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This page contains the following 2013 newsletters starting with the latest:

January, May, October,



The Newsletter of the Chartered Institute of Linguists German Society e.V.

Oct. 2013



Letter from the Chair


Dear Members,


September started off with an excellent study weekend in Coburg which was brilliantly organised by Jadwiga Bobrowska who kept calm in all situations. Thanks also to Heidi English who helped organise the event but was unfortunately unable to be there. A full report appears on page 3.


Looking forward to next year, we have a full programme, starting on 15th March with our AGM in Neuss. After the AGM there will be a guided tour of Neuss, one of Germany’s oldest

towns, including a visit to the Globe Theatre, a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe. 


From 20th – 22nd June the GS is organising the 20th Anglophoner Tag in Potsdam. Full details will appear in the January newsletter. Our next study weekend will be in Hanover

from 5th – 7th September and will focus on the 300th anniversary of Elector George becoming George I of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714. Local Hanover members Ursula and Brian Rouvray are busy organising a very interesting programme. The final event of the year will be the Translators’ Workshop in November, probably in Frankfurt/Main.


Please check our website (www.ciol-gs.de) for details of future events. All events are also advertised in The Linguist. 


All the best from me and the Committee.                                                                  Stephanie


Page 2


2013 Anglophoner Tag in Bath


Bathe and be healthy ... in Bath in England


... which the author of this report did not do in Bath. She only attended ...


... the Anglophoner Tag on Saturday 6 July 2013,




which provided, amongst other things, plenty of information on bathing customs back in

Roman times in Bath.


The Roman bathing complex, which was probably built in AD 70, extended in the

12th century, and used for curative bathing until the middle of the 20th century, was

originally called Aquae Sulis ("the waters of Sulis", Sulis Minerva being a goddess of the

Celtic Britons). It was fed with naturally hot water from the "Sacred Spring" and was

designed to cater to the needs not just of local people, but of people who travelled as

pilgrims from across the Roman Empire. Thus the bathing complex was out of proportion

to the size of the town. It impressively extends under the present-day ground level,

beneath adjacent squares and streets, and was so special because of the running hot

water, whereas usually Roman bathing mainly included hip baths and moving through a

series of heated rooms culminating in a cold plunge at the end, as it was expensive to

provide large volumes of hot water. So swimming in hot water was a rare luxury.


For more information see

http://www.romanbaths.co.uk , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquae_Sulis;

on Bath:http://visitbath.co.uk/media/press-releases/archive/2013/7/5/have-a-royally-good-

time-in-bath-a695 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath,_Somerset, and

http://www.bath.co.uk .


on Anglophoner Tag (in German): Elisabeth Hippe-Heisler's blog at http://hippe-



The programme of the Anglophoner Tag included a get-together at a pub on Friday

evening and a tour of the Roman baths, which was complemented by two very interesting

presentations on Saturday morning (one by L. Mountford, a Roman Baths Museum

Assistant on baths, bathing and disease in the Roman world, and one by N. Wilson on

spas and complementary therapies). A sandwich-and-salad lunch at the venue, the Bath

Royal Literary and Scientific Institution at Queen Square, was followed by a translation

workshop on Saturday afternoon, which was very good and dealt with words such as the


Page 3


German words “Wellness” and "Kur", the word "spa", and how best to translate “Trinken

lernen leicht gemacht”, the title of a German brochure about the importance of drinking

sufficient water and how to get children to drink more (not by “drinking made easy” or

“learn how to drink”). It was a lot of fun, too. The day ended with drinks and dinner at a

very nice restaurant located on the river (the Avon). On Sunday some participants went

on a canal boat ride and had lunch together.


(Editor's note: Here we have an interesting link to our subsequent Study Weekend in

Coburg) Queen Victoria came to Bath in October 1830 at the age of eleven, when she

was still a Princess, seven years before she succeeded to the throne. She was

accompanied by her mother, and the purpose of the visit was to open the new Victoria

Park, named in her honour. The royal party spent two days in the town, staying at the

Royal York Hotel, then called York House; and the Princess was able to visit the Assembly

Rooms, the Pump Room, Great Pulteney Street, Royal Crescent, and William Beckford's

Tower at Lansdown.


