The Linguist

The Linguist 52,5

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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REVIEWS Events Critical Link 7 Toronto, Canada Glendon College, York University, 17-21 June 2013 I was pleased to maintain a long-standing Institute tradition of involvement in Critical Link conferences by taking part in Critical Link 7, on the theme of 'Global Awakening: Leading practices in interpreting'. The conference was held at Glendon College, the bilingual campus of Toronto's York University, in the college's impressive new state-of-the-art building. Critical Link International is an international, not-for-profit organisation committed to the advancement of community interpreting in the social, legal and healthcare sectors, and CIOL Vice-President Ann Corsellis and Council member Jan Cambridge have been heavily involved since its early days. Its first conference took place in 1995 in Orillia, Ontario, so this represented a return to Canada. Practising interpreters in a variety of fields, private language services companies, public sector agencies, administrators, healthcare workers, social workers, and sign language interpreters came from all over the globe, including China, Greenland and South Africa. The academic sector was well represented, including UK 28 The Linguist participants from Aston, Salford, Edinburgh and City University. The programme was immensely rich and varied, often with five parallel workshops taking place at any one time. One of my fellow participants said she wished she could clone herself so that she could attend every workshop while also networking with colleagues over coffee and visiting the exhibition stands, and I heartily agreed. The impact of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) contract with Capita on interpreting in UK courts was both a frequent topic of informal conversations and covered in an admirably comprehensive session led by Yvonne Fowler from Aston University and leading BSL interpreter and academic Christopher Stone, and also at a plenary session. There was a sense of despair among participants from all over the world that the UK public service interpreting model based on the National Register of Public Service Interpreters and the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting, which is regarded as a gold standard that others wished to achieve, was being undermined by the operation of the MoJ contract. But for many of us the most memorable session was one far removed from the world of legal interpreting. This was a plenary session on interpreting in conflict zones, which was relevant to the lobbying on behalf of Afghan interpreters undertaken by our Vice-President Baroness Cousins. The account we heard from Ghulam, a former interpreter in Kandahar who is now studying at Carleton University in Ottawa, of his personal experiences during the equivalent of 12 tours of duty for a soldier, was both moving and disturbing. I felt privileged to have a long conversation with him after the formal session. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER It was announced at the end of the conference that the UK, which hosted the 2010 conference at Aston, will once again host Critical Link in 2016. CL8 will be held in Edinburgh, providing an opportunity for many more UK participants to take part in this highly rewarding event. Keith Moffitt MCIL Chair of Council, CIOL operational setting. Consequently, many of the presentations were about the problems encountered when military personnel from many nations have to use English as a lingua franca on operations, and how these problems might be solved. Problems cited include English native-speaker over-reliance on abbreviations (ANSF, Op, sitrep), acronyms (FOB, GIRoA, ISTAR) and idiomatic/general slang/ military slang expressions ('a wet', 'by close of play', 'doesn't have a prayer'). Possible solutions are the adoption of a smaller vocabulary, the removal of culturally-bound Tbilisi, Georgia idioms and eccentricities from addresses and briefings, and moving towards a more commonly-recognised and used 'yardstick', against which both native and non-native speakers of English can be measured in terms of listening and speaking, and reading and writing. In addition to this, Study Bureau of International Groups focused on specific areas Language Coordination, of BILC business, such as military NATO, 5-10 May 2013 vocabulary, cross-cultural communication and STANAG Georgia hosted the five-day 6001 (the BILC 'bible'). Bureau of International Language As a Higher Instructional Officer Coordination (BILC) conference in in the UK Ministry of Defence May. BILC is a NATO-sponsored (MoD), I carry out job analysis, body that meets twice yearly to assist with the running of the discuss and regulate language in-house Languages Examinations matters. The conference theme Board and maintain an audit of was 'NATO-Speak: English in English language training courses multinational settings'. in support of Defence Nearly 70 delegates from 28 Engagement objectives and nations attended. Nations income generation. A colleague represented were from NATO, and I gave presentations on Partnership for Peace (PfP) and 'Communication: A Two-Way Australia. All are or have been Process' and 'A Questionnaire on contributors to the International Deployments' Lessons Learned'. Security Assistance Force (ISAF) These were opportunities for in Afghanistan. delegates from the newer NATO NATO has two official nations to learn how the MoD languages: English and French. However, by virtue of the fact that approaches matters of training, assessment, course evaluation the USA and UK are the lead nations in ISAF, English is often the and design. Graham Elliott MCIL de facto official language in an BILC conference

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