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British government accepts that translating and interpreting is a profession

27th September 2005

Press Release

Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI)

Diana Wallis Member of the European Parliament and President of the UK based Institute of Translation and Interpreting is today (27th September 2005) being awarded the first Honorary Member of the newly formed Chartered Institute of Linguists. The award takes place in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, England and the Chartered Institute's patron His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent will present the award.

Diana Wallis said:

"I am both delighted and humbled to receive the award of first Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists

Languages have been a large part of my life both as a lawyer and a politician but I would never pretend to be a professional linguist. That is why my acceptance of this honour is very much in my role as the President of ITI and therefore on behalf of all our members who work as professional linguists. For members of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting the attainment of a Royal Charter represents a huge advance and delivers richly deserved recognition of the profession. It is apt that our institutes should be seen to be moving forward together at this key moment.

As a long time consumer of language services both as a lawyer and now as a European politician I am all too aware that the linguists have not been properly recognised and valued; a Royal Charter brings us nearer to that goal."

Notes for editors

The Institute of Translation & Interpreting was founded in 1986 as the only independent professional association of practising translators and interpreters in the United Kingdom. It is now one of the primary sources of information on these services to government, industry, the media and the general public. With its aim of promoting the highest standards in the profession, ITI serves as a meeting place for all those who understand the importance of translation and interpreting to the economy and society, particularly with the expansion of a single European market of over forty languages and the growth of worldwide communications.


Diana Wallis
Diana Wallis was re-elected to the European Parliament in June 2004 for the region of Yorkshire & the Humber as part of the 12 strong UK Liberal Democrat group. She was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999.

Born in 1954 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Diana qualified as a solicitor in 1983, specialising in European commercial litigation. Her law studies took her to Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, which added to her interest in European issues and only heightened her desire to enter European politics. She is fluent in French and German and is learning Spanish.

Diana has been President of ITI since her election in 2002.