 Isabelle Thormann


2013 Study Weekend in Coburg


 On 6 September, in tropical temperatures, we came from the four points of the

compass to gather in the historic and beautiful town of Coburg in Franconia (northern

Bavaria, they were bribed into joining the Free State). It was a special pleasure to

welcome Soheila Dayani, Membership Secretary of the CIoL in London, and committee

discussions with her were highly fruitful. We were also delighted to see again an old friend

from Cambridge, Martin Pennock, and indeed look forward to returning to Cambridge

before too long. Sadly, the person whose initial idea it had been to come to Coburg and


Page 4


who had done an enormous amount of ground work, Heidi English, was prevented from

being there by an unfortunate accident, but she is now on the mend. 


Bavaria is renowned for its cuisine and hospitality, and this was our first concern on

the Friday evening. But on Saturday morning we turned to the topic of our weekend,

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha. We began with a guided tour of Schloss

Rosenau on the outskirts of the town, the palace in which the prince was born. Our witty

and informative guide, who was to accompany us round the Veste on Sunday morning,

made history palatable and made many apposite comparisons with the present day. 


We were then honoured to hear talks on Prince Albert by two highly knowledgeable

speakers who might perhaps be described as Prince Albert's greatest fans (although he

undoubtedly has many). First, Baron Lexden of Lexden and Strangford, a political

historian and official historian to the Conservative Party and the Carlton Club, spoke on the

topic of Prince Albert and politics.


Beginning with constitutional monarchy and the shift in the roles played by the

monarch and political parties, Lord Lexden stressed the important part played by Prince

Albert in this transition – a contribution much discussed in his liftime. While the young

Queen Victoria initially paid little attention to constitutional matters, showing a marked

preference for the Whigs, Albert was only too aware how injurious her behaviour was to

the monarchy. He was able to check her impetuousness and lift the monarchy above

party politics, while maintaining a strong interest in political matters. This was not always

welcome, and the Prince was often subjected to harsh criticism. However, he was clearly

opposed to the notion of a totally powerless monarchy and made an eloquent plea for the

monarch's right and duty to take a keen interest in affairs of state in the interest of the

monarch's subjects. Albert also introduced the Queen to the concept of following what her

ministers were doing, a tradition that has persisted to this day, with the monarch devoting

many hours of the day to affairs of state. By the time of his death, Prince Albert had won

the respect of politicians on account of his great intellect, and widely mourned (see extract

from Tennyson's poem below).


 For further information on Lord Lexden's career, including his address to the GS in

full, please see his website www.alistairlexden.org.uk. Incidentally, I was delighted to

discover that Lord Lexden is a keen advocate of the franchise being extended to all British

citizens, to bring the United Kingdom into line with most of the rest of Europe.


Our second speaker was Professor John Davis, Head of the School of Social

Sciences and Professor of History and International Relations at Kingston University. He

is also a Corresponding Guest of the Advisory of the Prince Albert Society, which was

founded in 1981 with the aim of enabling interested academics from Germany and the UK

to meet. For further details of the society, see www.prinz-albert-gesellschaft.de. Professor

Davis started by saying that Germany had already had a strong cultural impact in Britain in

the 19th century by the time Albert arrived there, thanks in part to impressions gained on

the Grand Tour German artists were consulted on the interior decoration of the Palace of

Westminster during its rebuilding following a fire in 1834, and Prince Albert was the

moving force behind this rebuilding. German science, likewise, was a strong influence in

Britain, and many British scientists went to Germany to study. And it was against this

backdrop that Prince Albert, upon his arrival, took a keen interest in education in the wider

sense. In 1843 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Cambridge University, and then

set about reforming it. When he subsequently became chancellor, he had the outmoded

curriculum reviewed and was able to have a number of subjects added, for which he was

widely praised.


