Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Motivated and refreshed

Three members share their highlights from CIOL Conference 2022.

There was a tangible air of excitement at etc.venues St Paul’s when the doors opened on 11 March to CIOL’s Conference 2022 and around 200 delegates arrived on day one of what, for many, was their first in-person event in over two years. The video crew and photographer captured the ambiance of the two-day event in central London.

CEO John Worne welcomed members and non-members before handing over to the first keynote. Paul Hughes spoke about learning to overcome fear to become the person you want to be. Delegates then made their way to breakout rooms for a wide range of presentations on all things language related.

Megan Stockwell, Career Affiliate 

For me, the conference represented a wonderful mix of speakers and attendees from different backgrounds and experiences, brought together by their love of language and open-minded outlook. I was both fascinated and grateful to have the chance to make their acquaintance during coffee and lunch breaks, and hear more about each person’s story.

The keynote speakers at the start and end of each day were so engaging, and really set the level of energy and enthusiasm that echoed through the entire event. I also really appreciated the opportunity for discussions to develop organically between speakers and the audience at the end of each presentation, as it brought everyone together and helped to personalise the theme of each talk further.

I learnt that the entirety of our diverse skills and experiences can be applied to bring value to a freelance business in the language services industry. Examples that were particularly relevant to my own situation included first-hand experiences of the demand for private language tuition in the UK, how reliable it is, and how and why it may vary as an additional income stream. Other presentations highlighted the importance of accruing business acumen and industry knowledge, as well as CPD within your specialisms.

Hearing about the expectations of those in the legal world when it comes to working with interpreters added depth to themes I had studied during my Master’s. Similarly, learning about how the pandemic has affected the language services industry, but also helped those working within it to demonstrate their flexibility, perseverance and professionalism, proved reassuring and motivating.

Lastly, discussions surrounding the variety of changes that are on-going within the context of public service interpreting in different sectors and countries helped me to set my sights on future CPD courses, and work out where and how to develop my specialisms. The conference as a whole served as an important reminder that we are surrounded by kind, caring, supportive colleagues even when we are working from home, alone with our desks and computer screens.

I set up as a freelance French and Italian to English translator and interpreter in 2021, and this was my first ever conference. I loved the experience and relished being around so many likeminded individuals. It is a highly beneficial way to keep your finger on the pulse of the language services industry, highlighting current, key developments and discussions. I will definitely be booking my ticket for next year! 

Juliana Lovato, Study Affiliate

I enjoyed everything about the conference, and think it was even more special this year as we were all back together again in person. It felt amazing to catch up with old colleagues and meet new ones. I also liked the fact that it was over two days, and the venue was a great choice.  

The presentations were varied and incredibly well prepared; the linguists sharing their knowledge and experience were enthusiastic and passionate; and I think this is always remarkable at CIOL events: how much we all love what we do and take pleasure in talking about it. The opportunity to network over coffee and lunch breaks was well thought out, and the refreshments were plentiful and delicious. And, I have to say, Susie Dent as a guest speaker topped all charts!

I was awarded my DipTrans (Diploma in Translation) in 2020 and am now preparing to sit my DPSI (Diploma in Public Service Interpreting) exams, so this year I chose presentations mainly about interpreting. I learnt several practical lessons, particularly with regard to working with clients in challenging settings, and how to deal with unexpected situations when interpreting for mental health patients and family court proceedings, which are areas I have been working in.

It was also interesting to pick up general knowledge, such as the emoji session, which was very useful indeed. Some talks were tremendously entertaining, so I had fun while learning. I left the conference feeling refreshed in my knowledge, motivated, and full of good ideas for my freelance business and ongoing career plans. I have attended CIOL conferences since 2018 and intend to go every year – they are so worth it!

Mohammed Habdar ACIL

After a period of solitude because of Covid-19, and too many virtual meetings and conferences, it was an absolute delight to engage face to face again. Breaking out of the recently built ‘comfort zone’ felt good, allowing me and many of my fellow linguists to focus better and gain new perspectives.

Given my very recent start in this career, and the limited experience I have had with it, attending CIOL Conference for the first time, and meeting more professional and diverse linguists, has enlightened my path, revealing options that were previously beyond my knowledge. On top of that, I had the chance to share and learn tips and tricks that contribute to my professional day-to-day tasks.

But perhaps the most critical outcome of these sessions is the reflective journey they’ve taken me on, helping me to understand my own qualities, skills and abilities, and how to develop them. It was a ‘sharpen the saw’ experience for me, as I returned to the office with new ideas and approaches that made me more effective and efficient.

As a new CIOL member, having joined last year, I am certain that I will attend future conferences and hope, one day, that I may even participate as a speaker. I recommend that fresh starters like myself attend the event, and gain the experience and help they may not even know they need.