The Linguist

The Linguist 57,4 - August/September 2018

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 3 of 35

From replicants to synths, the imagined portrayal of highly intelligent and emotionally awake artificial intelligence (AI) is a fascination that many people share, raising questions about what it means to be human. Which may explain why so many of us are quick to brush off talk about the rise of AI as a philosophical, but largely fictitious, concern. The reality is more mundane, with AI already involved in almost every sphere of life. It will soon affect all our jobs – even those of the creative writers responsible for our dystopian ideas. The Lord Chief Justice went so far as to suggest AI will soon replace interpreters in English courts (see opposite), a prediction that was ridiculed by online commentators. Yet AI is also providing new sources of employment for linguists (p.31). So to what extent – and how – will it really affect our livelihoods (p.8)? Technology is increasingly being used in education, too: on page 18, we learn from Manchester University's Confucius Institute, which has increased engagement in Chinese lessons by using of a variety of apps; while, on page 22, we receive advice on branching out into webinar presenting. Looking further afield, we consider what a new ban on education in English means for young people in Iran (p.10); and follow the growing status of Hawaiian, as language activists gain concessions in state law (p.24). In the next issue, the new Astérix translator, Adriana Hunter, will discuss the daunting task of following in the footsteps of the great Anthea Bell. I was fascinated to learn about the complex linguistic elements in the popular series at the Jewish Museum's 'Astérix in Britain' show, which runs until 30 September. Do check it out if you get the chance. Miranda Moore 4 The Linguist Vol/57 No/4 2018 NEWS & EDITORIAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S NOTES The fast-approaching end to the financial, membership and examinations year is a suitable time to reflect on the changing external environment, as well as some of the year's successes and the likely challenges of the next 12 months. One significant development in the face of the downward trend on language learner numbers in schools, is IoLET's new Real Lives exam series. The removal of AS levels in Year 12, which had proven a popular choice for those wishing to carry on a language for an additional year after GCSE, led to a drastic drop in the number of sixth-form language students. This spring, IoLET was delighted that its new concept in language exams for schools was so favourably received, attracting more than 500 candidates. The aptly named series is all about using language to solve real-life communication challenges. This real-life content sparked the imagination of schools, teachers and, importantly, students, who often find it hard to apply skills learnt in the language classroom once they leave it. This exam had real scenarios, and easily identifiable and recognised communication needs. The series is set for expansion following this year's success. During 2016-17, our membership was considerably strengthened by increases in our affiliate grades, as we sought to support and encourage those starting out on their language careers, or those using their languages professionally in other careers. A highlight was witnessing the graduation of a group of Arabic military linguists from the RAF, whose command of a complex and challenging language was most impressive. Chartership and the registration of greater numbers of Chartered Linguists (CLs) remain a priority, as they underpin our ability to promote proper recognition for linguists more widely. During this membership year to date, the number of CLs has risen from 222 to 361, an increase of 72%, and it would be deeply satisfying to see all eligible members applying for chartership to increase this number significantly again over the next 12 months. This will support our Professionalisation Campaign, and our ambition to position linguists alongside other chartered professions. Our acquisition of the webinar company eCPD will provide an extensive range of professional development opportunities, with flexible access to support CLs and other members in all grades (see page 22 for an article by one of our first presenters). Internationally, we continue to build our membership, with collaborations in China and exciting new openings for examinations and membership in Kazakhstan and Turkey. In August, the Institute's five-year lease in Farringdon draws to a close. With the imminent opening of Crossrail pushing up rents in the vicinity, we have found an affordable, alternative space on Fleet Street, offering commanding views over the South Bank, which will provide CIOL and IoLET with flexible accommodation suited to its changing needs. We anticipate a stay of at least 10 years this time. I should finish by expressing thanks on behalf of Council, staff and the Institute more widely to Karen Stokes, who is stepping down as Chair of Council this summer. Karen has devoted a great deal of time and energy to the role, having previously served on various other committees. She has provided wise guidance as Council transitioned to new models of governance, in particular supporting and developing newly elected Council members. Karen remains on Council for a final year. Ann Carlisle EDITOR'S LETTER

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