The Linguist

The Linguist 55,4

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 3 of 35

The referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union was held as we were preparing this issue for print, and we provide some initial thoughts on the results in our Opinion & Comment section (p.26). The full extent of the impact has yet to unfold, but in the coming issues we will provide analysis of aspects affecting linguists – from British citizens working for the European Commission to the impact on modern languages degrees and potential difficulties for people working between EU countries. August is Women in Translation Month. Although the initiative was launched in 2014, I had not heard of it until earlier this year. It is slowly gaining ground in its attempts to address the dearth of books by female authors available in English translation (p.10). Deborah Smith's joint win of the new Man Booker International Prize highlighted the issue further (p.16), while the award itself has been a boost for literary translation more widely, with author and translator receiving equal recognition – and prize money (p.8). These articles form the backbone of our four-article focus on Fiction in Translation, while Amazon's full-throttle venture into this field deserves some investigation, as it becomes the biggest publisher of translated literature (p.14). We hope you will like our revamped Contents page, which aims to create a more attractive 'window' to the magazine with a greater focus on the articles. We have removed details about the CIOL's governance, but these can still be found at > About > Organisation & governance. Do let us know what you think about this change, and share any other comments you may have, via Miranda Moore 4 The Linguist Vol/55 No/4 2016 NEWS & EDITORIAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S NOTES In early June, both the Institute Council and the Educational Trust (IoLET) Board met, together with the senior management team, to take a strategic look at the long-term future of the languages profession and to reflect on how well we are placed, as a professional body and awarding organisation, to respond to a rapidly changing professional world. Key themes were the role of technology, the importance of collaboration and networking, and our branding and positioning within the profession. Taking time away from daily work challenges to do this proved both stimulating and productive. The EU referendum was pending at the time and while we now know the outcome, the actual impact Brexit will have on the profession longer term won't be clear for some time. In the meantime, we will be working to support our members, to keep them informed, and to address issues and concerns as they arise. In the eventual reality of the UK no longer being part of the EU, the promotion of languages, language study, and the protection and recognition of the profession will remain our core priorities and may have even more relevance, as will the need to make our voice heard and to broaden our reach and influence. A major achievement last year for the PI4J (Professional Interpreters for Justice) campaign was the inclusion of a Quality Assurance (QA) Lot as an integral part of the Ministry of Justice retender for interpreting and translation services. The QA function is an independent service that will work alongside the core delivery functions of face-to-face interpreting, translation and transcription, and sign language services. The contracts are in the process of being finalised and we will look with interest for the promised improvements in service quality and working conditions for the language professionals on the front line. I am also delighted to announce that IoLET was recently awarded a major new contract to deliver language examinations to Ministry of Defence personnel. Central government departments are among the largest users of languages in the UK and demand for linguists across a broad range of languages (including many rarer ones) is high. They are active in promoting language learning and keen that a pipeline of potential linguists is not lost through the sadly diminishing provision for specialist linguists in our schools and universities. In this area, competency-based assessments that provide reassurance of standards attained and the possibility of gaining professional recognition for skills acquired is key. On other fronts, the news has been less positive. It was disappointing that OCR has recently announced its decision not to continue its GCSE/A level provision in languages, and there have been recent claims that modern foreign languages students in school are disadvantaged in achieving the highest grades because of the volume of native speakers now sitting for these qualifications. Unlike our examinations, for which candidates must achieve a set and defined level of achievement, GCSEs and A levels use flexible grade boundaries that are set only once the performance of a whole cohort is known. Schools are where many young learners engage properly with languages for the first time and we will continue to support early language development wherever we can. Ann Carlisle EDITOR'S LETTER

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Linguist - The Linguist 55,4