Page 5


Looking beyond England, Albert also advocated education reform in Ireland, and

was instrumental in the establishment of Queens University. History and modern

languages were taken onto the curriculum, but not two other subjects whose study he

advocated, namely Celtic languages and English history.


Among Albert's many achievements was the Great Exhibition of 1851, a

resounding success. He supported the abolition of slavery and the repeal of the Corn

Laws, made Buckingham Palace efficient, and his Oxbridge reforms relaxed the

theological hold on the curriculum.


Inevitably, and happily, there was a degree of overlapping and interaction between

the two topics and speakers. I wished (as others will have done) that there had been more

time for both speakers to address us, and for questions and discussion, but 'twas ever

thus. After lunch we enjoyed a stroll around the grounds of Schloss Rosenau, before

returning to Coburg for a short respite. After dinner in town, there was ample opportunity

to sample the cultural delights of the town on the night when all the museums remained

open to a late hour and offered a broad spectrum of entertainment. All this in delightfully

balmy weather.


But this changed overnight, and we set off on Sunday morning in rain and cooler

temperatures for the Veste fortress, which was the winter residence of the Saxe-Coburg

und Gotha family. Known as the Crown of Franconia, it is visible from all directions from

miles around. The hardy majority walked up the steep approach, while the less resolute of

us were driven up. Our kind guide welcomed us and took us round this huge and

impressive edifice, which has so many interesting exhibits and associations. It was, for

example, one of the places in which Martin Luther was given refuge following his stand

against Rome and subsequent banishment. The museum's collection of paintings, glass

and weaponry merits a far longer visit than we were able to make. 


A final meal in yet another of the town's excellent restaurants, then off we went to

our various destinations after a most enjoyable and informative weekend. Thanks to Heidi

English, and to Jadwiga Bobrowska for taking over and coping calmly and efficiently with

all the wobblies thrown at her over the weekend. She deserves a medal for services



Alas, there isn't sufficient space to cover the challenging locks to the hotel rooms,

the surprise appearance of the fire brigade during our visit to Schloss Rosenau, the

blushing brides dotted around Rosenau Park, or why Johann Strauss was in fact a

Coburger. Yes, dear reader, you should have been there. But let me end this report with


Page 6


a quotation from a poem written by Tennyson following the death of the Prince Consort,

with thanks to Lord Lexden for drawing my attention to it:



 Not swaying to this faction or to that

 Not making his high place the lawless perch

 Of wing’d ambitions, nor a vantage-ground

 For pleasure; but thro’ all this tract of years

 Wearing the white flower of a blameless life

 Before a thousand peering witnesses

 In that fierce light which beats upon a throne

 And blackens every blot...

 Thou noble Father of her Kings to be

 Laborious for her people and her poor...

 Sweet nature gilded by the gracious gleam

 Of letters, dear to science, dear to art

 Dear to thy land and ours, a prince indeed

 Beyond all titles, and a household name

 Hereafter, through all times, Albert the Good                                              Sally Lamm



The editor's rag bag


 Joy Buchanan in the Gambia is proving ever more versatile and talented, as can be

seen from the following clips:

www.bca-gambia.webs.com and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC74M9LUKkI.


Mike Harrington has sent me a wealth of interesting articles, from which come the



Danish scientists have been conducting research over several decades and have

discovered a steady erosion of Danish dialects and a shift towards the language as

spoken in Copenhagen. In a comparatively small country, with no town to rival

Copenhagen, many people apparently feel that Danish as spoken in the capital sounds

more intelligent, confident, focused and fashionable than their own versions.


We have spoken many times of the peculiarities of 'Denglish', and one such is the

term 'cross-dogging', which is used here to refer to some kind of organised canine 'sport'.

