דפים בנושא:   < [1 2 3] >
The European Commission is facing a serious language interpreting shortage over the next 5-10 years
מפרסם התגובה: Alistair Gainey

Kati Bumbera  Identity Verified
צרפת
Local time: 09:12
מהונגרית לאנגלית
+ ...
garbage men vs graduates Feb 21, 2009

I didn't say the local garbage men are expected to be fluent in several languages. I said most professionals, especially in senior positions are expected to have at least a decent command of English.

Then I guess the discussion could turn to whether or not a MEP is more comparable to an average university graduate or to an average garbage man.


 

Daniel García
מאנגלית לספרדית
+ ...
Indeed: Educational requisites for MPs? Feb 21, 2009

Kati Bumbera wrote:

I didn't say the local garbage men are expected to be fluent in several languages. I said most professionals, especially in senior positions are expected to have at least a decent command of English.

Then I guess the discussion could turn to whether or not a MEP is more comparable to an average university graduate or to an average garbage man.


Indeed, that might be the question.

Should there be educational requisites for candidates to elected positions?

If a language skills should be made compulsory, why not other skills?

Should we establish that only university graduates should apply?

Should it be forbidden for garbage men to run for elections?

Maybe only people from certain positions should be allowed to run in elections.

Let's say that only lawyers can run for election. After all most politicians are lawyers anyway...

Seriously, I think that in most European countries, age and nationality are about the only limitations allowed for electing and being elected. I believe that any other restriction might be perceived as antidemocratic...

Daniel


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
פורטוגל
Local time: 08:12
מגרמנית לאנגלית
+ ...
Long live the garbage men! Feb 21, 2009

I don't see any reason why a garbage man, a hairdresser, a postal delivery person, a farmer or any other person should not be eligible to represent the interests of people from their countries. That is for the people themselves to decide. In fact, someone with a more "proletarian" background might have a better understanding of the real needs and concerns of the majority of citizens. I suppose as a graduate of an "elite" college (or one which wishes to see itself as such, especially given recent... See more
I don't see any reason why a garbage man, a hairdresser, a postal delivery person, a farmer or any other person should not be eligible to represent the interests of people from their countries. That is for the people themselves to decide. In fact, someone with a more "proletarian" background might have a better understanding of the real needs and concerns of the majority of citizens. I suppose as a graduate of an "elite" college (or one which wishes to see itself as such, especially given recent political developments), I should show more solidarity with the "educated classes" and declare that only the should rule, but in reality I haven't seen that a Columbia Law degree or a Ph.D. from the U of Chicago or any such thing is a guarantee of any more practical understanding and empathy for those who need the support of government than I'll find with my local baker. I might not feel like discussing literature with every baker in town, but I can't see that my voice should carry any more weight when it comes to deciding how tax money is to be spent on schools and sewers.

So if some Romanian postman gets elected as an MP and needs an interpreter or translations to do his job, I don't see why any of us should feel put upon. The democratic choices of the people of the member states should be supported without regard to any silly elitist criteria. And if more skilled translators for that language can make a living, all the better.

And just because someone has English instruction in school doesn't mean they learn anything useful. Most Germans my age and younger have had English at some point. Most of them are hopeless when they try to use it, including some who try to translate into the language.
Collapse


 

FarkasAndras  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:12
מאנגלית להונגרית
+ ...
Germans Feb 21, 2009

Kevin Lossner wrote:

...

And just because someone has English instruction in school doesn't mean they learn anything useful. Most Germans my age and younger have had English at some point. Most of them are hopeless when they try to use it, including some who try to translate into the language.


I agree with pretty much everything in your post, but I have to give a shout out to Germans. Almost all the Germans I ever met spoke decent English, some of them flawless. Not so with the French, Belgians etc. - or my fellow Hungarians, for obvious historical reasons.

[Edited at 2009-02-21 18:40 GMT]


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
פורטוגל
Local time: 08:12
מגרמנית לאנגלית
+ ...
Better a bottle in front of me than a life as an EU translator Feb 21, 2009

FarkasAndras wrote:
... I have to give a shout out to Germans. Almost all the Germans I ever met spoke decent English, some of them flawless.


With all due respect, I'm not sure a Hungarian can judge whether someone's English is flawless. My English certainly isn't. However, anything is possible. I used to be married to a German whose English was better than mine, and I know a few others who are probably just as good. But there are quite a few who are quite unaware of their limitations and fail to realize just how often they miss the mark. Since my university days when a professor of chemistry stubbornly insisted on speaking English to me and I was forced to beg one of his graduate students to interpret into German, I have tried to avoid dealing with these people. I'd rather inflict my bad German on them and give them an opportunity to feel superior

But straying back to the topic, I find it interesting that this shortage is anticipated. Institutions seem to suffer from poor planning of successive generations of staff rather often. I've noted this particularly with teachers over the last 40 years in the two countries I know well.

