At the 22nd October event, host and organiser Gabriella Ferenczi initiated an open discussion on the challenges and opportunities for language professionals, before and after Brexit.
To get the energy going, she shared her ideas behind a survey she’s conducted among executives in the financial services industry as to how the Leave vote impacted their international relationships.
Gabriella is founder of a language training company called ProLingua Global. As a German and Hungarian language coach, she works with finance executives who work for international companies. She was curious if they’ve felt any difference in the way they are perceived among their European counterparts, colleagues, partners and clients.
Gabriella based her survey on a representative research that was comissioned by the British Council in order to compare results. From the outside in. G20 views of the UK before and after the EU referendum is a report that presents the result of two surveys which examined how educated young people across the G20 perceive Britain, its people, its institutions – before and after the referendum.
The overall results of the British Council survey are positive, and the UK’s people and institutions are and continue to be widely trusted. However, there are significant regional differences: the European nations of the G20 show a slight drop in trust and perceive the UK less attractive.
Gabriella wants to find out if these findings will correspond with the result of her survey which is still ongoing at the moment. She explained that whatever the results of the survey, Brits may not want to be part of the EU, but they certainly do not want to disengage from the EU and the world.
Gabriella feels that learning the language of foreign partners and clients may do the trick and actually help Britons in stressing that they do care about their European partners, and express that they are important to them.
Participants of the event then joined in to share their experiences of working as a language professional in Brexit-Britain. We talked about how Brexit is perceived in Asia, how we personally feel about it, and what sort of opportunities this may present to us in the future.
We chatted away until about 9pm over a drink or two, talking about international trade relationships, export and import commodities, languages and cultures, enjoying the company of fellow linguists, language professionals and language enthusiasts.