The Linguist

The Linguist 55,3

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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I heard that 'Islamist' had gone missing from French President Francois holland's [sic] description of terrorism at a recent White house roundtable. Did the administration delete the audio translation from a video of the session by accident? On purpose?… The translator's role is to relate as exactly as possible what has been said – not to rewrite the text to a more politically correct version… For simultaneous interpreters, there is another choice to make about the issue of tonality. Protocol demands a speech be translated in a monotone. But often, the true meaning of the words is in the tone of voice. 'Islam, Terror and the Translation Minefield: Column', 6/4/16 6 The Linguist Vol/55 No/3 2016 NEWS & EDITORIAL At its meeting in May, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Modern Languages looked at new data on the state of language learning in schools in England, published in the 2016 Language Trends report. The data is from the responses of 492 state secondary schools, 556 state primary schools and 132 independent secondary schools across England. Some of the report's key findings imply there are key areas of concern for policymakers: • Almost all primary schools teach languages but many teachers lack confidence and struggle to find time in the curriculum • Most secondary schools do not see primary language teaching as a platform from which to significantly improve standards • No evidence that secondaries are preparing for 90% Ebacc compliance (pupils achieving grades A-C in 5 subjects including a modern foreign language (MFL) • Ebacc is not increasing MFL take-up post-16 • Teachers report "harsh and inconsistent" marking in MFL exams as "demotivating" • Teachers believe the new A levels are likely to reduce the already declining number of pupils taking languages at Key Stage 5. The APPG welcomes the continuing success of primary languages and is particularly pleased to see 42% of primaries reporting an increase in resources for MFLs. however, the above concerns indicate that more must be done to support schools. Secondary schools demand particular attention as there are real concerns that the laudable goal of 90% of pupils achieving A-C in a language GCSE will be difficult to achieve if the present Ebacc measure is failing to increase take-up. The APPG will be looking deeper into policy implementation on the ground, and what should be done to help schools to meet the challenge. Issues surrounding examinations are prominent in the 2016 data, from the perceived difficulty of the new GCSEs and A levels, including "harsh and inconsistent" gradings, to the unresolved outcome of exams in lesser-taught languages. The APPG continues to stay in contact with ministers, officials, experts and the awarding bodies as part of a wider effort to ensure such issues are addressed satisfactorily. Data such as Language Trends helps to identify the most pressing priorities. Download Language Trends at: files/language_trends_survey_2016.pdf. The All-Party Group responds to the Language Trends Survey findings. By Philip Harding-Esch Inside parliament Philip Harding-Esch works on behalf of the British Council to support the APPG on Modern Languages. TL As I help prepare a group of overseas recruits as part of an NhS induction programme, I can't help wondering to what extent the Ielts [International English Language Testing System] is actually fit for purpose… Far removed from the reality of a busy A&E, the listening test, for example, fails to replicate the high-pressured situations in which many of these trainees will work. 'English Language Requirements for Foreign Doctors are not Fit for Purpose ', 8/4/16 What the papers say… A sort of Euro-English, influenced by foreign languages, is already in use. Many Europeans use 'control' to mean 'monitor' because contrôler has that meaning in French… [Euro- English] is becoming a dialect fluently spoken by a large group of people who understand each other perfectly well… Britain may be a polarising, unusual EU member, but English has become neutral, utilitarian; it is useful because others understand it. Its association with Britain is already weak and set to weaken if 'Brexit' comes to pass. 'English becomes Esperanto', 23/4/16 © ShUTTERSTOCK

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