The Linguist

The Linguist 60,3 - June/July 2021

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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26 The Linguist Vol/60 No/3 2021 REVIEWS teachers and advisers. It places English and monolingualism in a global context: only 20% of the world's population has significant knowledge of English, and the UK trails far behind other European countries in language learning. This translates into a real shortage of competent linguists which, in turn, presents wonderful opportunities for those who do have the required skills. Gabrielle Hogan-Brun, herself proficient in five languages, debunks popular myths, including some concerning the content of a languages degree (a focus on medieval literature is possible, but so is the study of Tintin or modern gangster films). A powerful portfolio of skills can be built by taking another subject with a language as a joint degree – some 50:50, others with a minor – with the University of St Andrews boasting 124 options. The cognitive, social and affective benefits of the language learning journey, and in particular of immersion, are elucidated compellingly. Gone are the days of a one- size-fits-all third year abroad. This has been replaced by university study or work placements in a location of choice. Dr Hogan-Brun outlines where the problem-solving and communication skills learnt through a languages degree can lead, presenting a broad range of exciting jobs in which 'the language bonus' brings a competitive and commercial advantage. Carefully selected examples showcase language professionals and those for whom knowledge of another language has been crucial – from astronaut to chef, athlete to author, diplomat to performer. Such career trajectories are explored alongside more traditional routes into translation and interpreting. Secondments in global organisations are touched on briefly; more detail on opportunities in professional services and City careers would provide an even fuller picture. Packed with facts and stories, including the author's recent experience of learning a sixth language, this book presents an engaging and enticing proposition. It falls to those of us who have benefitted from the gifts which languages bring to convince future linguists to read it! Eleni Pavlopoulos Why Study Languages? Gabrielle Hogan-Brun London Publishing Partnership 2021, 208 pp; ISBN 978- 1913019181 Paperback, £12.99 students, initially with their pre-sessional studies in English, before it widened to cover other academic subjects. It went on to include collaboration with the University of Manchester and the University of Arizona. The scheme grew as a response to the limited circumstances in which universities in the Gaza strip could operate during the Israeli blockade. It is interesting to see the way in which the growing sophistication of technology has been brought into use progressively, beginning with Skype and moving on to the modes of communication that have flourished in the pandemic. But the technology is only part of the story. The key ingredient is the people involved on all sides, who are willing to be innovative on the one hand and flexible on the other. In fact, this book is a useful primer showing how to set up distance schemes of work across borders. It also shows that from quite experimental beginnings it is possible to build up an increasingly complex system, going right up to the defending of theses. We still do not know to what extent the Covid emergency will inhibit academic travel for everyone, let alone limit the presence of international students on campus, but blended learning in various forms will undoubtedly stay and be reinforced by increasingly effective means of communication. In addition, methods of examination and assessment will need to be developed further in order to prevent plagiarism, copying and unauthorised team efforts. So this is a bold venture, though it may be seen as controversial by some. The team ruefully accepts that there is an asymmetrical element in all this, as the people on the outside have better resources at their disposal and, in normal circumstances, greater freedom of movement. Equally, there are ways in which these difficulties can be obviated, especially as more materials are being made available online. This project shows how such a scheme could be extended more widely to countries where conventional programmes of higher education are not always accessible for financial, geographical or political reasons. The most advanced universities in the world would then be able to reach out in order to reinforce and strengthen education and training worldwide for the benefit of all. Professor Tim Connell Hon FCIL Multilingual Online Academic Collaborations as Resistance Giovanna Fassetta et al Multilingual Matter, 2020, 204 pp; ISBN 978-1788929585 Paperback, £29.95 Why Study Languages? provides a comprehensive and eminently readable overview of the benefits of language learning itself and of a languages degree. It encourages the reader to explore their motivation with a view to making an informed personal decision that is often life-defining. Targeted at prospective students and parents, this book will also be useful for This is an unusual publication which charts the development in the last few years between the Islamic University of Gaza and the University of Glasgow to support Palestinian

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