I could almost be tempted to take advantage of this and spend my evenings in Belgian pubs drinking my favorite beer, but alas! I carry the wrong passport and would not be welcomed in the hallways of EU bureaucracy. And I think I would go stark raving mad if I were required to use what the EU considers to be English every day. Just using the terms in occasional SEPA questionnaires makes me grit my teeth hard enough.


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 08:12
מפלמית לאנגלית
+ ...
MEP's expenses Feb 23, 2009

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7904886.stm
For that kind of money, they can't learn a lingua franca? Bull.
Leaved through their CVs:there are not so many garbage collectors or postmen in the MEP, but M.D.s, PHds (in Math), lawyers, people with economic degrees, trade union bosses etc...
The MEP already get a fat allowance for their staff. This staff does not include in
... See more
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7904886.stm
For that kind of money, they can't learn a lingua franca? Bull.
Leaved through their CVs:there are not so many garbage collectors or postmen in the MEP, but M.D.s, PHds (in Math), lawyers, people with economic degrees, trade union bosses etc...
The MEP already get a fat allowance for their staff. This staff does not include interpreters.
Collapse


 

Aniello Scognamiglio (X)  Identity Verified
גרמניה
Local time: 09:12
מאנגלית לגרמנית
+ ...
For obvious historical reasons? Feb 23, 2009

FarkasAndras wrote:

Almost all the Germans I ever met spoke decent English, some of them flawless. Not so with the French, Belgians etc. - or my fellow Hungarians, for obvious historical reasons.


Hi FarkasAndras,

can you explain? I am both German and Italian


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
פורטוגל
Local time: 08:12
מגרמנית לאנגלית
+ ...
Possible explanation Feb 23, 2009

Aniello Scognamiglio wrote:

FarkasAndras wrote:

Almost all the Germans I ever met spoke decent English, some of them flawless. Not so with the French, Belgians etc. - or my fellow Hungarians, for obvious historical reasons.


Hi FarkasAndras,

can you explain? I am both German and Italian


I think he means that he prefers Russian


 

Aymeric de Poyen Bellisle (X)  Identity Verified
שוויץ
Local time: 08:12
מאנגלית לצרפתית
+ ...
A shortage, really? Mar 16, 2009

I'm not an insider, but it seems to me that they're only facing a shortage of LOCAL English A interpreters. There are loads of English As outside of Paris/Brussels, only they are more expensive because they charge travel+accomodation. But speaking of a shortage sounds a bit exaggerated to me.

[Modifié le 2009-03-16 13:12 GMT]


 

mike kelly
Local time: 08:12
shortage of English Interpreters? Dec 21, 2011

is there really a shortage of interpreters with English as htheir mother tongue willing to work at the EU? I find that hard to believe.

 

JaneD  Identity Verified
שוודיה
Local time: 09:12
חבר (2009)
משוודית לאנגלית
+ ...
Exactly Dec 22, 2011

KSL Berlin wrote:

I've been using my second language (German) actively for nearly 35 years now, and for many years it was the dominant language in my home. I read the major newspapers in German and interact daily with my host culture. Yet I encounter subtleties every week that I do not fully grasp. I'm sure that all these Hungarians have good basic skills, and I am on the whole very, very impressed with what I have seen of the language competence of many, perhaps even most of my colleagues from various eastern European states, but these are linguists, and even they miss the point rather often in exchanges. What can I expect of an MP who might have primary interests that do not include languages? His or her best effort, certainly, but out of respect and basic caution I will also make good translation and interpreting resources available. If for no reason other than to be very sure that a message is received with all the nuances intended. Many major politicians have excellent language skills, but they often rely on their interpreters for this very reason.


Quite. Some hypocrisy here, I feel. We can hardly insist as a profession that "translators must work into their native language" and then expect MEPs to verbally negotiate complex legislation in a non-native language and get it right.


 

FarkasAndras  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:12
מאנגלית להונגרית
+ ...
There is and there isn't Dec 22, 2011

mike kelly wrote:

is there really a shortage of interpreters with English as htheir mother tongue willing to work at the EU? I find that hard to believe.


A lot of the people who were hired after the British accession are due to retire in the next 5-10 years, so the English booth will lose many people. They will need new blood, and I've been told that there aren't that many suitable candidates coming through. There seem to be two reasons: 1) brits generally aren't the best linguists, due to geographical and cultural reasons (they live on an island and already speak the world's lingua franca, why learn a second language etc.), and 2) an EU interpreting career may not be all that attractive for an English-speaking language professional. The pay is great compared to what one might expect to make in Budapest or Warsaw, but not so great compared to what one might expect to make in London.

So that's what they say the problem is, except there isn't any problem at this moment. The English booth has many freelancers, and many of them can't get nearly as much work now as they'd like. I'd expect that they will be happy to fill the void as staff interpreters leave until new staff is hired. Of course that's more expensive for the institution, but extra costs are certainly a better problem to have than not being able to provide the interpreting services requested.

