Top 100 Language Blogs – voting now open

Voting is now open for the Top 100 Language Blogs 2010 competition organised by LexioPhiles, for which we’ve been nominated in the “Language Professionals” category. Voting takes place from 12-24 May 2010. If you’d like to vote for Words to good effect, you can do so here.

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By Marian Dougan

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

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  1. Great blogs Marian. You were right about the sales call one – it not only made me shudder, but also made me angry. The company which employed the young man, presumably without giving him any training, is at fault and hopefully their lack of investment and insight will result in poor sales. Unfortunately this will probably reflect in the young guy’s pay packet. I have often been taken for Bruce Webber on the phone – Ruth can sound like Bruce, but there is also the assumption that I am making the call on behalf of a man.

    I really like your examples of how people have used language and their ability to speak another language as a USP. When will we realise that, while businesspeople and others from other countries learn English, it is only courteous, if we hope to do business with them, to be able to conduct some basic conversations in their language?

    Vive les langues etrangeres!

    1. Thanks, Ruth! I though that sales call might touch a marketing nerve with you! And on the subject of languages, I so agree – it’s not just a matter of skills for our kids, it’s a question of courtesy to the people we do business with. And of putting ourselves, now and again, in their shoes – ie not being afraid to make the odd vocabulary or grammatical mistake, or of speaking their language with an atrocious accent (like mine in Italian – fluent but with definitely Glaswegian tones!).

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