The Linguist

The Linguist 57-6 - Dec/Jan 2019

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 33

30 The Linguist Vol/57 No/6 2018 OPINION & COMMENT Email with your views I am writing in reference to the BBc News item entitled 'World cup 2018: how do Belgian footballers speak to each other?', ('What the Papers Say…', TL57,4). the article states that "Players speak neither Dutch nor French but english in the changing room…" As far as I am aware, the languages of Belgium are Flemish (not Dutch) and French. I wonder whether BBc News defined the Flemish language as Dutch because listeners may not have been familiar with the term Flemish as one of the languages of Belgium. Helen Davies MCIL Does the agency care? I found the incident described in 'In harm's Way' (TL57,5) very shocking. It raises the question: how reputable was the agency that sent Sue Leschen into that situation? Despite her multiple calls asking for their authorisation of the change in circumstances, they failed to provide a proper assessment of the risks to their employee. the agency should have liaised with social services, who were aware of the potential danger of the situation (the father's history of violence) and may, indeed, have advised against sending an unprotected interpreter to a home visit. even when the children had left and the nature of the assignment had changed completely, the agency failed to advise her what to do; instead simply ceasing the job contract. It's great that Sue Leschen shared her story and I hope it advises other interpreters to challenge the agencies that represent them and to judge wisely when accepting contracts. I wonder: are there forums or directories which give agencies reviews and ratings? Maddie Kilminster The 'real' problem with German regarding 'the Problem with German' (TL57,5), I am not sure that the problem lies with the British press so much as with the perceived difficulty and limited usefulness of the language. I taught French for many years: four periods of 40 minutes a week from Years 7 to 11 (ages 11-16), plus A level. German was taken up in Year 10. on the basis that pupils' results at GcSe were not as good as the French results because they had less time to study the language (it is a sad indictment of our attitude to education that the usefulness and joy of learning is reduced to what grade one can get), the German teacher persuaded the French Department to give up a period a week so that pupils could start German earlier. this did nothing to improve take up at GcSe, nor did it significantly improve results. Did the school give back the German period to the French Department? No, instead it introduced Spanish. take up at GcSe was greater than it had been for German, perhaps because the language is easier; families holiday in Spain, not Germany; and the language is spoken more widely. At the end of the day, enthusiasm for a language has to be fostered in the classroom by the teacher, and reinforced by trips and exchanges. I had many happy years teaching the lower school, and the sheer exhaustion I felt teaching Years 7 and 8 was amply rewarded when children ran out of the baker's in Deauville, clutching their goods crying, "I've bought a croissant, I've bought a croissant!" Isabelle Ficker MCIL Star letter Next issue's Star Letter writer will win a copy of The Prodigal Tongue and other popular books from oneworld Publications (The Diary of Mary Berg and The Tiger and the Ruby). Share your views via STAR LETTER World Cup: Flemish v Dutch © ShutterStock

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Linguist - The Linguist 57-6 - Dec/Jan 2019