The Linguist

The Linguist 54,6

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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30 The Linguist INSTITUTE MATTERS Paul Kaye, Language Officer, European Commission Representation in the UK This was my second Members' Day, after attending as a guest for the first time in 2014 and thoroughly enjoying it. My first talk was by Richard Littlewood, Head of Translation and Interpreting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). It was interesting to compare the experiences of a linguist in the UK's foreign ministry with my own in the European civil service. The FCO's translation service originated in the 1970s with the task of translating EU law, but later had to move to a 'trading fund' model, competing on the commercial market to cover costs. As Richard said: "It took us well beyond our comfort zone, but it spared us the fate of many of our counterparts in Whitehall; we were handed the reins to our own future." The EU's language services have not had to face anything similar. Afterwards I spoke to Richard about areas where we could cooperate, including on machine translation. This is another of the attractions of Members' Day: the chance to network with peers for mutual benefit. Next up was a panel presentation on the value of languages in the workplace, chaired by CIOL Vice-President Richard Hardie. This session rehearsed the now familiar risks inherent in the UK's language deficit. Philip Dodds of UBS summed it up: "The people who are tending to succeed in business are those with international experience and language aptitude. If Brits want to compete, they have to make a better effort at languages and cultural understanding." An excellent lunch preceded the Threlford Memorial Lecture. Andy Kirkpatrick, a warm and thought-provoking speaker, explained how an obsession with English is destroying various forms of multilingualism in South-East Asia. My working life is spent deep in European languages and it was refreshing to hear about a very different part of the world. A fascinating end to a very worthwhile day. Shrushti Chhapia, student member Members' Day 2015, on Saturday 3 October, offered an intriguing and eclectic set of seminars covering diverse topics. I wanted to attend because I thought it would be an opportunity to learn, and learn I did – about the impact of English on other languages, and achieving the professionalism to meet the unspoken needs of the client, among other things. I also hoped to find links between my work and that of the presenters, and Marta Stelmaszak's fascinating talk about what needs to be done by new CIOL members spoke directly to me. Attending an event such as this, with a friendly environment, is an ideal way to feel part of a professional community and provides a chance to mix with senior academics, professionals and the 'big names' in the field. I met several people who I intend to keep in touch with and plenty more I'd be happy to see again soon. It was indeed a useful and enjoyable day, and I am already looking forward to Members' Day 2016. Participants share their experiences of Members' Day Making memories

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