The Linguist

The Linguist 54,1

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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6 The Linguist FEBRUARY/MARCH NEWS & EDITORIAL O n 14 April 1910, a short report appeared in The Daily Mirror under the title 'Institute of Linguists', with the subtitle 'Organised attempt to remove standing reproach against Englishmen'. How familiar, still, is that reproach that the study of foreign languages is neglected by Englishmen and that 'they are, in fact, the worst linguists in the world'. The minutes of the first meeting of the Council of the Institute, held the same week, on Friday 15 April, state that 'Mr W Lacon Threlford originated the idea of the Institute of Linguists, and is the founder'. In his 1936 Reminiscences – by this time he had been knighted – Sir Lacon recalled that 'our foreign trade in 1910 was faced with merciless competition, and our knowledge of modern languages in business much behind that of our competitors'. There is no record of the Institute after 1911, probably due to the interruption of the First World War, until its 're-foundation' in 1923. In 1924, it was registered as a trade union with the seemingly protectionist aim of being 'A Union of British-born Linguists to promote their mutual interests…' (The 1925 Annual Conference passed a resolution 'that the admission of unpaid or underpaid Foreign Linguists as Clerks is undesirable in the best interests of British Trade'.) It wasn't until 1958 that the Institute ceased to be a trade union; it was incorporated as a company with objectives more suited to what it by now was: a professional body. Sir Lacon had long argued for this, and he drew up the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the new company. Sir Lacon died in the year that the Institute became a company, and did not see its splendid armorial bearings (below), issued in 1960. Sir Lacon Threlford was successful and distinguished in business and public life, and inspired and supported the Institute for many years. His widow, Lady Threlford, became President in his place and continued this dedication until her death in 1977. 'Armorial Bearings', issued by the College of Arms in 1960 A history of the Institute in 6 objects Tony Bell examines a newspaper clipping from 1910 in the first of a fascinating series looking at the life of the Institute via 6 key items The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Modern Languages now has two co-Chairs: Nia Griffith MP joined Baroness Coussins in this role on 1 January. As a Welsh MP, Nia Griffith has a deep understanding of the issues surrounding bilingual policy in Wales, as well as a long-standing interest in language policy. The group also has a new website, hosted by the British Council at education/schools/support-for-languages/ thought-leadership/appg. With the general election on 7 May, the APPG will not meet after March, and will be re-formed after the election – its Qualifying Members reflecting the make-up of the new Parliament. Meetings will resume in July. The APPG will be working to raise the profile of languages in the run up to the election. Its Manifesto for Languages, launched in 2014, is backed by 100 individuals and organisations, including the CIOL. 'The APPG is grateful for the support of the Chartered Institute of Linguists for its work in Parliament to raise awareness of the specific issues surrounding languages in the UK. In this election year, I hope as many members as possible will consider writing to their parliamentary candidates to support the APPG's Manifesto for Languages. Professional linguists are at the heart of the UK's language capability,' said Baroness Coussins. Speak to the Future has produced helpful letter templates for those wishing to support the campaign (see /how-can-i-be-involved) and you can also register your support by emailing Email to receive details of meeting and speakers. Philip Harding-Esch works on behalf of the British Council to support the APPG. TL Inside Parliament A brief look at the year ahead

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