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Language and Documentation Specialist


  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
    • Translations and Languages
    • Documentation and Information Management
  • Closing Date: 2022-11-09

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

  • FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture.
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply;
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO's values
  • FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination  
  • All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

Organizational Setting

The Language Branch (CSGL) enables Multilingualism of the Organization by providing interpretation, translation, and terminology goods and services in all FAO languages across the span of corporate governance, normative, operational and communication functions. CSGL also supports the provision of FAO products in local languages, and is responsible for quality language assurance within the Organization.

Reporting Lines

The Language and Documentation Specialist reports to the Coordinator, Language Support or to the Senior Revisers of the different translation groups. The incumbent operates independently, takes decisions on work priorities, and exercises initiative for dealing with cases without precedents. Supervision received focuses on the quality of work outputs. He/ she provides guidance and advice to other office support staff.
The Language and Documentation Specialist works closely with a wide range of colleagues in the division and with external clients, performing and coordinating translation management-related services and providing procedural guidance and information.

Technical Focus

The role of the Language and Documentation Specialist is to overview the full cycle of translation workflow, identify opportunities for streamlining the management of translation services, check the quality of translated documents, define strategies for the management of translation documents, and liaise with the Secretariats of the Governing and Statutory Bodies for effective planning of translation services.

Tasks and responsibilities

• Manage specific day-to-day documents received for translation by compiling the reference material useful for translators and by undertaking online research in CSGL internal corpora, UN repositories, FAO Website and the internet;
• Backstop the reference work by contacting and liaising autonomously with originators, FAO divisions and other UN organizations to provide reference material and solve translators’ queries so as to provide all possible sources of documentation;
• Conduct terminological researches
• Check the quality of translated documents ensuring their proper formatting, their compliance with FAO style and terminology and their linguistic accuracy, and bringing to the attention of the relevant reviser or the supervisor any obscure passages or inconsistencies in translated documents or in the original texts;
• Control, often under strict deadlines, the final version of meeting documents, reports, etc. using standard MS Word templates and implementing all layout instructions;
• Provide reference support to translators when needed;
• Maintain the internal archive of translated documents;
• Carry out proofreading activities;
• Carry out the research of language equivalents in the most authoritative sources of each FAO domain in order to achieve and maintain language parity in the FAO Term Portal;
• Provide bibliography and quotations by undertaking specific research for language versions of FAO publications and coordinate the completion in all FAO languages so as to ensure appropriate reference workflow;
• Review and analyse issues and trends inherent to the management of Translation Workflow, preparation of impact evaluation or equivalent studies;
• Conduct tests for the evaluation and adoption of new systems in support of the provision of translation services;
• Develop best practices for the introduction of new systems in support of the provision of translation services;
• In liaison with the Translation-Programming Team, respond to priority issues with specific regard to reception and follow-up of incoming requests for translation;
• Provide estimate costs for requests of translations to FAO originators (publications, meeting documents, correspondence, etc.);
• Manage and coordinate requests for translations between FAO divisions and internal translators within CSGL;
• Coordinate directly with translators for translation requests which need urgent processing and ensure deadlines are met;
• Coordinate the translation of draft reports between FAO divisions and translation groups during Governing Body meetings;
• Perform other duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

• University degree in Linguistic or related field.
• Two years of relevant experience in office/management support work including conference services, documentation processing and management of translation services.
• Working knowledge (level C) of English and working knowledge (level C) of one of the following: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish.

FAO Core Competencies

• Results Focus
• Teamwork
• Communication
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/ Functional Skills

• Knowledge of the FAO documentation management planning, processing and distribution workflow and related computerized systems (eDPR).
• Knowledge of proofreading techniques and editorial rules.
• Knowledge of Computer Assisted Translation tools.
• Knowledge of reference and translation procedures.
• Knowledge of Terminology Science.
• Very good knowledge of the MS Office applications, Internet and office technology equipment.

Selection Criteria

• Extent and relevance of experience in supporting conference services of international organizations.
• Knowledge of the relevant policies, guidelines, rules and regulations on documents management, processing and distribution.
• Familiarity with FAO Council and Conference processes is considered a strong asset.
• Familiarity with FAO meeting planning and organizing procedures.
• Familiarity with FAO terminology and documentation.
• Ability to draft correspondence independently, verify information and analyze situations.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency

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.