Linguists for the EU: the market ain’t working

The Institute of Translation and Interpreting, in association with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation (DGT), is hosting a full day’s conference in early April for both freelance translators and translation companies interested in bidding for DGT translation contracts. The aim is to demystify the tendering process (which seems daunting but is by no means the worst I’ve seen).

A key issue for discussion will be

the general shortage of supply for translation into English, not least for the Baltic languages, Bulgarian, Finnish and Slovenian.

So here we have a supply-demand issue — the sort of problem the markets are supposed to sort out. And what is Glasgow University (whose principal, Anton Muscatelli, has a PhD in Economics and is a former consultant to, wait for it, the European Commission) doing right now? Why, it’s planning to slash modern language teaching. Badly timed, wrong-headed or ill-judged? All three, I think.

If you care about languages and their importance for our economy, our culture and our young people, please sign the petition to Help Save Modern Languages at the University of Glasgow.

As well as signing, please click ‘like’ on the Facebook page Modern Languages and Cultures at University of Glasgow under threat and forward the link.

Thank you.

By Marian Dougan

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