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Brexit And Translators – Interview with Paul Kaye, European Commission

BREXIT

52% of the British public voted in the Brexit referendum for the UK to leave the European Union. Brexit will have a severe impact on most people’s work and lives. I decided to explore what Brexit means to translators in the UK and managed to catch up with Paul Kaye from the European Commission who kindly supplied Dragon Translate with an interview. Paul Kaye – Language Officer – European Commission Representation in the UK @PaulKayeEUlangs Interviewed by Wesley Gerrard, Dragon Translate, Wednesday, 20th July 2016   What do you do exactly? I work as a language officer with the European Commission. I’m a translator seconded to the European Commission Representation in the UK, where my job is to help promote multilingualism, translation, the language industry, and language learning. There are two of us doing this outreach role, based in London. We do various activities, promoting these kinds of things in the UK, helping to promote them. There are also lots of other organizations working on the same lines. How do you see Brexit changing the role of UK translators? By UK Translators, what do you mean? Well, translators based in the UK and UK national translators abroad. Too early to say for that. I can answer questions about the European Union as an institution, as an organization – but I think, if I understand rightly, you’re asking me to talk about the impact of Brexit on the UK’s wider translation sector. Is that right? Yes. Too early to say for that and I wouldn’t feel qualified, actually, so I can’t answer that one. Ok. How, specifically, will the European Commission, as one of the largest employers of translators and interpreters, respond to Brexit. Again, it’s slightly uncertain. What’s happening now is the UK has to trigger Article 50, as you’ll know from all the coverage. Yes. And so, once that happens, the negotiations start. Until then the UK is a member of the European Union, well in fact, until the negotiations conclude and the UK withdraws the UK is a member. In one sense things just carry on as normal. In the translation service, the fate of UK nationals who are working for the EU institutions – that will be part of the negotiations between the UK and the EU – again too early to say for that. Once the UK does leave it will be highly unlikely that any new UK nationals…

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Careers in Translation and Interpreting Event, Aston University, 17.12.14

aston university

  On 17th December, with my translation (BA) colleague, Isabelle, from Cardiff University, we headed up the train tracks to the Midlands to the Careers event at Aston University. http://translation.blogs.aston.ac.uk/2014/11/18/careers-in-translation-and-interpreting/ The day’s talks promised to offer multiple perspectives on the different kinds of jobs translators and interpreters can have. The pre-event coffee room was packed and attendance was good, our namebadges reflecting attendance from across the country – many undergraduates and also school students plus a rare few older participants. The event was sponsored by the Routes Into Languages program. Head of Aston’s language department, Christina Schäffner kicked off proceedings with a short welcome and introduction and the event was rapidly underway. We would be looking at different areas of work plus ways of getting started in the profession. The first hour introduced three different professional interpreters who vary in their employment. Rekha Narula gave a great presentation on working in the public service interpreting sector. The attitude of the interpreter and the professional skills they require was very interesting. There are ethical dilemmas and the rather individual, lonely work of the public service interpreter seemed very challenging. The work sounded very rewarding and valuable to society. Cindy Schaller, a French woman interpreter, who spoke almost perfect English with hardly a detectable accent at all, spoke about conference interpreting and also how volunteering could provide valuable experience for newcomers to the industry. Cindy had done a work experience placement at the UN in Vienna and had toured Africa and a variety of other destinations, working in the voluntary sector. Cindy discussed the skills she used as a conference interpreter, from chucotage, to booth work at various levels of comfort and technology. Cindy analysed the business skills that we would require – from accounting to building a client base, to billing and working as an individual. Cindy provided some useful web references for opportunities in the voluntary sector: http://klimaforum.org http://viacampesina.org/en/ http://fsm2011.org/en/ http://www.babels.org Maisy Greenwood was next on the agenda and she had an amazing adventure tale to share with us. At university she had studied arabic in addition to Spanish and French. A job landed at her feet (or rather she had to put herself in the right place at the right time). She was recruited as an interpreter for a Saudi television documentary. For two months Maisy travelled across South America, acting as a Spanish>English>Arabic interpreter. The skills she amassed…

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