Chartered Institute
of Linguists

CIOL Highlights

Here are some of the most popular news items we have featured in the CIOL eNews emails over the last year.

July 2024: Most-viewed video on the CIOL YouTube channel

Let's Talk: How English Conversation Works - Professor David Crystal

Have you visited our YouTube channel recently?

Our most-viewed video on the channel, at 8,300 views, is the webinar Let's Talk, How English Conversation Works, with Professor David Crystal, CIOL Vice-President and Hon Fellow.

This video has proved hugely popular, with viewers commenting:
Fascinating!” and “Thanks a lot for sharing this insightful talk of Professor David Crystal – a great pleasure to listen to.”

If you haven’t seen it yet, do watch the video – you’re in for a real treat!

July 2024: CIOL Grade Finder Grid

New Membership Grade Finder Grid

Wherever you are in your studies, career and life, and however you use or intend to use your language skills, CIOL membership is for you. As your qualifications, skills and experience develop our membership pathway will support you and enable you to advance your career and goals as a linguist.

To assist you in selecting the appropriate CIOL membership grade to apply for, we have created a new Membership Grade Finder Grid. This combines your individual relevant qualifications and work experience to determine the most suitable membership option for you.

July 2024: Beware of Scams - Never click an unknown link!

Beware of Scams – Never click an unknown link!

We have recently had several CIOL members flag up phishing and scamming emails naming the CIOL and ITI Directories. We're working with ITI on a joint approach to tackle this, but in the meantime we have put some hints on the website on what to watch out for from the people who have been in touch with us – click the title above to read more.

Our thanks to Paul Ratcliffe and Annabel Browne for drawing our attention to the latest scam.

June 2024: CIOL roundtable on Generative AI - review

CIOL roundtable on Generative AI - review

Translation has already undergone several technological revolutions, from Translation Memory to Neural Machine Translation. CIOL’s roundtable on Generative AI (GenAI) explored the key problems, challenges, and opportunities that GenAI, ChatGPT, and other LLM-based models present.

The panel, hosted by Head of Membership Dom Hebblethwaite, brought together CIOL Council members Vasiliki Prestidge and Mark Robinson to offer freelance and SME LSP perspectives, along with co-founder of industry experts Slator, Florian Faes, who provided industry and research perspectives.

We explored to what extent GenAI is already affecting translation and whether translators are better prepared than most professionals for an "AI world."

There was fascinating input from the attendees, with more than a quarter viewing GenAI as the biggest threat to the profession, while one-third are using GenAI to assist with their own translation work productivity.

A very popular roundtable webinar helped panelists and audience members gain deeper insights into this controversial and fast-moving topic, equipping them to face the challenges ahead with more confidence.

Read a web summary or watch the event on CIOL’s YouTube channel.

June 2024: The Linguist - Spring 2024

The Summer 2024 issue of The Linguist

The Summer 2024 issue of The Linguist is available to read online and to download from the CIOL website.

In the cover story, Gene Hsu delves into the complex world of translating song and how to make lyrics 'singable'. Continuing the music/languages theme, there is an interview with music promoter Rachel Strassberger who reveals how her skills in six (yes, six!) languages have helped her get ahead in the music industry.

Also in this issue: how working in-house as a medical interpreter is better for practitioners and patients alike, how peer-to-peer mentoring offers support to freelancers, and much more from the world of languages.

June 2024: CIOL Online Conference presentations on YouTube

CIOL Online Conference presentations on our YouTube channel

In March this year, we held our CIOL Online Conference. Across the day, we heard from six speakers, each with a different area of expertise in languages. For anyone who would like to relive the day, and for those who missed all or any part of it, we have now released the presentations as videos on our YouTube Channel.

