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Friday, 27 May 2016

MoJ awards courtroom interpreting contracts

27 May 2016 by Monidipa Fouzder

MoJ awards courtroom interpreting contracts
The future of courtroom interpreting has become clearer after an international language services company formed in Leeds confirmed it has won two components of the Ministry of Justice’s new contract.
The new arrangements will replace the controversial contract held by Capital TI. That contract expires in October.
The ministry confirmed the awards but said it would be inappropriate to comment further before the new contracts have been signed.
But Thebigword confirmed in a press release that it has won contracts to provide face-to-face interpretation, and written translation and transcription services. The £120m four-year contract can be extended for a further three one-year periods, said the company, which was reported to have a turnover of £42m in 2014.
The contract for non-spoken language services has reportedly been offered to Cambridge firm Clarion Interpreting Limited. A spokesperson for Clarion told the Gazette the company is in a ‘standstill period’ until 7 June and unable to comment further.
The contract for independent quality assurance has reportedly been offered to The Language Shop, a business originally set up by the London Borough of Newham. The Language Shop told the Gazette it was unable to comment.
Capita TI currently provides full language services in courts and tribunals under a framework agreement which aroused fierce controversy when it came into effect in 2012.
As the Gazette reported, Capita TI bid to provide written translation and transcription. A spokesperson for Capita TI said: 'While we are disappointed with the decision, we are committed to delivering a high level of service under the current contract which ends 30 October.'
Thebigword, which employs 500 staff across 11 offices and has more than 8,000 linguists, says a number of Capita TI staff will be ‘transferred’ to the company as part of the deal.
Thebigword’s press release states that the linguists who currently work to support the justice system ‘will see improved working conditions’.
A spokesperson for Thebigword told the Gazette the company could not confirm details of the improved working conditions ‘as details are still being discussed and finalised. However, Thebigword is working with focus groups as they are determined to make sure conditions are improved’.
In today’s press release, the company's chief executive Larry Gould (pictured), states: ‘[We are] the largest interpreting services provider in Europe. We have the infrastructure and we have the experience. We have been delivering large-scale public sector contracts for more than two decades.’
Gould says the company has worked with focus groups ‘to develop a package of benefits and have comprehensive training programmes to ensure our linguists can cope with difficult conversations – such as interpreting rape, torture and other distressing crimes – and deliver the highest possible standards’.
The MoJ deal also requires Thebigword to develop a trainee scheme, in conjunction with the independent quality assurance supplier.
Earlier this month Thebigword won a £60m four-year contract to provide services to central government organisations including the Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office, UK Border Force, HM Revenue and Customs, and the NHS.

Thebigword wins £120m MoJ contract

27 May 2016

Thebigword wins £120m MoJ contract
Leeds language services company Thebigword has won Britain’s biggest Government contract for interpreting and translation, worth £120m.
The four-year contract with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is for face-to-face and telephone interpreting, along with translation and transcription services. The company will provide linguists to courts, tribunals, prisons, the probation service, Crown Prosecution Service and police.
It is the second big Government contract win for the company this month, after it was awarded a £60m four-year deal to provide translation services to the Department of Work and Pensions, Home Office, NHS, Ministry of Defence and HMRC. Both contracts can be extended for a further three one-year periods.
Linguists for the MoJ who worked for Capita TI, which previously held the contract, will transfer to Thebigword as part of the deal. The MoJ contract requires the development of a trainee scheme. The new contracts start from October 31 this year.
Chief executive Larry Gould said: “Thebigword is the largest interpreting services provider in Europe. We have the infrastructure and we have the experience. We have been delivering large-scale public sector contracts for more than two decades.
“The Ministry of Justice have recognised this and are confident our technology and proven systems will deliver an exceptional service and genuine value for money. We are extremely proud of our global family of 8,000 language experts and are looking forward to welcoming these new linguists to Thebigword.
“We have worked with focus groups to develop a package of benefits and have comprehensive training programmes to ensure our linguists can cope with difficult conversations - such as interpreting rape, torture and other distressing crimes - and deliver the highest possible standards.”
Thebigword has 11 offices around the world, employs 500 staff and has more than 8,000 linguists.

"an Egyptian interpreter could not be found"

27 May 2016

Bath man charged over Pizza Express fracas needs Egyptian interpreter to enter plea
[...] At Bristol Crown Court (right) Ahmed Elsorougi could not answer the charges against him over a fracas at Pizza Express in Barton Street, Bath (left)
A Bath man accused of carrying a knife and assaulting a police officer at Pizza Express in Bath was unable to admit or deny the charges because an Egyptian interpreter could not be found.
Ahmed Elsorougi, of Long Hay Close, is charged with common assault, assault by beating and possessing a bladed article in a public place in connection with an incident at the chain restaurant in Barton Street on April 28.
The 46-year-old appeared in Bristol Crown Court on Friday (May 27) to formally enter a plea, but an Egyptian interpreter was not available.
Edward Burgess, defending, said: "I am satisfied that an interpreter is needed." […]

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Case adjourned

May 25, 2016 
[...] The trial of a Lithuanian man who is accused of taking part in late night violence in Barnstaple has been delayed.
Valda Cikanas had been due to stand trial at Exeter Crown Court on charges of affray and assault but the case has been adjourned because of lack of court time and the unavailability of an interpreter. [...] 
Recorder Mr John Williams adjourned the case and the trial will now be heard later this year.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Nurses: Tips for using an Interpreter

By Carmel Smith

Nurses: Tips for using an Interpreter
Quick tips for using an interpreter for speakers of a different language
Using an interpreter can make conversation more tricky however, the tips below should help communication flow more naturally.
1.  Firstly it is important to ensure you use a professional interpreter and do not rely only on family/ friends to interpret for your patient.  Your patient may not feel able to be truly honest when speaking via family/ friends. There is also the risk that family or friends may also add their own concerns into the communication and provide answers based on what they want you to hear. 
2.  Ask the interpreter if she (he) will be doing simultaneous or consecutive interpreting. In simultaneous interpreting the interpreter interprets and speaks at the same time as you speak. In consecutive interpreting the interpreter waits until you have completed a segment of speech and then interprets while you pause and your client listens.Make sure you give a clear introduction and explain who you are and why you are there.  It is also helpful for the interpreter to have prior clarification of this which helps them in their role.  You can set the scene whilst maintaining your client’s confidentiality with regard to clinical information.
3.  Arrange the seating so you are facing your patient.  The interpreter should be close but not in the line of sight between you and your patient. 
4.  Your communication should be directed at your patient and you should look at them whilst speaking / listening. It is really important that you interact with the patient and you do not focus your attention on the interpreter.
5.  Try to start with some general conversation before getting into the business end of things.
6.  Try to avoid long questions and break your questions up as much as possible to give the interpreter the opportunity to ask everything you want to know. If your questions are too long winded then you run the risk of the interpret summarising your questions and you may lose valuable information.
7.  Avoid colloquialisms. English is a language with a vast and rich store of colloquialisms. However, even excellent interpreters can miss the subtleties of the language, especially if English is not their mother tongue
8.  It is usually best to break conversation into small chunks, check with the interpreter prior to starting as to how much they are comfortable interpreting in one go. 
9.  Ask interpreters not to change or alter what you say even if they think it may cause offense. If you plan to talk about a controversial issue let the interpreter know.
10.         Keep your language simple!