Language skills in global times – Ellen Singer

We live in a globalized world, in which we are exposed to other languages. Humans absorb language on a daily basis, but as you improve your second or third language, your mother tongue can be affected. How should we maintain our skills in our native language, especially if we are not based in a country where it is spoken? There are many reasons why the language around you is not developing at the same pace as it does in your country of origin: Your partner may come from the country you live in, your colleagues may communicate in English, in a variant used by non-native speakers... When your job depends on language skills, you will need to work on them. But how? As with most issues, you need to be aware of it first, then work hard to reduce its impact. As a native English speaker in a foreign country like the Netherlands, where most people speak English at a reasonable level, you may be influenced by their English and do not always pick up on the latest trends in the UK/Ireland/ USA/Australia, etc. the way you would when living there. Maintaining your native language skills is a sine qua non and investing time in this should be part of your continuous professional development.

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About the presenter

 Ellen Singer

Ellen Singer is a freelance translator with more than twenty-five years of experience as a full-time translator and project manager. She owns a small technical translation agency with her husband that focuses on quality. She loves challenges and knowledge and enjoys co-operating with others. Ellen puts her creativity to good use working as a copywriter and transcreator. Ellen speaks English, Spanish and Dutch and has presented at conferences since 2013, addressing a wide range of topics: from technical translation to Donald Duck, from file conversion to QA or even the question: why translate? She enjoys conferences and meeting people with a multicultural background.

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