Languages open doors
Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou is backing an international declaration calling for more awareness-raising in schools and universities about the importance of language learning and career opportunities for interpreters, translators and other skilled language professionals.
The declaration was issued following a meeting of the heads of language and conference services of 76 international organisations at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris from 21-23 June 2010.
The International Annual Meeting on Language Arrangements, Documentation and Publications ( IAMLADP) warned that a global shortage of qualified linguists will mean that some international organizations will be unable to perform vital tasks in future.
Commissioner Vassiliou said: "The European Commission is committed to supporting efforts to encourage language learning in schools and universities, as part of our multilingualism policy. We need to get the message across to parents and young people that languages open doors and linguists have excellent career prospects."
The Commission was represented at the IAMLADP conference by Director General of Interpretation, Marco Benedetti and Acting Director General of Translation Piet Verleysen.