The Linguist

The Linguist 53,2

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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4 The Linguist APRIL/MAY NEWS & EDITORIAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S NOTES As I write, the 2014 Membership Survey has just closed. We have had an amazing response – 1,461 of you completed the survey, which is around 25 percent of our total membership. I am reliably informed that this far exceeds the average response rate for such surveys and I would like to thank all who took part. Thanks also to the Membership team, who worked very hard on the content and format, and then testing of the survey. In these early stages of analysis it is clear – and may come as no surprise – that you view The Linguist as your most valued membership benefit, closely followed by your designatory letters and the Find-a-Linguist Directory. The most commonly selected phrases you used to describe the Institute were 'Respected in the professional language sector', 'Accessible' and 'Trustworthy'. We will be publishing the full results here and on our website later in the year. The survey results will, of course, be informing our work on the next Strategic Plan. Members of Council and the IoLET Board attended a strategic planning 'away day' on 1 March, at which we reviewed our key objectives and discussed our aspirations for the Institute and the Trust. Much more work needs to be done, but we are aiming to publish the new plan towards the end of 2014. Last year, we took the decision to 'liberate' the Annual Review from the back pages of The Linguist and to create a fuller, standalone document in a more readable format. And with photographs! You can find the Review on the homepage of the website. You will see, on page 4, a photograph of (most of) the staff in our new offices at Dunstan House, and I am pleased to report that we are very much enjoying being in our new 'home'. Finally, I was strongly reminded during a recent trip to Burma of why language learning is so important: not being able to speak any Burmese (apart from Mingalabar – 'Hello') we were entirely reliant on the tour guide and the few locals who could speak English, particularly the owner of a wonderful street cafe in Mandalay, who demonstrated great patience and good humour. Alan Peacock It is clear that you view 'The Linguist' as your most valued membership benefit, closely followed by your designatory letters EDITOR'S LETTER The editorial team works hard to provide a range articles that we hope will be inspiring and helpful in your daily work and beyond, so it was extremely gratifying to hear that The Linguist is your most valued membership benefit. Never ones to rest on our laurels, we constantly re-evaluate our approach in response to readers' views and requests, so if you have any comments, do let me know via I am currently working on expanding our 'Opinion and Comment' section, and I anticipate that this issue's opinion pieces will stimulate some discussion: not everyone will agree that satire aimed at the languages professions is a good idea, but hopefully we will agree that it is worth talking about (p.30). Like many readers, I work from home, with all the inherent benefits (no travel time, flexible hours) and challenges (lack of human contact, never really leaving the office). Using a shared office part-time sounds very attractive, offering freelancers the best of both worlds (p.11). There is evidence that the home office can affect our mental health, too, and many of us will have seen a therapist at some point in our lives. Janet Fraser's investigation into the special skills required by counsellors working in more than one language highlights the psychological implications of switching between languages and the other complex issues involved (p.8). Finally, I hope you find Rosie Goldsmith's article as inspiring as I did (p.16). After making a name for herself as a BBC presenter and journalist – thanks, in part, to her language skills – she now dedicates much of her time to promoting languages and translation. Miranda Moore

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