Just to remind you, they are:
Susie Dent: “The Emotional Dictionary”
Maha El-Metwally: “As we ‘make things work’, what kind of world are we making?”
Michelle Sheehan: “How linguistics can unlock passion and progression in languages”
Giulia Lucania: “Translating food and beverage: why food is such a crucial cultural element”
Adam Wooton: “The Vibrant and ever-changing landscape and possibilities for linguists in today’s evolving language service careers”
Bozena Pajak, Duolingo:
“The science of language learning and what millions of Duolingo learners have taught us” 

May 2024: Certified Translations

Certified Translations - Getting It Right

Following a major piece of work with ATC, led by former CIOL Council member Carina Balbo and with some very helpful input from a number of other CIOL Council members, we have developed some shared guidance with ITI and ATC on the landscape and varied requirements translators may encounter for Certified Translations.

This document outlines best practices and guidelines on certifying translations in the United Kingdom. It is intended for use with individuals and organisations who require certified translations, as well as translators and translation companies producing certified translations. You can download a copy from our Certified Translation page.

May 2024: Certified Translation Stamps

Certified Translation Stamps

To further support CIOL translators delivering Certified Translations, we have added a CIOL ‘stamp’ for use on official translations so that members can verify their translations. These stamps are available to all MCIL and FCIL grades of membership and can be downloaded from the library of member logos via our website: login via My CIOL, Benefits, Membership logos.

May 2024: New ISO Standard 5060

New ISO Standard 5060 Focuses on Human Evaluation to ensure Translation Quality

Aimed at providing guidance for the human evaluation of the translation output, ISO 5060 can be applied to both human and machine translation with or without subsequent post-editing, read what Slator has to say about it here.

The new ISO 5060 standard introduces a framework of concepts related to the evaluation of translation quality and provides a set of requirements for all steps of the evaluation process. Guidelines on severity, weight and the approach to repeated errors also form an important part of the standard.

Keeping humans in control and translators at the heart of translation is one of CIOL’s key principles in CIOL AI Voices.

April 2024: The Linguist - Spring 2024

The Spring 2024 issue of The Linguist

The Linguist magazine for spring 2024 is available to read online and to download from the CIOL website.

This issue leads with a two-article focus on Artificial Interpreting – Jonathan Downie outlines how interpreters are responding to remote interpreting platforms offering AI services, and Holly Silvestri writes on mitigating ethical issues to ensure safe rollout of AI in interpreting. 

Also in this issue, 'Wear your client's shoes' delves into the art of translating product descriptions for clothing brands, and 'Changing minds' asks if a new outreach project could give teens a new perspective on language learning.

April 2024 - CIOL Voices: "My experiences with Certified Translations"

CIOL Voices: "My experiences with Certified Translations"

Sarah Cutts MCIL CL writes our latest blog in the CIOL Voices series. Sarah is a CIOL member and Chartered Linguist and a Spanish and French to English translator of legal, academic and commercial documents, and here writes about her experiences working with clients to provide certified translations, saying: “Providing certified translations is a learning curve, especially when there are so many countries and authorities with different requirements.”

April 2024 - CIOL AI updates

CIOL AI updates

In February 2024, we introduced a new section to the website called CIOL AI Updates. This update adds new research and articles to this page which will be of interest to linguists.

The first article 'AI Chatbots Will Never Stop Hallucinating', from Scientific American, makes useful points which a translator could use to overturn the underinformed belief we all hear that just putting a text into ChatGPT is good enough.

Also of note is a new study from Intento on the comparative performance of MT vs Gen AI, indicating that whilst Generative AI models such as ChatGPT are making significant progress, they still lag behind traditional MT when it comes to practical integration into translation workflows.

March 2024: CIOL Conference Season

Translators Day, Interpreters Day and the Online Conference

The CIOL 2024 Conference Season took place in March and was filled with three days of rich content and networking opportunities. During two in-person days, one for translators and one for interpreters, we engaged with a diverse group of expert speakers, delving into the impact of AI and technology on the profession, and encouraging freelancers to adopt a business-oriented mindset as the speakers focused on negotiation skills for pricing and client engagement. A CIOL Council panel integrated key themes from the days, focusing on AI and managing change.

