11 May 2015
Courts Service pays more than €1m for interpreters
Yoruba, Cebuano, Lingala, Iloko and Tagalog were some of the obscure, exotic and far-flung languages spoken by those accused of offences before the courts in Ireland last year.
The Courts Service confirmed on Sunday, in response to a Freedom of Information request, that the bill for providing interpretation services for 68 languages in the courts during 2014 totalled just over €1 million. The figures show that most of the fees were paid to Forbidden City Ltd (or their trading name, translation.ie), which received €832,324.
According to the Courts Service, Polish was the language interpreted most often last year in the courts, with interpreters required on 2,151 different occasions, accounting for 28.8 per cent of the languages interpreted.
This was followed by the demand for Romanian interpreters, who were required 1,367 times in court, making up 18.3 per cent. The other languages to feature in the top 10 were Lithuanian (14.8 per cent), Russian (9.9 per cent), Mandarin (4.5 per cent), Latvian (3.4 per cent), Vietnamese (2.6 per cent), Portuguese (2 per cent), Arabic (1.7 per cent) and Czech (1.5 per cent).