3rd UK Portuguese Film Festival

The 3rd UK Portuguese Film Festival brings together acclaimed films as well as up and coming visual artists and directors. The festival aims to promote Portuguese culture as well as showcase Portuguese cinema on an international platform.

[Read more…]

Lack of Language Skills in Britain is Bad for Business

The chronic shortage of people learning foreign languages in the UK could eventually lead to Britain losing its voice in business and diplomacy in later years. French and German are just two of the subjects at UK schools considered to be in ‘rapid decline’ due to the numbers of students learning these subjects decreasing year on year.

[Read more…]

Almost One Million People In The UK Do Not Speak English

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (2011 Census), almost one million people in the UK do not speak English very well, if at all. The Census also found that Polish is the second most spoken language in England and Wales. In some parts of the country, a large percentage of the population speak another mother-tongue language to English and of those, many admitted that they could not speak English very well, if at all.

[Read more…]

Political Correctness Affects British Sign Language

Not only is political correctness rife in the everyday and worklife in the UK (and amongst many other countries in the world) but it appears to have affected Britain’s deaf community. Certain signs used in British Sign Language, are now considered as ‘offensive’ and ‘culturally insensitive’. Examples of the ‘offensive’ include signing a slanted eye when talking about the Chinese and imitating the twirling of a moustache when referring to France.

[Read more…]

Are Brits Lazy Language Learners?

According to a recent article in The Independent newspaper, the writer speaks about the general laziness and misunderstanding regarding learning languages in the UK. That an ‘everyone speaks English anyway’ attitude prevails in the UK which adds to this ignorant view that there is no point in learning a foreign language. This attitude and misunderstanding has been around for a long time in the UK and seems to be getting worse. But, do you agree with this opinion?

[Read more…]

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, UK

We’re gearing up for our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations which will take place in the UK between the 2nd – 5th June 2012. The celebrations mark 60 years of the Queen’s reign. There will be concerts, a huge Thames River Pageant, special exhibitions in museums and galleries as well as street parties up and down the country.

[Read more…]

Now British Diplomats Based Overseas Lack Language Skills!

Charles Crawford, a British Diplomat who was based in Belgrade, Sarajevo and Warsaw during his career, has written an article in The Telegraph highlighting the distinct lack of language skills in British Diplomats based overseas. What he calls ‘the most vital of all inter-cultural skills’ – learning languages – was practically obliterated by the previous UK government.  One of the legacies of the lack of encouragement to learn languages in the UK is that there are now very few British Diplomats who speak a high level of the native language of the country they work in.

[Read more…]

British Children Encouraged To Study Languages

The House of Lords’ EU committee favours a move to encourage more British children to study languages at primary and secondary schools.  With the introduction of the English Baccalaureate it is also hoped that more teenagers will then decide to study languages which could ultimately boost the number of British students studying languages at University. The House of Lords committee is concerned by the ‘monoglot’ (speaking just one language) attitude which appears to be prevalent in the UK.

[Read more…]

A Change In the Provision Of Court Interpreters Causes Trouble In UK Courts

Interpreting in court is a highly specialised and challenging job. However, the cost of court interpreting can be expensive which is why the UK government is hoping to save money by changing the way court interpreters are provided for court hearings. Courts in England and Wales used to use interpreters who were registered on the National Register, a register of professional and qualified interpreters. The new system, uses interpreters via an agency called Applied Language Solutions (ALS) who claim to be able to cut the cost of court interpreting, by a third.

[Read more…]

Britain’s Reluctance To Learn Languages Will Cost Us Dear

A recent article in The Guardian once again highlights the serious lack of language skills in the UK.  With even lower numbers of young people learning languages and the rise of the importance of global trade with countries such as China, Brazil and Arab-speaking countries, there is a fear that the UK is going to get left behind in the competitive global market.

[Read more…]