U N I T E D N A T I O N S N A T I O N S U N I E S
2006 COMPETITIVE EXAMINATIONS FOR CHINESE-LANGUAGE VERBATIM REPORTERS, EDITORS AND TRANSLATORS NOTICE
1. Competitive examinations for Chinese-language verbatim reporters, editors and translators will be held in Beijing, Geneva, New York, Vienna and other locations depending on the number and location of qualified candidates convoked for the examinations. The examinations will be held in April 2006.
2. The purpose of the examinations is to establish rosters from which present and future vacancies for translators, editors and verbatim reporters at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and at other duty stations will be filled.
3. Candidates who are successful in any of these examinations and are selected for inclusion in the respective roster will be appointed to fill vacancies for Chinese-language posts as they occur in the language services in New York, Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi and Bangkok. Assignments are subject to rotation. Therefore, candidates assigned to New York may thereafter be called upon to serve at other duty stations according to the needs of the Organization. They are expected to serve a MINIMUM OF FIVE YEARS in language posts. Successful candidates should note that, in accordance with the needs of the Service, they may be called upon to work outside normal working hours, including weekends and holidays.
4. The examinations are open to staff members of the United Nations Secretariat who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements and to qualified external applicants. The deadline for applications is 7 February 2006.
5. Applicants applying for the examinations must:
(a) Be 56 years of age or under by the deadline of submission of applications. This requirement is based on the Organization's need to recruit staff for language posts who can serve for a reasonable period of time during which they will have the opportunity to progress through the Department's career structure before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 62 years;
(b) Have Chinese as their main language ;
(c) Have a perfect command of Chinese and an excellent knowledge of English or French . Knowledge of other official languages of the United Nations will be regarded as an asset.
(d) Hold at least a three-year first-level University degree;
(e) Attach to the application form, which must be filled out in English, a one-page essay in Chinese (approximately 500 words) on the importance of working for the United Nations.
Candidates are expected to have knowledge of word-processing.
Candidates are required to give a clear explanation on the application form for admission to the examination (P.11), of how they acquired their knowledge of the languages claimed. In addition, convoked candidates are required to submit evidence of degrees, knowledge of languages and/or relevant experience prior to convocation. Please do not send any documents until you receive a request from the Board of Examiners.
6. All applications will be reviewed by the Board of Examiners. In instances where a large number of applications are received, the Board reserves the right to admit to the examination only the most qualified candidates based on a review of qualifications over and above the minimum criteria set out in paragraph 5 above. All applicants will be notified of the Board's decision in respect of their application. THE BOARD'S DECISIONS ARE FINAL.
7. The written examination for verbatim reporting candidates will consist of four papers:
(a) Translation of an English text into Chinese (one hour and a half). This is an eliminatory paper and only those who are successful in this paper will have their other papers marked.
(b) Translation into Chinese of an English text of a speech delivered in other languages (one hour and a half);
(c) Editing of and making all necessary logical and stylistic corrections to an original Chinese text (one hour);
(d) Translation into Chinese of a text in French, Spanish, Russian or Arabic (one hour). This paper is optional, but the language abilities demonstrated will be considered in the overall evaluation of the candidates.
8. The written examination for editing candidates will consist of four papers:
(a) Editing of a general text in Chinese (two hours). It should be noted that this paper is eliminatory. Only candidates who are successful in this paper will have their other papers marked.
(b) Editing of a text in Chinese to bring it into line with a text edited in English (one hour and a half);
(c) Translation of a general text from English or French into Chinese (one hour);
(d) Summary of a Chinese text (one hour).
9. The written examination for translation candidates will consist of four papers:
(a) Translation of a general text from English or French into Chinese (one hour and a half). It should be noted that this paper is eliminatory. Only those who are successful in this paper will have their other papers marked.
(b) Translation into Chinese of one, English or French, to be chosen by the candidate from a total of three specialized texts (economic, legal or scientific/technical) (one hour);
(c) Translation of a general text from Chinese into English or French (one hour and a half);
(d) Translation into Chinese of a general text in English, French, Spanish, Russian or Arabic (one hour). Candidates who have selected French for examination paper (a) are required to select the English text for translation and this is a mandatory test for these candidates. For all other candidates, this is an optional paper and the language abilities demonstrated will be considered in the overall evaluation of the candidates.
The use of a dictionary or any other reference material will not be permitted during the examinations. Similarly, candidates may not use personal computers to prepare their papers. Cell phones and other electronic devices will not be permitted in the examination room.
