The Linguist

The Linguist 55,2

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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18 The Linguist Vol/55 No/2 2016 FEATURES Professional linguists discuss the poss In the run-up to the referendum on UK membership of the European Union, we asked people working in a range of language- related industries for their comments on the potential impact on their businesses and industries. We did not know their stance (for, against or undecided) in advance, but their opinions broadly seem to reflect those of the majority of CIOL members, as indicated by the results of the recent survey on the subject. Of the 1,283 members who responded, 84% said they wanted the UK to remain in the EU and 16% wanted to leave. Alina Cincan MCIL Managing Director of Inbox Translation Unfortunately, the information on how we are all going to be affected is scarce, and no one has been able to give a clear explanation. Most of the linguists we work with at Inbox Translation are based in the UK, but we also collaborate with translators outside the UK (most of them within the EU). Since we collaborate with them on a freelance basis, I doubt the UK leaving the EU would affect the arrangements we have. Interpreters may be the most affected, in case visas are needed. More paperwork is never good news. No one has given a definite answer on how Brexit would affect EU citizens living in the UK, so I have yet to fully understand how I would be affected personally. The most important consequence is that the referendum is already creating unnecessary friction in the business world, as we have to consider this issue and its potential implications instead of being able to focus on what we do. The uncertainty in itself is an issue, as we have to consider all the possible scenarios, including one where we might decide to move our business to another EU country. For now, the only tangible effect has been the pound losing value, which means we are more likely to use local (UK-based) freelancers instead of those charging in euros. Erika Baker MCIL Freelance translator and co-Founder of Iolante translation franchise We are in the early stages of setting up a translators' franchise whereby direct clients link with independent translators. Most of our customers are private individuals who have property abroad, or small companies of 2-100 employees. The very small ones – often new start-ups selling products in Europe – tell us that they won't expand or put any new products online until they know whether the UK will stay in the EU. That has already impacted on the number of inquiries our colleagues are getting, so we are looking at a tricky period up to the referendum. If Britain leaves the EU, those small suppliers are going to be in a similar situation for the two-year negotiation period. They may look to other markets, they may just focus on the UK or they may even go bust. And if they struggle, we struggle. They don't know if they are going to be able to supply their products under the same terms and, if they can't, they will have to start renegotiating supplier agreements with their customers in Europe, and that will take time. There's no doubt that it will be possible, but in the intermediate period there would be a potential big drop in inquiries for translation work as far as my small clients are concerned. Anticipati Our aim is to have translator databases in all European countries but we don't know yet what regulations will be in place if we leave the EU and what tax implications there are. So drawing up watertight franchise agreements will possibly be much more expensive. We're still hoping that we would be able to expand in the long-term but it could potentially take a lot longer.

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