Aniello Scognamiglio wrote:

FarkasAndras wrote:

Almost all the Germans I ever met spoke decent English, some of them flawless. Not so with the French, Belgians etc. - or my fellow Hungarians, for obvious historical reasons.


Hi FarkasAndras,

can you explain? I am both German and Italian

This was asked ages ago, but I just came across it so I'll respond.
I didn't expect that I'd have to explain this to a fellow European, but Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain for about forty years up to 1990 or so. Hungary was on the Eastern side, and thus listening to BBC Radio, maintaining personal, cultural, financial, or other ties with the UK or the West in general was not appreciated; the authorities encouraged people to learn Russian instead. As a result, people who went to school before 1990 were taught Russian (were taught, not learned), and are generally more likely to speak German than English.


 

Strastran (X)
צרפת
Local time: 09:12
מצרפתית לאנגלית
+ ...
entry requirements Mar 11, 2012

FarkasAndras wrote:


A lot of the people who were hired after the British accession are due to retire in the next 5-10 years, so the English booth will lose many people. They will need new blood, and I've been told that there aren't that many suitable candidates coming through. There seem to be two reasons: 1) brits generally aren't the best linguists, due to geographical and cultural reasons (they live on an island and already speak the world's lingua franca, why learn a second language etc.), and 2) an EU interpreting career may not be all that attractive for an English-speaking language professional. The pay is great compared to what one might expect to make in Budapest or Warsaw, but not so great compared to what one might expect to make in London.


There is another reason, in my view: the demands in terms of languages are too great. I've met and worked with some great native English interpreters, but none that have three EU languages in addition to English. I've never heard of such a person, in fact. I realise they have to be demanding about these things, but I really think that if having English native interpreters is of such importance, which we hear about a lot, then they should consider lowering their entry requirements just a little. I applied once but, despite having all the right qualifications and experience, I simply did not have enough languages.


 

FarkasAndras  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:12
מאנגלית להונגרית
+ ...
I'm sure they will Mar 11, 2012

Patrick Stenson wrote:

FarkasAndras wrote:


A lot of the people who were hired after the British accession are due to retire in the next 5-10 years, so the English booth will lose many people. They will need new blood, and I've been told that there aren't that many suitable candidates coming through. There seem to be two reasons: 1) brits generally aren't the best linguists, due to geographical and cultural reasons (they live on an island and already speak the world's lingua franca, why learn a second language etc.), and 2) an EU interpreting career may not be all that attractive for an English-speaking language professional. The pay is great compared to what one might expect to make in Budapest or Warsaw, but not so great compared to what one might expect to make in London.


There is another reason, in my view: the demands in terms of languages are too great. I've met and worked with some great native English interpreters, but none that have three EU languages in addition to English. I've never heard of such a person, in fact. I realise they have to be demanding about these things, but I really think that if having English native interpreters is of such importance, which we hear about a lot, then they should consider lowering their entry requirements just a little. I applied once but, despite having all the right qualifications and experience, I simply did not have enough languages.



The entry requirements are different for each booth and they follow the current needs of the booth.
E.g. for Hungarian, right around the EU accession, any language profile was enough to get you in the door. You could get hired (at least as a freelancer) with a Danish C alone (i.e. passive Danish). As the booth started to "fill up", they started to require either a B or two Cs from new entrants, one of which had to be a major language. Last year, after hiring another batch of staffers, they raised the bar again, to 3 Cs or a B and a C - any less and you're not invited for the test, not even for the freelance list.
In the same way, as soon as they start to feel the squeeze, they will relax the entry requirements for the English booth. If you're interested, you should probably check every now and again.


 

mjbjosh
Local time: 09:12
מאנגלית ללטבית
+ ...
BS Jun 1, 2012

Williamson wrote:

For 7000 euros per month, I can not reasonable require that my MEP does not know at least one foreign language well enough?
Mine does. She speaks fluent Dutch, French and English and has an understanding of German. Why, because it was a requirement for her previous job


First thing, I think it's more like 5K.
Secondly, many of the clowns that the UK has sent to EP speak only English, and then even, obscure dialects. You can't expect from MEPs who represent different countries to understand their double Dutch on a reasonable level.
Third thing, the interpretation is part of the democracy. Plenaries and most committee meetings can be followed to in any official language on the internet. In real-time.


 
דפים בנושא:   < [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

The European Commission is facing a serious language interpreting shortage over the next 5-10 years

Advanced search







TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
WordFinder Unlimited
For clarity and excellence

WordFinder is the leading dictionary service that gives you the words you want anywhere, anytime. Access 260+ dictionaries from the world's leading dictionary publishers in virtually any device. Find the right word anywhere, anytime - online or offline.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • חיפוש מונח
  • עבודות
  • פורומים
  • Multiple search