Council officials translating in 60 different languages in Leicester
Council officials in Leicester were asked to
translate documents and interviews into 60 different languages last year, the
authority has said.
A report by Leicester City Council has shown it was
asked to carry out more than 10,000 translations in 2016/17 to help people
understand their rights and responsibilities if their English isn't good
report said the most frequently requested translations were into Gujurati,
Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Somali, Arabic, Farsi, Polish, Slovak, Chinese, Pushto,
Kurdish, Romanian, British Sign Language, Tamil, Portuguese, Tigrinya, French,
Hindi and Russian.
plans, emails, letters, legal documents, fostering reports and even text and
WhatsApp messages have all been translated.
A city council spokeswoman said: “The number of
languages continues to increase as the city’s population becomes more diverse.
“However, in line with central government policy,
the council encourages the use of English as the city’s main language.
“The policy does also recognise that there will
always be circumstances where translation or interpretation is needed
particularly on a one-to-one basis where someone does not have sufficient
English Language skills and needs to be able understand their legal rights,
medical or care advice or their financial and other responsibilities.”
The council had 9,426 requests for
translation in the 12 months up to April last year rising to 10,066 the
The council said: “Typically those services
are dealing with more complex and sensitive matters, where it is important
individuals understand their situation, their rights and the nature of the
service intervention, with Children’s and Adult Social Care generating the
largest volumes (of translation requests).”
council also offers its translation service to outside organisations and
generated a £53,000 surplus last year.
However Leicester’s hospitals have recently had
their translations requests sent to a firm covering a contract for the whole of
the East Midlands for which the council was unable to bid.
Also the council’s community languages service
provided face to face interpretation for Job Centre Plus when immigration from
eastern European countries was at a peak.
The demand for these services has slowly declined and
in recent translation has been delivered via video link.