As the leading global non-profit association within the language industry, GALA's central mission includes promoting professionalism in the language industry and educating the global community on the economic and social value of translation and localization. The continued success of our thriving language industry relies on support from policymakers and governmental organizations for language, language companies, and technologies.
GALA partners with a number of organizations to advocate on behalf of the language industry with a general focus on the following areas:
- Language education and funding
- Codification of standards
- Promotion of the language industry as a critical component of global business
Much of our industry advocacy includes work with a range of partners on language industry issues that impact our members, higher education, and the global community as whole.
The majority of our advocacy efforts focuses on the United States and the European Union. We are committed to the same level of support for all world regions, and welcome your requests for new advocacy initiatives and feedback on current initiatives. If GALA can help advocate for language in your region, please contact us.
Language Industry Advocacy in the USA
In the United States, GALA participates in both state and national initiatives, with a recent focus on advocating for restoration of consistent funding for language education, including:
- Reinstating funding for the Foreign Languages Assistance Program (FLAP)
- Restoring funding for grants to language scholars and area studies centers made under the National Defense Education Act
- Preserving funding for language programs within the Department of Defense, the State Department, and the National Intelligence Council
Since 2012, GALA has partnered with The Joint National Committee for Languages, The National Council for Languages and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS), and The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). GALA supports JNCL-NCLIS’s position that language is crucial for effective trade policy, expanding international trade, ensuring the integrity of national defense, enhancing international communication, and developing a truly broad-based education for all citizens in the 21st century.
Working through its partnerships with such distinguished organizations, as well as through the GALA CRISP program, we participated as an Organizing Committee member of the Languages for All initiative. This broad-based initiative seeks to advance the cause of a language-competent citizenry, extending every category of language capabilities, from a core of distinguished experts (such as the professionals in the language industry) to a broad base of citizens that are exposed to a second language and are globally aware. You can read more about the program’s 10-year roadmap in theLanguages for All final report.
At the state level, many individuals and groups work on language industry employment issues, such as the rights of employees versus independent contractors and visa reform. Read more about GALA's involvement in U.S. Advocacy Initiatives.
Language Advocacy in Europe
The European Commission plays a large role in the language services industry, employing 2,500 permanent staff at its in-house translation service, the Directorate General for Translation (DGT), to translate into and out of the European Union’s 24 official languages.
In addition to providing translation in all the European languages, the DGT works to promote languages and work with other Directorates-General within the European Commission on language initiatives, including:
- The LIND-Web Platform: The result of co-operation between the DGT, GALA, and the localization and language industry. LIND-Web raises awareness of the language industry and its various subsectors, disseminating information about the industry and its economic impact.
- The Languages Mean Business program, organized by the DG Education and Culture, promotes language service providers and encourages businesses to use foreign languages. It presents the over-arching message that translation and localization helps companies increase profits, using facts about how language services can help business, success stories, and tips for accessing and employing localization and language services.
- The DG Education and Culture runs a program aimed at students and teacher, to encourage the life-long learning of languages.
- The DGT is working to quantify the language and localization industry as a whole, by collaborating with Eurostat – the official statistics organization of the European Union – to collect objective data on the localizations to and language sector. The program includes developing a skills map for careers within the industry.
- The Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect) has a program to objectively quantify, map and promote the language tools industry.
GALA supports these efforts by providing visibility and gathering input from industry leaders among our global membership. We also work to disseminate information to industry stakeholders and provide valuable industry input into EC initiatives.
Learn more about how GALA supports humanitarian efforts within the industry.