The Reporter
Issue 491, 16 June 2003
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New interpretation for languages at Leeds


Languages at Leeds are breaking into new ground, with the opening of a state-of-the-art interpreting suite to support masters courses in interpreting and translation.

Director of the MA in interpreting, Dr Svetlana Carsten said: "There’s a crisis in international language services at the moment, due to a lack of quality linguists with English mother tongue who can act as interpreters and translators. This has an impact on business, and in bodies like the United Nations."

"We need to change the state and status of modern languages in our schools, to offset the current decline and ensure that enough linguists are coming through the system to benefit from new facilities such as these."

Svetlana Carsten
Combatting the language crisis - Svetlana Carsten in the new interpreting suite

Language students are helping to promote the study of languages at university level through volunteer work in schools throughout Leeds. School language heads have been invited to the official opening on June 20 by MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, David Bowe.

University Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Wilson will also address the guests, who include chief of the United Nations interpretation service Omar Abou-Zahr, head of the English interpreting unit at the European Commission Terence Clough and representatives from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UNESCO, the MOD’s defence language service, the European Parliament and the Insitute of translating and interpreting.

Demand for the new masters courses are high, but at least half the applicants are overseas students. The school is starting new masters courses in the autumn in screen translation and interpreting for British sign language. A second interpreting suite is already planned to cope with the high level of interest.


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