The Commission held a briefing in Brussels yesterday entitled “Is English becoming a rare language?” It highlighted the lack of English-language interpreters and translators in the EU institutions. It might not seem logical, but as English becomes such a lingua franca in the work of the EU, the needs for interpreters and translators with English as a mother tongue goes up, not down. We risk losing a third of the current workforce in 2015 due to retirement, and the new people aren’t coming in.
If you read the blog regularly, you will know about the work we do here on languages. The two issues are of course intimately linked. If kids aren’t learning languauges at school, then they’re not studying them at uni. If there are no language graduates, there are no translators and interpreters.
Anyway, here’s a little clip showcasing the work of English-language interpreters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA2fWvtMPDU