Another very witty article that Mike passed on bemoaned the widespread and often over-

confident use of English in Germany, and inevitably mentioned 'shoppen'. Thinking about

this, I suspect it actually makes a distinction not existing in British English at least: If you

go out to buy two pork chops and a packet of detergent, this would surely be called

'einkaufen', but if you go out to look for things to buy just for the fun of it, that's 'shoppen',

and how sad it is that this counts as a pastime!


Here definitely be dragons


 … namely, that nasty place 'abroad'. I've had occasion in recent years, in

connection with my father, to discover how reluctant certain bodies in the UK are to

communicate with anywhere outside the UK. No doubt some of you have had similar

experiences. So here goes with a few examples: His GP was not allowed to phone

abroad, his care agency could not receive e-mails from abroad, even though my father

was not their only client with next of kin outside the UK, British Telecom could not send me

his final phone bill to an address outside the UK, and the local council wrote to me omitting

Page 7


Germany from the address and affixing a second-class stamp – not to mention the

confusion arising over the number after the street name, and the five-digit post code in

front of the town. I thought of the horrific figure quoted by Sandy Jones in Brixen last year

for the volume of business lost by the UK because of a lack of knowledge of foreign

languages, and indeed there seems to be a general wariness of any place beyond the

Sceptr'd Isle … 


Thanks to Isabelle Thorman, Bronwen Funnell and Mathias Renschler for the photos used in this issue.


GS Diary


6 – 8 November


tecom fair in Wiesbaden




15 March


GS AGM in Neuss 


The venue is the Vogthaus restaurant, where the meeting will start at 11 a.m., followed by

lunch at 12.30 p.m. and a guided tour at 2 p.m., lasting until roughly 4 p.m. It will include

the Neuss Globe Theatre, built before the new London Globe had opened. For those

travelling longer distances and wishing to stay overnight, there will be an informal meeting

on the Friday evening and the option of dinner in Neuss after the AGM. The Kolpinghaus

in Neuss offers reasonably priced accommodation: see


The AGM agenda will be sent out with the next newsletter.


20-22 June


The 20th Anglophoner Tag in Potsdam, organised this year by the German Society. The

subject is 'Translation and remembrance of things past'. More details in the next



5-7 September


Study weekend in Hanover, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the establishment of

the Hanoverian line in England.




Joint GS – Hessen BDÜ Translators' Workshop in Frankfurt

Date and details to be announced in due course.




The Newsletter of the Chartered Institute of Linguists German Society e.V.

May 2013


Letter from the Chair


It seems as if spring/summer has finally arrived in Germany – why is it that the weeds are particularly delighted to see the sun?


In March we were lucky to have a sunny and warmish day in Brunswick for our AGM, which was held in Cafe Strupait, where we also had a delicious lunch. Afterwards Isabelle Thormann took us on an interesting tour of the city, including the cathedral where an English princess is buried - Mathilda, daughter of Henry II. We ended up at Mutter Habenicht’s for drinks and a quiz on Brunswick provided by Isabelle, who also handed out snacks and prizes! Thank you Isabelle.


Looking forward to this year, the next event is the Anglophoner Tag in Bath in July which is being organised by the ITI German network. Further details are on page 3. Next, there are still a few places left for our study weekend in Coburg from 6th – 8th September. If you are interested, please contact Jadwiga Bobrowska (j.bobrowska@gmx.net) as soon as possible (see GS Diary).


This year there will be no Translators’ Workshop in the autumn. After a creative break we hope that the 2014 workshop will be better than ever. If you are interested in helping to organise the event or have any constructive input regarding the contents or venue, please contact me.


Here in the far east of Germany it is interesting to watch the development of German/Polish friendship and cooperation. During the Cold War the border was often closed completely; since December 2007 there have been no border controls. Polish is becoming more and more visible on the German side of the river and the new VHS building has all notices and information in Polish as well as German, reflecting the growing number of Polish participants. In addition we now have a bus service across the Oder which is proving very popular and not just with students. Many tourists from Berlin are delighted to have a direct link to the markets in Slubice, where they stock up on cheap cigarettes and seasonal vegetables – asparagus is definitely the flavour of the month.


