The last EULETA conference was held in Warwick, England. We spent two days together actively conferring and networking in an intensive environment. The programme was held partly in plenary sessions, partly in sections where a choice of two options was provided. The presentations were focused mainly on training methodology and materials, as well as sharing experiences; new publications were also presented. My presentation took place on Saturday, after lunchtime. The subject was the use of internet-based materials. I had worked on a database of legal English terminology, which can effectively support the work of people dealing with the teaching of legal English. In my talk, I raised the well-known issue of the differences between the legal systems - focusing on the lack of equivalence in the meaning of matching terms - then I highlighted the system which is capable of providing a solution. In addition, I also introduced a newly-published book titled, Terminology of Civil Law.
The Saturday evening programme was especially interesting as a university professor talked about the process of unifying civil law on a European level. It was highly informative and yet very clear. (Oh God, this is exactly what we research with my beloved colleague, Adam von Dioszeghy!) Other members also liked it and asked many relevant questions. It would be excellent to discuss the matter in much more detail. It’s good to know that a professor of a renowned English university - a specialist of the codification of European civil law - deals with the same problems as we do. Is he ahead of us in this research work? Yes, probably, as he has obviously read much more on the subject. This is to his advantage. However, as far as the substance of the discussions is concerned, we are on the same page. This is quite rewarding to know.
Then we had dinner in a very elegant restaurant. It seems to me that backroom dealings - so prevalent in politics - are also present in our association. I had learned the previous night that I'd be nominated to the office of secretary. Just to be sure that I'd know what to expect, they told me that they would shoot me if I did not perform well in the office. I guess this is part of the normal practice in Western Europe...so why should I worry unduly? I knew I would perform my duties well. After all, as my kids say - in a very loud voice - "we are the BEST!" Time came for the AGM on Sunday. For those readers who do not know what AGM is, please type in www.anglofon.com, click on "terminology database", and search for the word. If you haven't noticed, this is meant to be an advertisement for my product. Try it! You'll see miracles performed! Would you like to subscribe?
In fact, AGM is important indeed. This is where the association elects its officers for the coming year. If we elect the right persons, we will prosper. The stakes are high. Back-door politics worked, I am the secretary of EULETA. Welcome to the Board.
Now, what is the role of the secretary? Let’s google it: "secretary"... oh no, did I travel so far for this job? Adam, my friend, what IS a secretary? "Well, a secretary is a woman with big breasts, wears high-heeled shoes and short skirts, while serving coffee to the members", says my politically incorrect old friend. "Mamma mia, I’d better get home!" I thought. Why not try another reference: www.anglofon.com. A much better answer presents itself; I relax. … OK, I will organize conferences, be the contact point between EULETA and the world, and the like. Not so bad. What are the tasks? Administrative work? Oh, leave me alone! Do you know what administrative work is?
For me, EULETA is like an empty bottle that needs to be filled up with content. What content? Relevant content. You give what you have, I give what I have; let’s cooperate. I am convinced that if you give your best, you will have even more. If you have something to contribute, do not hide it under the bushel but share it…