The Linguist

The Linguist 58,4 - Aug/Sept 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

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When I was volunteering at a tuberculosis hospital in Guatemala, I could barely speak Spanish, let alone any of the Mayan languages spoken by the patients. The Canadian social worker I was supporting had a good command of the nation's official language at least – and for patients who were often resident there for months on end, having psychological support was welcome, even if it wasn't in their native tongue. That was 2002 – four years before legislation was passed to make healthcare in Guatemala available in all 23 of its indigenous languages. We find out how that policy is working on the ground – and how best-practice hospitals are meeting this aim despite a lack of resources (p.18). It was inspiring to see sign language interpreting under the spotlight for all the right reasons, as Tara Asher's BSL interpretation of Stormzy's set at the Glastonbury festival went viral. It was widely reported that she spends an entire day preparing each song, and I was shocked to read later that she had not been paid for this intensive work. The performance element of interpreting may be clear in such an assignment, but it is less obvious when it comes to interpreting into other languages. We explore the role of drama and acting in interpreting work with a look at a course teaching theatre techniques to interpreting students (p.11). Our lead story asks whether literary translators should ever subvert the target language. Approaching the question from the perspective of feminist translation principles, it is a fascinating and thought-provoking article that I hope will lead to some debate. Miranda Moore 4 The Linguist Vol/58 No/4 2019 NEWS & EDITORIAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S NOTES Standards and qualifications are two of the essential work tools of a professional body, and as the academic year draws to a close, many minds are focused on exams, results and successes. Language learners in schools, colleges and universities will be waiting to see the fruition of their efforts in the coming weeks, as will our own qualifications candidates, who are seeking recognition of their specialist language skills and professional abilities. Qualifications help us define, set and measure the standards through which we are able to set thresholds for progression, achievement and success. A qualification, especially one recognised by a regulating authority, provides unquestionable evidence of proven skills and acquired competencies, which in turn enhances employability and broadens career opportunities. It is disappointing, therefore, that languages receive such a hard press at times. We've heard of languages being 'difficult' for school students; of pupils seeking sick notes to absent themselves from the pressure of language lessons. It is not unknown for a court case to be served by an unregulated or under-qualified interpreter, or postponed due to the lack of an experienced interpreter. Despite a small upturn this year, learner cohorts in schools are at a low, and creating a pipeline of young linguists to fulfil the diverse language requirements of our government and economic activities is challenging. Speaking another language requires both theory and practice. Opportunities for the latter are fast disappearing as school exchanges perish, and finding a true immersion experience, where the use of English can be avoided, is almost impossible. Giving learners the chance to practise using a foreign language and prove their ability practically in real-life situations is increasingly important. Mastering grammar and structures is part of that, but so is using the language as native speakers do and producing language that is sensitive to cultural, attitudinal and behavioural difference. GCSEs, A-levels, degrees and MAs provide the knowledge framework. Applied and professional qualifications test the practice. Both have an essential place in developing the linguists of the future, and assessing the depth and breadth of their knowledge, ability and competence. CIOL works with schools, universities and partners to help learners along a pathway through which they can gain qualifications, benefit from membership of a wider community and acquire professional recognition. In this important season for examinations, we wish our candidates, our student members and all language learners success in their endeavours. A post-Brexit Britain will need multilingual skills more than ever, and CIOL will continue to support, develop, accredit and represent linguists to meet its international and global commitments. Ann Carlisle EDITOR'S LETTER Share your views: Creating a pipeline of young linguists to fulfil our economic requirements is challenging

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