What are the most multilingual cities in the U.S.? New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, DC round out the top 3. Let’s put the spotlight on Washington DC, the capital of the U.S. and the city in which Language Advocacy Day takes place.
A few weeks ago, on February 15th and 16th, over one hundred language advocates and educators converged on Washington, DC for Language Advocacy Day, a critical point in time for the future direction of translation, localization, interpretation, and all language services devoted to multilingual communication. The conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill where over 100 world language teachers and advocates gathered to meet with Congress members to discuss and bring to light the importance of language education and the language Industry in the US, by doing the following:
Language advocacy touches on subjects of significant importance to our translation agency, like promoting the studies of languages in the USA, at all levels, and increasing support and development of the language industry in the US. Language Translation services in Washington are important due to the great extent of government, economic exchange, foreign relationships, national security, and diplomacy, so having language advocacy celebrated there brings even more meaning to this day.
As a translation company that provides translation services in Washington DC and throughout the US, it is encouraging to know that efforts such as those being done through Language Advocacy Day, are creating awareness and improving language support for communities within Washington DC and around the USA.
Besides the Michigan World Language Association and American Translators Association, there were several other notable entities involved. The Joint National Committee for Languages, (JNCL-NCLIS), hosts the event as part of its mission to develop ideas for future language policies and to appeal to the federal government for those policies to be used. The JNCL now represents over one hundred smaller organizations, all dedicated to fuel progress in language education, translation, localization, interpretation, and more.
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is a nationwide organization made up of language educators. There are thousands of members, spanning all teaching levels and representing thousands of languages.
Apart from national associations, the event was also attended by many independent language educators, translators, interpreters, localizers, researchers, and business representatives within the Language industry.
The whole reason for such a gathering is knowledge. Language advocates from across this nation met with legislators in Congress and the Executive branch of government to educate them on their work, learn about the resources available, and to push for more support for language programs, activities, and policies. Attendees from all walks of life met with each other and explored how they can help their fellow language enthusiasts as a collective force to move toward shared and individual goals.
Success stories were shared among the linguistic community, celebrating victories won and progress made- an effort to remind everyone what they are working toward and to galvanize others to join the effort in making the U.S. a more linguistically diverse country.
“If we don’t make the case for ourselves, nobody will do it for us! Languages are still seen as a nice-to-have when in reality, they are essential to national security and vital to economic growth.”- Executive Director of the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL-NCLIS), Dr. William P Rivers. Rivers has also mentioned the need for employees with language skills and the necessity of having multilingual and multicultural information in a diverse country.
Professional translation services are not only essential in federal and international affairs, diplomacy, and global trade, but in a business’ brand and sphere of influence. A business that makes the effort to use a professional translation service to showcase its offerings to an entirely new market goes the extra mile. We need to advocate for qualified translation and localization professionals that can make a company’s message clear and appealing to a global audience. Legal document translation is essential for protecting a business’s interests abroad and at home. For these reasons and more, preparing professionals to deliver high-quality language services in the Language Industry is a must, a process that can begin by teaching languages to children at a young age.
Language Advocacy Day highlights the fact that translation and localization work is becoming more in demand in the U.S., the market is huge, and we need to prepare the appropriate resources and human capital to help support businesses in the important function of multilingual communication.