These two days were aptly summed up by CIOL member Zuzana Kusa who commented on LinkedIn:

The message of both Translators Day and Interpreters Day was clear: as massive as the technological advances have been in our field of work, and as threatening as they may seem to our livelihoods, digital tools will never be able to fully replace what human translators and interpreters bring to the table – human connection and expertise, emotional intelligence and passion, and relationships based on trust

The equally successful Online Conference was attended by delegates worldwide, and featured insights into the future of translation and interpreting, as well as a translation session on culture and gastronomy; linguistics in language learning was also covered, as well as insights from Duolingo on language acquisition, a session on the varied roles for linguists, finishing with an engaging keynote from CIOL Vice President Susie Dent on the importance of emotional vocabulary.

February 2024: AI updates for linguists

Artificial Intelligence – AI updates

Since we published CIOL AI Voices in late 2023, we have collected some of the most useful recent resources for linguists that we have identified. These illustrate the broad spectrum of Generative AI adoption and research, as well as increasing evidence of associated problems and concerns.

'Moral crumple zones' and 'monitoring and takeover challenges' are particularly telling terms from Microsoft’s latest report, which discusses the implications of humans being presented by AI with only the rarest and most problematic cases. Read the AI updates here.

February 2024 - A new CIOL guide

Technology for Translators

The CIOL Translation Division asked seven professional translators to contribute to a new guide on technology for translators, and to describe which technological tools they use in their daily lives to assist them with their work. The result has just been published on the CIOL Reports & Guides section of the website as a new mini-guide called Technology for Translators.

As translator and Translation Division steering group co-ordinator Karine Chevalier-Watts writes in the introduction:

"By the end of this guide, you will hopefully agree that the integration of modern technology into the field of translation empowers linguists with tools that enhance precision, accelerate processes and foster global collaboration. Embracing these advancements not only augments the capabilities of individual translators but also contributes to the overall evolution and elevation of language services in our interconnected world."

January 2024: Freelance Translator Survey 2023

Fees, current sentiment and much more...

CIOL members will be interested to learn that recent research has shown that members of translation associations charge on average 44% more than those not belonging to a professional body.

Read more outcomes of this fascinating and detailed survey, and access the full report on this link: Freelance translator survey 2023

January 2024: Find-a-Translator, Find-an-Interpreter

100,000+ views and counting

Since setting up new links on the homepage of the CIOL website to more easily access Find-a-Translator and Find-an-Interpreter, we are pleased to report that in 2023 the Find-a-Translator page was viewed 63,154 times, the Find-an-Interpreter page was viewed 29,044 times and the general Find-a-Linguist page was viewed 16,526 times.

Find-a-Translator, Find-an-Interpreter and Find-a-Teacher/Tutor are all now easily accessible from the CIOL homepage.


December 2023: launched our first CIOL White Paper on AI

AI and Translation - A CIOL White Paper on the future for languages and linguists

AI is transforming the context for translation and language services with new tools and technologies which can create and improve content, while at the same time containing biases and significant and serious errors.

With this in mind, CIOL has launched AI Voices – our white paper on AI in translation and language services which, through the voices of CIOL Council members, explores and explains the risks, opportunities and challenges of AI for anyone involved in languages and professional translation.

Whether you are a translator, interpreter, a career linguist, educator or simply interested in how AI will affect translation, we believe you will find this white paper of interest.

December 2023: launched CIOL Roundtable online discussions with over 600 sign-ups for the first event

NEW! CIOL roundtable discussions

We introduced a series of roundtable discussions on subjects of relevance to linguists and the language professions. The aim of these discussions is to explore key issues and current hot topics. Our panellists will all be linguists and experts within their fields.

The first topic was Certified Translations, following our recent joint activities with ITI and ATC to promote mutual recognition and clarify and harmonise expectations in the UK for certified translations.