All the best from me and the Committee.



Page 2


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting

of the

Chartered Institute of Linguists German Society e.V.

Braunschweig, 2 March 2013


1. The meeting opened at about 1.30 pm with 13 people in attendance. Four apologies for absence were read out.


2. The Agenda was unanimously approved by the meeting.


3. The meeting formally and unanimously approved the minutes of the 2012 AGM.


4. The Chair reported on last year's activities which included: the AGM in Hanover on 25.02.12, the Study Weekend, in Brixen, 5 to 7.10.12 and the Translators' Workshop in Frankfurt, on 27.10.12. Thanks were expressed to all who were actively involved in the various events. The Chair also reported that the committee had embraced new technology and regularly held committee meetings via Skype. There was also an appeal for people to receive the newsletter via e-mail. After posting the last newsletter, some 40 envelopes were returned to the editor. New members will only have the option of newsletter via e-mail. ** Sally Lamm, the current newsletter editor, is doing a fantastic job and the Chair thanked Sally, in her absence, for this.


5. Andreas Busse gave his Treasurer's report. Jadwiga Bobrowska and Michael Harrington had checked the cash journal, bank statements and other related documents prior to the AGM. The Society's bank balance stood at a very comfortable EUR 2,104.71 at the time of the AGM. The balance at the time of last year's AGM had been EUR 3,140.90.


6. The meeting formally approved the Committee's actions over the past year with a majority vote and abstentions from the committee itself (proposed by Jadwiga Bobrowska and seconded by Isabelle Thormann).


7. The meeting formally approved the Hon. Treasurer's actions over the past year with a majority vote and one abstention from the Hon. Treasurer himself (proposed by Guglielmo Fittante, seconded by Michael Harrington).


8. Both Hon. Treasurer and Secretary had to be newly elected and as both were willing to continue, were each confirmed with a majority vote and abstentions from themselves (proposed by Jadwiga Bobrowska, seconded by Heidi English and Norman Ellis/Andreas Busse respectively).


9. The planned study weekend in Coburg was discussed at length and the organisers – Heidi English and Jadwiga Bobrowska – presented the preliminary programme. Gabriele Matthey will contact Nicola Hayton, who gave a talk at the Heidelberg study weekend, to see if she would like to attend.


10. This year's Anglophoner Tag will be organised by the ITI German Network and will take place in Bath from 5 - 7 July. There will be a workshop on Saturday with the theme of "Spas, Health and Fitness - from Roman Times to the Modern Day: Wellness als Megatrend". More details, including accommodation in Bath, will be published as soon as we have them. The study weekend in 2014 will be in Hanover (very probably 5-7.09.14) and will have as its theme the 300th anniversary of the Hanoverian kings of Britain. It will include a visit to the exhibition about this at the newly renovated Schloss Herrenhausen.


Page 3


The Cambridge Society plans to invite us to Cambridge for an event in 2014 or 2015. The theme is likely to be language in music and may include a visit to, and concert at, Ely cathedral.


11. Norman Ellis, vice chairman, reported that the 59th member had signed up to the online "opt in" list.


12. The AGM 2014 will be held, most probably, in Neuss on either 8 or 15 March. Jadwiga Bobrowska hopes to organise a guided tour of the Globe Theatre at the racecourse in Neuss.

The meeting closed shortly after 2.30 pm.


Jadwiga Bobrowska


** Editor's note: Please notify me if you wish to be added to the emailing list.


2013 Anglophoner Tag in Bath

5-7 July


This year, the Anglophoner Tag will be hosted by ITI Gernet in the World Heritage city of Bath. The weekend will start with a get-together in a local restaurant or pub on Friday evening, and possibly a torchlight tour of the Roman baths (details to follow).


A workshop will be held on Saturday in the Bath Royal and Scientific Institution on Queen Square. The title is 'Spas, health and fitness – from Roman times to the modern day: Wellness als Megatrend'. Laura Mountford, M.A. Archaeology and a museum assistant at Bath Roman baths, will be speaking on 'Panacea – baths, bathing and disease in the Roman world' in the morning, and after lunch there will be a translation workshop, during which German and English texts will be analysed in small groups.


