The Linguist

The Linguist 57,2 – April/May 2018

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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Considering the widespread view in the UK that languages are 'too difficult', unless you happen to come from a multinational background, it is always pleasing to meet British linguists who do not conform to this stereotype. And the Institute's 2017 award winners featured in this issue are particularly inspiring for this reason. Well-known and much-loved for her role in Channel 4's word quiz Countdown, Susie Dent hails from a monolingual family in southern England, and describes herself as something of a 'maverick' for pursuing her passion for German (p.8). Meanwhile, polyglot David Bagnall first realised his love of languages when his father decided to learn Spanish and gave up after "a day", leaving the phrasebook to his son. Now a language specialist for the Royal Navy, WO1 Bagnall discusses his dream career, and the challenges of learning Chechen, on page 10. The idea that languages are too tricky for Brits, and that we can get by on English anyway, has been a central obstacle to language learning in the UK, and one that is challenged by a new argument for language learning. Using a growing body of research, Dina Mehmedbegovic and Thomas Bak argue that speaking more than one language is necessary for optimum health and wellbeing – and in some cases can be more effective than the available medicine (p.13). Could their concept of the Healthy Linguistic Diet change the discourse on language learning? Let us know what you think about this and our other stories via Twitter or email ( Miranda Moore 4 The Linguist Vol/57 No/2 2018 NEWS & EDITORIAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S NOTES The CIOL AGM in March is a time of review and renewal in terms of the governance of the Institute. It was all the more poignant this year following the passing of our President, Nick Bowen, last autumn. We were, however, immensely pleased to have Richard Hardie nominated and elected as our new President. A fervent supporter of languages and CIOL, Richard has a career history with the global financial services firm UBS and brings wide- ranging senior leadership experience to the role. He also chaired the British Academy-funded Born Global project, which examined the UK's appetite for language skills in the workplace and the implications for both young people and the UK economy should the supply of language expertise fall short of demand. We are most fortunate that Richard has agreed to take on this role. Also at the AGM, four CIOL members were elected to serve for a first term on Council and we welcome them, particularly at this exciting time as we embark on a new and ambitious Strategic Plan. This year's Council elections bring to conclusion our transition to fixed terms of office for all who serve on Council, and our other committees and boards. Supported by Election Reform Services, the elections ran fully online for the first time, with a record number of votes cast. A key focus of the new strategic plan is representation, and strengthening our engagement activities internally and externally will be a priority. Recent years have seen a succession of initiatives aiming to counteract the decline in language learning in our schools and universities, and highlighting the perils of a national failure to maintain satisfactory levels of language expertise – among them, the Speak to the Future campaign, Born Global, the British Academy's Lost for Words research, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Manifesto for Languages, and Cambridge Language Sciences' report 'The Value of Languages'. One of the unintended consequences of the EU referendum has been a renewed impetus to bring the key players in the languages sector together; to join forces for a stronger voice with greater power and influence in order to change how the UK views, values and cultivates its linguistic and cultural agility to serve its future economic, social, political and cultural needs. As the professional body for the sector, CIOL, and its membership, has a critical contribution to make. Ann Carlisle EDITOR'S LETTER Richard Hardie brings wide-ranging senior leadership experience to the role of President Share your views @Linguist_CIOL

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