December 2023: Working together for UK Public Service Interpreters

Working Together: 10 Recommendations for Translation and Interpreting in the UK Public Sector

In a new and powerful initiative, professional bodies, associations and stakeholders within the languages profession have come together to sound the alarm about the health and sustainability of Public Service Interpreting in the UK. Our new ‘Working Together White Paper’ sets out urgent recommendations for tackling immediate challenges around procurement and provision of language services for the UK’s public sector.

We believe that working together with the UK's Governments and public services on the ten themes we identify is the best way forward for the public's safety, and for the profession and professionals which support it. Read about the Working Together white paper here.

November 2023: wider promotion of Affiliate Linguist

Become a CIOL Affiliate Linguist

If you love languages and want to make a difference in the world of languages and culture, you should join us as a CIOL Affiliate Linguist. CIOL works to promote languages and linguists in the UK and around the world, but we can only do this with the support of our members and those who care about languages.

Affiliate Linguists can enjoy many of the benefits and opportunities CIOL offers, such as access to a range of resources, events and publications. Being an Affiliate Linguist also demonstrates an enthusiasm for languages to employers, clients and peers.

Affiliate Linguist is a new way to become part of our vibrant and diverse community of language lovers. For more click here.

November 2023: continued collaboration with on careers in languages

What are the most useful languages for your career: working with

Following our collaboration with worldwide employment website earlier in the year with the article How to become a translator, we partnered with Indeed again to help with content on wider careers in languages.

This article highlights the languages needed in today’s job market, which could give a candidate the edge on others and benefit their career. What are the most useful languages for your career also offers tips on learning a new language. Both articles were edited by CIOL's CEO John Worne.

November 2023: the first steps towards updating the CIOL Mentoring platform with a new look and new text for the webpages

A new look for CIOL Mentoring

Inspired by the UK’s National Mentoring Day we revamped our web platform which supports the CIOL mentoring scheme.

CIOL Mentoring helps linguists grow professionally and personally by connecting them with other linguists as mentors. Mentors can share their skills, while learning from the perspectives and experience of their mentee.

November 2023: CIOL Voices explore AI and translation

CIOL Voices

In a further two additions to the series, Dr Joseph Lambert wrote about the biggest threats and opportunities to professional freelance translators today, looking at rates of pay and working conditions, and Mark Robinson looked at AI and the future of translation.

You can access the latest CIOL Voices blogs here.

October 2023: joined other stakeholders in supporting the Language Gateway

The Languages Gateway

The UK’s new national ‘one stop shop' for all things languages, The Languages Gateway is aimed at informing anyone interested in, or involved in, languages and cultures in the UK.

The need for this portal was identified by 'Towards a National Languages Strategy', developed by the British Academy, the AHRC, ASCL, the British Council and Universities UK. Its development was supported by leading organisations and stakeholders representing both the public and private sectors, including the Chartered Institute of Linguists. The Gateway aims to list a comprehensive collection of resources, networks, organisations and opportunities across the languages spectrum.

September 2023: announced 2024 Conference Season, building on the success of the 2023 event format

CIOL Conference Season 2024 – open for bookings!

Following positive feedback from our 2023 conference events, CIOL announced we are once again holding two specialist in-person events in central London, one for translators and one for interpreters, as well as a one-day online conference to give those without easy access to London the opportunity to take part.

Translators Day, incorporating the CIOL Awards, will take place on 15 March, and Interpreters Day on 16 March, once again at etc.venues St Paul's (London), and the CIOL Online conference will be on 21 March. Booking details are available here.

August 2023: Updated the CIOL homepage to make Find-a-Translator / Interpreter / Teacher/Tutor more accessible for users:

Find-a-Translator, Interpreter, Teacher/Tutor

We have made it easier for potential clients to find a qualified, professional CIOL Translator, Interpreter or Teacher/Tutor directly from the CIOL homepage by clicking one of the three buttons positioned right in the middle of the page. 

They can then go on to choose languages and specialisms.

Visit the CIOL homepage to try it out.

August 2023: greater UK Government recognition for language professionals

Working together for Language Professionals