The Linguist

The Linguist 57,3 – June/July 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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Page 32 of 34

The initial meetings that led to the formation of the CIOL Midlands Network, and our inaugural AGM in April 2016, were characterised by a sense of enthusiasm for building a local network of language professionals, with the support and friendship this could generate, accompanied by a certain amount of understandable reluctance to take on roles of responsibility. This combination of what we wanted to take from our local network, and how much we were willing and able to give to it, went on to shape the Midlands Network, whose informal structure differentiates it from the CIOL's other regional societies. As linguists, our members travel often, and have a habit of moving to other parts of the world, as we discovered when we lost almost half of our original committee in the first year. Also, as most of us work freelance, our work flow can be erratic and, naturally, there are times when it has to take priority over networking and socialising. With this in mind, we have developed a flexible committee whose work does not clash with our professional commitments. We meet informally once a month, and members who are unable to attend can contribute in other ways, such as proposing or organising an event, or taking responsibility for one of our social media accounts. As our members have ready access to training courses elsewhere, we have chosen to focus instead on social and cultural events, which so far have included a tour of a historic library, country walks, meals, and trips to the cinema and theatre. Many of our members work alone, often from home, and they are keen to develop friendships and share experiences, advice and support with other linguists. Our events rarely involve taking payments, which keeps the committee's workload down, and our monthly meetings over coffee are an enjoyable social event, as well as a chance to plan our next events and discuss the network's development. There have been challenges in the process of setting up our regional network, but they are what have allowed us to build a network that continually adapts to the needs of its members and requires only a sustainable amount of time and effort from its volunteers. To get involved with the Midlands Network or to find out more, email @Linguist_CIOL JUNE/JULY The Linguist 33 INSTITUTE MATTERS For contact details for CIOL's membership networks (divisions, societies and associations), visit To view the calendar of events, see MEMBERSHIP NETWORKS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR A country walk in Alvechurch The Midlands Network looks back at the challenges of its first two years, and how members have benefited from its development into a lively network of local linguists A network with a difference

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