De Taalstudio (www.taalstudio.nl) is an independent private company which provides products and services with a strong linguistic component. Since 2003, De Taalstudio provides language analysis and contra-expertise for many languages. Our reports are written by independent professional linguists specialised in the language and region under investigation. To date, most of our customers are asylum seekers and their representatives, seeking a contra-expertise for a language analysis carried out by order of the Dutch Immigration Service. De Taalstudio functions as an intermediary between asylum seekers and their legal representatives on the one hand, and the linguists (contra-experts) on the other. The Guidelines for the Use of Language Analysis in Relation to Questions of National Origin in Refugee Cases form the basis of our quality standards, and we have implemented the Guidelines in all facets of our procedures. This refers not only to the selection of experts but also, amongst other things, to the selection of cases, the degree of certainty in the conclusions, and due attention to issues arising from the complex relationship between language and origin.
De Taalstudio employs four linguists, two administrative staff and one specialist in refugee law. An independent advisory board consisting of linguists, an immigration judge, and a solicitor, advises De Taalstudio on all aspects of quality in this domain. Next to our daily case work, De Taalstudio collaborates with various universities in the Netherlands and abroad on research projects into aspects of language analysis, including its methodology. Since 2004 a workshop was organised each year about language analysis, in which practitioners as well as academics participated. In so doing we created a platform for the much-needed discussion in this rather new field of applied/ forensic linguistics. Finally, we play an active role in informing a general audience of legal professionals about language analysis, its possibilities and its limitations.
Ultima modifica 24.11.2009