part of the ECHOnet production team, contributes to the Centre’s internal communications.
  • Contributes to the Centre’s external communications and corporate identity, helping to shape how it is perceived externally and its outreach worldwide, more particularly within the Francophonie.

Communications strategic planning

  • Takes part in the Communications Division’s monthly meetings and contributes to the development of the work plan for the Writing and Translation group in the Division’s work plan.
  • Contributes to the Division’s program of work and budget.


  • Performs all other duties that may be required to meet the needs of the clientele and the Translation Services’ and Communications Division’s operational requirements.