In the last couple of years public services in the UK have been under an increasing pressure to review their procedures for language support they offer to speakers of other languages. A few organisations have limited their use of translators and interpreters and some organisations have even gone as far as translating their website with machine translation tools. This year Google has also launched its electronic image translator on mobile phones. Does it work or does it present more risks than advantages to both public sector and commercial companies who endeavour to use it in their work? Is there still a market for professional language services?

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How times change... I remember this article in the Daily Telegraph in February 2013 when a company was fined and convicted of breaching health and safety laws by using Google Translate. In February 2015 I see a tweet that a Google translated text was handed as evidence to a judge.

FEBRUARY 2015:

Tweet Google translate

 

DAILY TELEGRAPH, 16TH FEBRUARY 2013:

Daily Telegraph 16.02.2013

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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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The Iranian sports ministry has been accused of favoring men in athletic competitions. With the power of social media and translators who specialize in professional Persian translation women from Iran can voice their complaints for a global audience. Athletes do not have to be fluent in English to communicate their views with fans around the world. For instance, Iranian authorities have refused to acknowledge the accomplishment of Elham Asghari because they considered her swimsuit “too revealing”. She made a statement about her difficulty in obtaining permission to swim in the Caspian Sea. Her remarks have been translated from Farsi and posted on news articles online. Professionals in the field of Persian translation services have been influential in spreading her words to non-Farsi speakers outside of Iran.

In a video she has thanked supporters who have praised her for breaking a record despite authorities’ decision. This piece was initially uploaded on Facebook in the original language and later subtitled in English and posted on Youtube. The video with translated subtitles has garnered thousands of viewers on social media websites. In another video she stated that individuals who are not capable of swimming 20 meters have disqualified her from her record breaking swim. Since her words have been translated by translators who offer professional Persian translation many people around the world have heard her voice and sent her encouraging messages. Asghari has waived off the criticism, pointing to seven witnesses who confirmed that her outfit followed the Islamic dress code and that she had swam in the absence of men observers. Her friend has also expressed her disappointment with the decision to letting Asghari’s record-setting swim go unrecorded.

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Judgment comes amid mounting concern within the judiciary over delays and extra costs caused by private contractors on court service.

Capita, the private outsourcing company, has been ordered to pay £16,000 by the most senior judge in the family courts for its “lamentable” failure to provide interpreters seven times in the course of a single adoption case.

The damning comments made by Sir James Munby, president of the family division, highlight concern among lawyers and MPs at the way in which the £300m contract is operated. Labour’s justice spokesman said it demonstrated the contract was out of control.

Two years ago the justice select committee described the manner in which the court interpreting service was privatised as “shambolic” and said it had resulted in trials collapsing and suspects being remanded unnecessarily in custody.

Capita took over the service in 2012 after it bought another firm, ALS, which had been awarded the contract. Hundreds of professional interpreters are still boycotting the service over what they say are low fees.

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