People are still welcome to submit proposals for presentations in German or English that relate in some way to our chosen subject, which is an obvious choice for the City of Bath, with its history (think also Jane Austen!) and award-winning modern spa.


The final workshop agenda will be posed as soon as possible. To register, and for details of accommodation (no block booking is possible), and travel to and within the UK, see






Those who attended the Study Weekend in Heidelberg in 2011 will remember the excellent talk given by Nicola Hayton, President of the Rhein-Neckar branch of the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft, on three queens who were linked to the Palatinate and Britain. This year, Heidelberg is commemorating the marriage of Elizabeth Stuart and the Elector Palatinate Frederick V. Nicola is very much involved in the events being held throughout the year. For details, follow this link:




Page 4

The editor's rag bag


Thanks to Mike Harrington for the following:


The first is an article about children raised bilingually. Research has established that children growing up in a bilingual household can distinguish between the two languages before their first birthday. They apparently do so by listening to pitch and the length of words.

The second lists some odd and witty street names in the Ruhr region, some of which are highly deceptive. Tangabucht in Essen, for example, is named after a group of islands, and Mafiastrasse in Dortmund is also called after an island and conceals nothing more sinister. Schwarzer Drecksweg in Hünxe used to cross moorland, and Deutsches Reich in Bochum is a reference to the empire established in 1871. There are many references throughout the region to the mining industry – such as Hauerstrasse, Zechenstrasse and Knappenstrasse.


Thanks also to Janet Berridge for an alarming article about Mid-Devon Council's proposal to ban the use of apostrophes (or should that be apostrophe's??) from new street names. Councils in Birmingham and Wakefield have apparently already proposed similar bans. The revelation has rightly triggered protests from many quarters. This is yet another step down the slippery slope of dumbing down and bad English. I recently heard that a local council in the Home Counties was going to be dealing with the damage to roads caused by the cold winter by 'replacing potholes'!


GS Diary 2013


5-7 July

Anglophoner Tag in Bath. See page 3 for further details.


13 June – 13 July

Shakespeare festival in Neuss. For details see www.shakespeare-festival.de


6 – 8 September

GS study weekend in Coburg. The topic will be Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Queen Victoria's beloved Prince Consort. There are still a few places available, so for futher information please contact Jadwiga at j.bobrowska@gmx.net, also keep an eye on the website.


9 – 13 October

Frankfurt am Main Book Fair

This year's special guest is Brazil


6 – 8 November

tecom fair in Wiesbaden




The Newsletter of the Chartered Institute of Linguists German Society e.V.

Jan. 2013


Letter from the Chair


Dear Members,

It seems difficult to believe that it is almost a year since I was elected to the Chair at the AGM in 2012. The AGM is coming up again, on 2nd March in Braunschweig/Brunswick, where the venue is Cafe Strupait. Further details are on page 2. After the AGM Isabelle Thormann is going to show us the city – the weather should be better by then. Hopefully a lot of members will be able to attend – there are good train connections from most places in north and mid-Germany and we always welcome new faces. If you have any topics to be discussed at the AGM please let me know.


Looking back to 2012, we had a very informative and interesting study weekend in Brixen in South Tyrol, which was attended by a large group of members and friends (see page 3). The joint annual translators' workshop was held in Frankfurt in October, with some very interesting topics ranging from law to tourism. A full report appears on page 5. Heidi English and Jadwiga Bobrowska are organising the next study weekend, which will be in Coburg from 6th – 8th September 2013. The topic will be Prince Albert (of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, aka the Prince Consort) and further information will be available soon. If you are interested in the weekend, please contact Jadwiga (j.bobrowska@gmx.net) and you will be put on the mailing list. When more details are known they will be published on the website and in the next newsletter.


