When do our clients require a translator and when do they need an interpreter?  Most people ask for a translator, however, the difference is quite simple: translators work with a written word and interpreters deal with a spoken word, face-to-face or over the phone. Both mean changing a message from one language into another completely and accurately. When interpreting though, there is an additional requirement to convey the same tone and mood. Being unbiased and independent interpreters doesn’t mean we have to act as robots: customers expect us to be able to express the nuances of native speech in the best way possible.

Translators work with written documents, such as correspondence, transcripts, contracts etc., and have all of the resources available: dictionaries, online glossaries and translation memories with terminology databases.

The only memory interpreters can rely on is their own. In simultaneous interpreting when no pauses are made, the interpreter is catching up all the time with a delay of just few seconds. This is a very skilled job as while listening to the speaker in one language, interpreters have to instantly convert the message into another language and pronounce it while still listening to the flow of speech. Can you ignore your own voice saying one thing in one language, catching up with a flow of speech in another language at the same time? Professionals can.

In consecutive interpreting, where stops are allowed, a note pad is an interpreter’s good friend.

Whether you need a translator or an interpreter, we are able to put you in touch with a reliable professional. Just let us know the date, time and type of job you need a language specialist for by using this form, and we will get back to you.

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Whenever apologists for the failings of Capita TI appear before Parliamentary Committees, they always present the declining number of complaints as evidence that the contract is getting better and better. I've done some analysis of the published statistics, and it throws up some interesting figures. 

For example, if a linguist fails to attend an assignment, you'd imagine the booking clerk would be pretty angry and would almost certainly complain. Not so. In the last set of statistics covering the 2nd quarter of 2014, there were 227 instances of 'did not attend' but there were only 98 complaints, a complaint rate of 43%. The figures are even more striking when you consider instances of Capita being unable to supply a linguist. 1,780.instances of not being able to supply resulted in only 329 complaints, a rate of 18.5%. Combining these two examples, the rate for complaining has fallen steadily over the last year, from 33.5%in Q1 2013, to 21.3% in Q2 2014.

As time goes by, it is clear that court staff are becoming less willing to complain, even though they still have plenty to complain about. Why would this be? Two reasons spring to mind. Firstly, it is seen as a complete waste of time making a complaint because nothing will come of it. The MoJ has made it obvious that it backs Capita to the hilt and isn't prepared to do anything that would provoke Capita to walk away from the contract. Secondly, court staff don't want to jeopardize their careers by complaining about a contract that Handcock and Brennan hold so close to their hearts. We've already seen the MoJ threaten disciplinary action to prevent staff contributing to the Justice Select Committee forum. Who wants to stick their head above the parapet and be perceived as a 'whining winnie', when all it will achieve is push them to the front of the queue for redundancies?

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Dear Committee members,

My attention was brought to the Oral evidence session: Implementing reforms to civil legal, held on December 4th. In particular, the following exchange:

Q193Chair: Okay.

My final question is to Peter Handcock, about the work we did on interpreters. You told us in January that the independent assessment on the quality of interpreters’ standards, provided through Capita, would be complete by April. I understand that it has not yet been published and that, in response to an FOI request in September, you said that you could not disclose it because it had been prepared for this Committee and will be published once we had considered it.         

Peter Handcock: I will have to undertake to come back to you. I cannot immediately answer that question, I’m afraid.           

Chair: It’s the sort of thing I should have thought you might have thought about in preparing, given the wonderful hearing you had on that issue. Can I have an answer by Monday, please?              

Peter Handcock: You can. 

As the person who instigated the FOI request I would be interested to know whether Mr. Handcock did respond to the Committee before Monday 8th as promised. I believe the MoJ was incorrect in asserting that the report was being prepared for the Public Accounts Committee, I think it was prompted by a recommendation of the Justice Committee. At an oral evidence session on October 24th (HC658), the following exchange took place:

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4 trials 1

4 trials 2

Copyright: the London Advocate, November 2014, №84, pp. 9-10

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The sentencing of a drugs mule who tried to smuggle cannabis through Southend Airport has been postponed for the second time in a week due to bungling translators and prison officers.

Spaniard Juan Puebla, 51, who is currently in custody, admitted smuggling 1.153kg of cannabis resin. He came over to Britain with the class B drug on an easyJet flight from Malaga to Southend Airport on August 28.

He was due to be sentenced at BasildonCrown Court on Monday, but Chelmsford Prison did not bring him to court, nor did a Spanish interpreter turn up, in what Judge David Owen- Jones described as a “disgrace”.

The sentence was adjourned until yesterday, but it was botched again after the same errors.

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