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Brexit And Translators – Interview with Paul Kaye, European Commission


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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