Dr. Adriane Rinsche

Dr. Adriane Rinsche, born 08/03/1954, Münster, Germany; lives: London
Munich/Nuremberg/London, 06/02/2007
Interviewer: Stephan Balling

European airports are her second home. Adriane Rinsche spends up to 100 days a year travelling, to plan and manage projects with various companies and institutions all over Europe: a model citizen of Europe. She holds a doctorate in Computational Linguistics and values the diversity of Europe.
Dr.Rinsche, 52, has just come from Kufstein in Austria, where she has been working on a contract for the European Union with well-known partners such as the Fraunhofer Institute and the University of St. Gallen. Before that, she was in Berlin. Now she is on her way back to London from Munich. She does not show the stress of travelling; she seems relaxed and in a good mood, and throws in the odd joke as we talk. The mother of two is wearing a business suit.
She talks confidently and articulately about her professional career and private life to date. A German national, she has been living in London since 1987, where she founded her company, the Language Technology Centre Ltd, in 1992. She stresses that she has always tried hard to strike a healthy balance between her work and her private life.

How has Europe changed your life?
The European Union made it much easier to go and work in London after my studies. Originally, I only wanted to spend a year in Britain, to gain some experience of living abroad, but then I stayed there. That is almost 20 years ago now. If there had been major bureaucratic barriers at that time, I might not have gone to Britain. Thanks to the EU, I didn’t have to worry about things like a residence permit or a work permit, and I could try various things.
Today, the EU enables me to employ an international and multicultural team from many European countries in my company, the Language Technology Centre, without any great administrative effort. The European Single Market allows us to operate across borders. Today, my company also benefits from European research funding, which allows us to keep trying out new technologies and bringing them to market.

What exactly is your work?
I founded the Language Technology Centre in London in 1992. My company now has over 30 established staff and does business all over Europe. Two years ago, we expanded into America, with an office in Washington D.C.
The company has three interconnected divisions. We develop information systems for multilingual business processes, provide language services such as translation, website and software localisation and a multilingual call centre, and advise multinational companies and public bodies, including the European institutions.
For example, I have evaluated all the relevant translation systems in the world for the EU, and I am also asked to evaluate EU tenders for research funding and review EU projects.

What is your idea of Europe?
I value the cultural diversity of Europe. The EU needs to be a strong economic power, to counter-balance other regions like America, Russia, China and the Arab world. This demands the greatest possible integration, at least in the economic sense. As an entrepreneur, I particularly want to see a uniform market with uniform rules, to reduce administrative efforts when we do business in different Member States.
Politically, of course, the individual countries should remain independent; we should not centralise everything in Brussels. In my view, the next important step would be to implement the European Constitution, because this would simplify a lot of things.

How do you see your future in Europe?
I will certainly be staying in Europe; I cannot imagine living anywhere else. I am just too strongly rooted in European culture and history, and I would not want to be without all that. Whether I will stay in Britain or return to Germany one day, I do not know yet.

How do you see the future of Europe?
We need a strong, united Europe with a minimum of bureaucracy. At the same time, we must preserve our cultural diversity. We need to respect the culture of every single country, because with all these different mentalities, misunderstandings can easily arise; I see this in my own company, which regularly operates on an international level. We need to learn from and about each other. That is why we need even more exchange programmes for young people.

What do you not like about the EU?
I think we could cut down on some of the bureaucracy in the EU. For example, we could start by having only one location for the European Parliament, instead of two as we have now. Also, the staff in the European institutions should be paid more according to performance. I would also like to see the large agricultural subsidies within the EU reduced at some point. This would not only save money, but also reduce the negative ecological impact of this aid. It would make a lot more sense to promote local agricultural products on the ground.

What was your most significant moment in the EU?
When I got my first contract from the EU in 1991. At that time, I was still writing my doctoral thesis, developing “Evaluation procedures for machine translation systems”, while working freelance in London. The contract matched my subject exactly. I was asked to evaluate all machine translation systems that existed at that time, because the EU wanted to know whether its own translation system, which had been in use since 1976, was still adequate. The EU then published my thesis, which was of course very beneficial for me.
An equally significant moment was the approval of one of our major projects two years ago, which we are financing with the support of the EU: the EUCAM project. We are working with Daimler Chrysler, the German metalworkers’ union IG-Metall and various European partners on a multilingual infrastructure for eLearning systems in manufacturing.
The idea of eLearning is that the workers can request information at computer terminals at their own pace and according to their knowledge levels, without having to attend training classes. The system also gives them the opportunity to suggest improvements. As the eLearning system is installed in different countries, our task is to ensure that everyone can use the learning content in his or her own language, and that content can be translated dynamically for managers from other countries with the aid of our multilingual technology, so the technical challenge is not compounded by a linguistic one.

Stephan Balling
Gärtner Strasse 62
68169 Mannheim
Tel: +49 (0)621-3903432
Mobile: +49 (0)176-22506056
E-mail: stephan.balling@gmail.com

Dr. Adriane Rinsche
Tel: +44 (0)20-8549-2359 ext. 201
Mobile: +44 (0)7710-325665
E-mail: adriane.rinsche@langtech.co.uk


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