Once again I would like to appeal to our newsletter readers to give us their email addresses so that we can send out more newsletters by email. This would be a great help to our hardworking editor Sally Lamm. Think of the rainforests and save paper!


Last but not least, congratulations to our former chairman, Mike Harrington, who is now a fellow of the CIOL.


All the best from me and the Committee.                                                      Stephanie


Page 2


2013 AGM in Braunschweig




1. Apologies for absence

2. Approval of the agenda

3. Approval of the minutes of the 2012 AGM

4. Chairman’s report

5. Treasurer’s report

6. Formal approval by the membership of the committee’s actions

7. Formal approval by the membership of the Hon. Treasurer’s actions

8. Election of committee members (Hon. Treasurer and Secretary)

9. Study weekend 2013 Coburg

10. Other future events

11. A.O.B.

12. Date and place of next meeting


Meet at Café Strupait, Magnitorwall 8 (see www.magniviertel.de/strupait) from about noon for lunch at 12.30, followed by the AGM at 1.30 p.m. Once this is over, there will be a walking tour of Braunschweig lasting roughly an hour (this should take us to around 4 - 4.30 p.m.). After a short break at Mutter Habenicht near the town hall, for those still able to stay on, there will be a part 2 to the tour and then dinner.


The venue is about 20 minutes' walk from Braunschweig station, and the number 5 tram (to Broitzem) runs every 15 minutes starting at four minutes past the hour. Get off at the fourth stop, Am Magnitor. The café is on a corner.


In order to give an idea of numbers, would members wishing to attend please let the Hon. Secretary know by email (translations@gmatthey.de), or send her apologies for absence, and also let Isabelle Thormann know if you'll be attending, as she is taking care of the on-the-spot arrangements (thormann@wirtschaftsenglisch.eu). It will be necessary to order lunch beforehand to make things easier for the restaurant, so once people have signed up they'll be sent the menu for the day in due course.


Page 3


GS Study Weekend in Brixen - "Delicious Uncertainty"


Last October, on a day when Britain was bracing itself for another autumn storm, Brixen, bathed in sunshine, was bracing itself for the influx of a large number of CIOL GS members and their guests. Guglielmo Fittante, a GS member, was the inspiration and the driving force behind the weekend.


Brixen is right in the centre of South Tyrol – once an Imperial Austrian province ceded to Italy in 1919. The population of around 500,000 inhabitants consists of three language groups: about 70% are German speakers, 26% Italian speakers and around 4% Ladin (or Rhaeto-Romance) speakers. Today, South Tyrol is an autonomous region and its inhabitants live, more or less, in peace. However, the different language groups tend to lead parallel lives. Eva Pföstl, an academic, describes this situation as "tolerance established by law". It was not always thus, but our study weekend did not dwell on the sometimes cruel and violent past of this region. Instead, we looked at how the linguistic heritage of the peoples in the region is being preserved today. This means that when you travel here, there is what Leslie Bright, one of our study weekend participants, called a "delicious uncertainty" as to what language you will encounter in any given situation.


The weekend started on Friday evening with the usual get-together, in a restaurant, for the participants who had travelled from all over Germany as well as the UK. Our conference began on Saturday morning as we gathered to listen to, and discuss with, a variety of speakers who had been invited by Guglielmo.


We kicked off with a talk by emeritus Prof. Doyé, who told us about "Intercomprehension", the subject of an EU project on which he had worked as an external evaluator. Intercomprehension is an attempt to preserve the multi-lingual and hence the multi-cultural heritage of the EU. Within this concept, all languages receive equal treatment, and it is an attempt to move away from the lingua franca approach to communication. Intercomprehension relies on people's previous experience, their passive knowledge and their interpretative faculty to comprehend messages. A discussion partner's language is never used actively. All counterparties use their own language. This approach is a basis for intercultural learning and it can work within the same language families.


