Interview: Ian Andersen
Ian Andersen, born 1956 in Copenhagen, Denmark, is external communication adviser at the European Commission's Directorate General for Interpretation. He talks to Business Spotlight ahead of the Expolingua Berlin from 20–22 November 2009. Business Spotlight is media partner of Expolingua.Are you actively seeking interpreters at the European Commission?
Yes. Along with a lot of other professions, we are reaching the end of the baby boomers generation. So the massive hirings that we did in the late 70s and the early 80s are now turning into a wave of retirements. Interestingly, the most critical language for which we need interpreters is English, closely followed by French, German, Italian and Dutch. For all of these languages we’ve started campaigns to try to get more people interested in studying languages and joining the profession and eventually in coming to the European institutions.
In February, we launched a clip on YouTube, called “Interpreting for Europe into English”, which is meant to show what the work is like and to attract people to the profession. In September we did the same thing for French, and at the Expolingua in Berlin from 20–22 November, we’re going to premier our German video clip "Dolmetschen für Europa auf deutsch." So we’re working on promoting the profession, to show young people that it's not just a career, but that it’s interesting and fun. To get in touch with 15-to 25-year olds, we'll launch a fan page on Facebook. Young people tend to live not at home, not in school, but on Facebook. So that's where we’re going to go — we now have a Facebook page . We are also on Twitter.