Illinois High School Translation Competition 2021

The European Union Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign invites high school students from Illinois to take part in a translation competition featuring five Less Commonly Taught Languages: Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, and Swedish. Students will translate a B2/C1, 450-700-word text from one of the five languages into English. The texts, which range from literature to news articles, have been chosen by University of Illinois faculty and graduate students. The 2021 Illinois High School Translation Competition aims to promote the study of Less Commonly Taught Languages and to provide high school students with an opportunity to get hands-on experience in translation.

How to participate:

If you are a student who is interested in participating, or if you are a teacher who would like to register on behalf of your students, please fill out this registration form. After you register, the European Union Center will contact you with the text for the language you chose. Please use this submission form to send in the translated text. The deadline to send in submissions is Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. There will be a cap of 15 submissions per target language (i.e., only the first 15 submissions will be considered). If the cap is reached, this will be indicated on the registration and submission forms.

Please note that registration is NOT a guarantee of inclusion in the competition. If you have any questions about this or would like to know how many submissions have been received so far for any of the target languages, please write to


All students who were enrolled in high school in Illinois during the 2020-21 academic year and/or will be enrolled in high school in the 2021-22 academic year are eligible to participate. Home-schooled students who reside in Illinois are also eligible to participate.


Students may enter the competition independently, or teachers may coordinate the participation of multiple students. The translation of the text must be the individual student’s independent work, without help from others. The use of print and online dictionaries is permitted, but students should not use machine translation services such as Google Translate.


The competition will be judged by university faculty and instructors who have native or near-native knowledge of the target languages and who have experience with translation. One winning entry will be chosen for each of the five target languages.


The five winners of the Illinois High School Translation Competition 2021 will be given a prize and a certificate from the European Union Center at the University of Illinois, and the winners will be recognized at an award ceremony in Chicago on November 4, 2021. 

For further information:

Please don’t hesitate to write to with any questions or concerns.