Next on the packed agenda we heard from Dr Carlotte Ranigler, a school principal, responsible for several German-speaking schools in Glurns, Schluderns and Taufers. Dr Ranigler took us through the details of the school system in South Tyrol as well as its development over time. One statistic that stood out – there are 45,000 pupils and 5,500 teachers, so it is little wonder that this region scores highly in the Pisa surveys. Italian is taught in the schools and as many hours are devoted to Italian language lessons as to German language lessons, but as the rest of the subjects are taught in German the pupils do not, usually, emerge with native speaker competence in Italian. This is not a problem as the region also has German-speaking vocational schools and a multilingual university in Bozen. Moreover, pupils can go on to do degrees at Austrian universities, as there is a special agreement with Austria whereby qualifications from South Tyrol schools are recognised. It is hoped that the provision of education in German at all levels will encourage the younger generation to remain in the region and carry on the running of businesses based there.


Then we heard from Dr Leander Moroder, Director of the Ladin Institut, whose purpose is to safeguard and promote the Ladin language. The Ladin people have lived in the area around the Dolomites for centuries (other groups of Ladins live in Switzerland and


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the Friul region of Italy). In the Dolomites, traditionally, the Ladin have lived in the mountains, at between 1,200 and 1,500m, and have worked in agriculture. Today, the Ladin peoples in South Tyrol are split between three administrative districts, which means that any measures proposed have to clear three different bureaucracies. However, unlike the German speakers in the region, the Ladin do not consider themselves to be a minority. Indeed, Dr Moroder highlighted that the place names Tyrol and Meran are, in fact, old Ladin words.


The Ladin language is an old form of Latin but some 800 years older than Italian. Ladin is also taught in schools, and while in nursery schools the learning is in Ladin, at primary and secondary level teaching is based on the principle of “teaching parity”, with the same number of hours being given in German and Italian, while Ladin generally is used as an assistant language. However, since the late 80s Ladin has also become the language of instruction for some subjects in lower secondary schools.


After lunch it was the turn of Alexandra (Sandy) Jones, who gave us a very interesting talk entitled "Multilingualism in Britain - Paradox and Prospects". Sandy started off by making a distinction between a multilingual country at national and individual levels (a country in which many languages are spoken vs. a country with a supportive culture towards, and/or widespread actual practice of, multilingualism). Britain is and historically has always been the former but there has been a decline in the latter, as the UK increasingly relies on the rest of the world to speak English. Very few British people speak or even understand more than one language and many immigrant communities remain isolated (‘ghetto demographics’). Consequently, the UK is at a competitive disadvantage because of the high number of monolinguals. For example, it is under-represented in the EU not only in the area of translation but also in the various functions. In terms of business, 75% of small and medium sized enterprises have missed or have lost export opportunities because of a lack of language skills. Sandy didn't leave us with a gloomy outlook, but discussed the various initiatives currently underway (e.g. "Speak to the Future" campaign) that should start to remedy the situation in the UK in the foreseeable future.


Later on we went to the abbey of Novacella/Kloster Neustift where we had an interesting tour of the abbey. Novacella is still home to 18 Augustinian canons who work in the surrounding parishes and are only together in the abbey on 28th August, St Augustine’s feast day. After the tour we went wine-tasting, trying four of the abbey’s wines, two white (Silvaner and Kerner) and two red (Vernatsch and Lagrein).


Opinions varied, but the Vernatsch proved the most popular wine at dinner in the evening. On Sunday morning we had a guided tour of the old town of Brixen and the study weekend finished with lunch.


Our thanks to Guglielmo for inspiring and indulging us, and to Stephanie Tarling and Norman Ellis for their invaluable logistical input.


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(Editor's note: Jadwiga's account makes no mention of cricket in Clausen, mealtime muddles or the mystery of the missing hairdryer. You should have been there.)




2012 joint translators' workshop in Frankfurt am Main


This year's translators' workshop was held at the end of October and coincided with the first snowfall of the season. Despite the weather and a signal failure somewhere on the track between Neuss and Frankfurt, "Sitzungszimmer 3" at Frankfurt's Gewerkschaftshaus did eventually fill up.