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Language Assistant (English)

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: GS-5, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Administrative support
    • Translations and Languages
  • Closing Date: 2020-12-05

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Within the Department of Governing Bodies, the Office of Language Services (LNG) provides high-quality, timely and cost-effective translation, interpretation, editing, official records, word-processing and online services for the governing bodies, as well as language services for the Director-General's Office and WHO technical programmes, so as to make WHO health policy and technical information accessible to its target readerships in the official languages of the Organization.


1. Reviews and proofreads documents, reports, tables, graphics and other materials to ensure consistency with originals, completeness and correctness in respect of grammar, spelling, house style, references and cross-references, and identifies issues relating to format, formatting and font, and potential issues relating to consistent terminology, references, etc.

2. Checks proofs of publications after layout at request of originating unit, ensuring page layout, choice/size of fonts, etc. are correct and appropriate in relation to both the original and the target language.

3. Contacts professional technical, editorial, and/or translation staff to obtain clarification on specific issues and/or terminology.

4. Follows-up on identified issues with the Team Lead to ensure that revisions are included in all versions of the document, particularly in the case of documents that have received multiple corrections.

5. Processes and formats documents, reports, statistical tables, official letters and other materials from different sources, using a variety of programs and in accordance with current departmental standards; imports graphics from source files and redesigns them for insertion into the master file (which may use different software), taking into consideration the layout requirements of other languages.

6. Performs pre-processing of documents as required to support computer-assisted translation (CAT) and related processes.

7. Stores final documents in the official repository for CAT, and aligns bi-texts in order to support the production of high-quality translation memories.

8. Supervises and manages performance of team, including temporary staff for governing body meetings, and assists in training and mentoring new staff.

9. Performs other related duties.



Essential: Completion of secondary school education or equivalent
Desirable: Completion of specialized courses in document production to prepare a variety of documents and correspondence and import documents from a variety of formats.


Essential: At least 5 years of relevant experience, in WHO, another UN Common System agency, or international organization working with various document production standards associated with official, governance, governing body and technical documents involving specialized formats and terminology.
Desirable: Experience of leading teams on shifts and providing services under high pressure and to strict deadlines.


Strong skills working in a team and organizing the work of others. Demonstrated ability in word processing/document production methods and practices, including the latest software and related techniques. Good knowledge of the principles and practices associated with proof-reading and quality control.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Knowing and managing yourself
Producing results
Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English. Intermediate knowledge of another official WHO language.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French.


WHO offers staff in the General Services category an attractive remuneration package, which for the above position includes an annual net base salary starting at CHF 75,234 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable) and 30 days of annual leave.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • This post is subject to local recruitment and will be filled by persons recruited in the local commuting area of the duty station.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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