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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Lost in translation...


Lost in translation...
A neighbourhood support team officer in North Yorkshire approached his inspector, outlining that a Romanian shoplifter, part of an organised crime group, was in custody. He went on to say that there was no interpreter available and the detainee did not speak a word of English.
The officer, unperturbed, had used Google to search for the Romanian word for address. On his first attempt the search results yielded a top entry which said ‘Word Hippo’. The officer had then managed to elicit the address by repeatedly shouting “What is your hippo?” at the detainee with different inflections until the required information was disclosed.
Slightly sceptical, the inspector ran the same Google search, only to have to disappointingly inform the officer that ‘Word Hippo’ was the website – which gave the translation as ‘adresa’. Shouts of “What is your hippo?” could be heard down various corridors of the police station for the remainder of the shift.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Privatisation: Interpreting the Cost of Justice


Privatisation: Interpreting the Cost of Justice
[…] Now in its fourth year, the agreement has been described by politicians as a “car crash” and “nothing short of shambolic”. An ongoing boycott by the vast majority of qualified and experienced court interpreters, following the cut in standards and pay the contract entails, has meant the contract target of 98% of fulfilled assignments has never been met. The MoJ has had the option throughout of terminating this contract which has never been performed according to the terms agreed; instead, it has chosen repeatedly to defend it and its partnership with Capita TI. […]

Monday, 26 January 2015

Grantham court: Lithuanian interpreter booked for Latvian defendants


Grantham court: Lithuanian interpreter booked for Latvian defendants
The case of two Latvian nationals accused of possessing a stun gun in Grantham has been adjourned for the third time because the wrong interpreter was booked.
After having their case rescheduled twice before due to lack of paperwork, co-defendants Arturs Aboltins, 23, of Ravendale Close, Grantham, and 24-year-old Matiss Petrovs of Harlaxton Road, Grantham, arrived at court to find that a Lithuanian interpreter had mistakenly been arranged to translate court proceedings.
They are each charged with one count of possessing a weapon designed for the discharge of an electrical incapacitant without the authority of the Secretary of State, dated on November 17 at Dysart Road, Grantham, and are yet to enter pleas.
As the pair are both returning to Latvia for a month, the case has now been rearranged again for February 23, with the co-defendants on unconditional bail.

Capita still failing to hit interpreter target

26 January 2015 by Monidipa Fouzder

Capita still failing to hit interpreter target
Nearly three years after the outsourcing of courtroom interpreting to a single contractor, the service is still falling short of its key performance target, according to the latest government figures.
Between July and September 2014, Capita Translation and Interpreting completed 94.8% of requests for language services – up from 94.1% in the previous quarter, but falling short of the 98% requirement stated in the contract.
The Ministry of Justice said this was the highest success rate since the contract started in 2012. Nearly half (47%) of the 660 complaints received during the quarter concerned the lack of an available interpreter.
The number of completed requests for language services fell for the second consecutive quarter, with 38,100 requests made under the contract, compared with 39,600 in the previous three months. The MoJ said the fall was due to fewer requests for language services from tribunal courts.
Courts minister Shailesh Vara said the interpreting contract had continued to deliver significant improvements since being introduced to tackle inefficiencies and inconsistencies.
‘We now have a quality service that is robust, sustainable and affordable, and we have spent £27m less in the first two years of the contract,’ Vara said.
The Law Society said it was ‘shocking’ that after nearly three years of a sole provider being in place, the service was still failing to reach its performance target.
‘A lack of available interpreters costs time and causes unnecessary adjournments, resulting in avoidable distress to victims and inconvenience to witnesses,’ the Society said.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Italian man spent two nights in Shrewsbury cell after translation problems

January 24, 2015

Italian man spent two nights in Shrewsbury cell after translation problems
An Italian man spent two nights in a cell for failing to give a breath test because there was no interpreter to explain what to do, a court heard.
Mario Ciullo, who does not speak English, admitted failing to give a sample and driving without insurance.
But he avoided a hefty fine after Shrewsbury magistrates heard of his translation trouble.
The 34-year-old had turned up at two hearings to find no interpreter available so proceedings could no go ahead.
Eventually, five weeks after his arrest, an Italian translator was found but Ciullo, formerly of Edgecombe Way, Shrewsbury, had returned home for Christmas after finishing his temporary work contract in England. Now unemployed, he had to pay hundreds of pounds for return flights to face criminal charges.
And on Thursday he walked free from court with an 18-month conditional discharge. Shrewsbury magistrates also gave him a driving ban of 16 months.
But he was told that due to his early guilty plea and the time he had spent in custody he would not be fined or asked pay court costs. Failure to provide a specimen can carry a maximum fine of £5,000 or six months in prison.
Miss Becky Jones prosecuting said police spotted Ciullo driving “erratically” in a Kia Carens on Hereford Way on December 13.
They pulled him over and a road side breath test confirmed he was over the limit. But Ciullo was unable to complete a breath test back at the police station.
Mr Stephen Skully defending said: “This is a tale of problems with interpreters that has led to a five and a half week gap between this offence and my client making his first effective appearance before the court today.
“He admits drinking and accepts the fact he was uninsured.
“He gave a road side breath test and when he got to the police station an interpreter was provide by a language line which informed him of his right to a solicitor and to inform someone of his arrest.
“He did try to provide samples of breath but he could not understand what the officers were telling him.”
“He was remanded in custody on December 13. Although he had an address in the Shrewsbury area at that time, police thought he might leave the country, despite him having no previous convictions.
“He appeared before Telford magistrates on December 15 when they were unable to locate an interpreter and I understand he spent most of the day in custody before being released on bail to attend court on December 18.
“On that day again no interpreter was present. In the meantime he has returned to his native Italy and has therefore had to pay for his return flight to attend court today.”
He told magistrates: “Given what has happened to him and the time he has spent in custody due to these proceedings I am going to ask you to depart from your guidelines in his favour and consider a period of conditional discharge.”