10. On the basis of the results of these examinations, the Board of Examiners will invite selected candidates for an interview. The Board will interview each candidate to assess general knowledge, professional experience, knowledge of the United Nations and of current events, personality, willingness to serve at any duty station, adaptability to the prevailing working conditions at the UN and, in particular, ability to work as a member of a team. Candidates may also be required to take some additional short tests at the time of the interview (including a computer skills test). The interview is an integral part of the examination. Therefore, candidates who are invited for an interview should NOT assume that they will automatically be offered an assignment.
11. Travel expenses to and from the place of the written examination will not be covered by the United Nations. However, travel expenses for the interview will be reimbursed by the United Nations.
12. On the basis of the overall results of the examination, the Board will recommend to the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management the names of candidates who qualify for inclusion in the rosters. All candidates admitted to the examinations will be informed in writing of the Board's final recommendations in respect of their candidature. The Board's recommendations are NOT subject to appeal. The Board DOES NOT release individual scores/results.
13. Successful candidates selected from the rosters to fill vacancies are normally offered an initial two-year probationary appointment at the P-2 level. The P-2 level comprises 12 steps, each corresponding to an annual increment awarded if performance is satisfactory. The period of probationary service under such an appointment shall normally be two years. In exceptional circumstances, it may be extended for not more than one additional year. In the case of assignments to posts away from Headquarters, successful candidates in translation will normally be required to spend the first six months of their trial period in the corresponding service at Headquarters. At the end of the probationary period, the holder of a probationary appointment shall either be granted a permanent appointment or be separated from the service.
14. The base salary is subject to United Nations staff assessment, which operates like an income tax. The whole amount of the assessment is withheld at the source and salaries received are therefore net figures. In the event that a staff member's salary is subject to national income taxation as well as to staff assessment, the United Nations will, within certain limits, refund the amount of such income tax payable in respect of the United Nations salary. Staff members also receive a non-pensionable post adjustment varying with the cost of living at the duty station.
A staff member with no dependants at the P-2 level, step 1, in New York, at present receives $US 26,083.24 net per year as post adjustment. The table below shows the annual salaries, exclusive of post adjustment, for the P-2 and P-3 levels. These figures are subject to periodic review:
In United States dollars
Annual P-2 P-3
Salary From To From To
Net D 43,655 56,238 52,654 70,557
Net S 40,947 52,447 49,149 65,594
D = Applicable to staff members with a dependent spouse or child.
S = Applicable to staff members with no dependent spouse or child.
15. In addition, staff members are entitled to the following benefits:
(a) Dependency benefits: at present $US 1,936 per year for each eligible child;
(b) Secondary dependency allowance; $US 693 per year for each eligible dependent parent;
(c) Participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund;
(d) Rental subsidy, if applicable.
16. Staff members who are assigned to a duty station which is not in their home country are also entitled to:
(a) Education grant up to $US 19,307.00 per scholastic year for each eligible dependent child;
(b) Home leave to their country of nationality every two years, with the travel expenses of the staff member and his or her spouse and eligible dependent children paid by the United Nations. A staff member will not be entitled to the first home leave until he or she has been granted a permanent appointment or an extension of probationary period.
(c) Assignment grant at the time of recruitment and repatriation grant upon separation, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Staff Rules and Regulations;
(d) Removal of household effects, depending on the duty station.
17. Copies of this notice and the application form for admission to the examination (P11) are available electronically from the following website (please note that the address is case sensitive):
18. All Chinese nationals residing in China, including those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, who wish to take part in the 2006 Competitive Examination for translators, editors and/or verbatim reporters should submit their application form following the instructions on the website: www.mop.gov.cn.
19. Candidates residing outside China should submit their application form (Personal History Form, P.11, and the essay mentioned in paragraph 5), for admission to the examination to the following address, and make sure that the completed application is received at this address no later than 7 February 2006. You must also indicate on the application form which examination(s) you are applying for.
2006 Competitive Examinations for Chinese-language translators, editors and/or verbatim reporters (should be written in the subject line of emails)
Fax: (1-212) 963-3683
20. Candidates who do not submit a fully completed application or indicate the examination(s) applied for will not be considered. Applications that are handwritten or received after the above deadline will not be considered either.
21. Candidates should submit their application once only. Only the first application received will be considered. It is not necessary to send multiple copies by email and fax. An acknowledgement of receipt of the application form, along with an application number assigned to each applicant, will be sent by email as soon as we have processed the form. Our preferred mode of communication is by e-mail; therefore, please remember to indicate your e-mail address when applying. Candidates should continue to use the email utilized in the initial application when communicating with the Examinations and Tests section.
22. Our fax lines may be very busy and hard to access on the last days before the deadline for submission of applications. Therefore applicants are also strongly encouraged to submit their application early to prevent problems with fax or email transmission. No extensions for submission will be given if applications cannot be sent by the deadline because of transmission problems.