Until now I have resisted the temptation to write about the British Applied Language Solutions / Ministry of Justice court interpreting contract – I felt that so many others had said all there was to say. For a tongue-in-cheek account, see Rainy London Translations’ post which contains lots of interesting links.
However, today, when I saw two tweets, I just had to put pen to blog, as it were.
The first tweet linked to this report: http://www.linguistlounge.org/index.php/all-articles/court-and-tribunal-interpreting-reports/493-stand-in-and-a-beautician-act-als-interpreters-in-a-murder-trial
I find the report scarcely believable, but in the light of recent events, I suspect that, sadly, shockingly, it is probably true.
The second tweet linked to a Law Gazette article published yesterday saying that finally a Select Committee has been appointed to head an inquiry into the service provided by ALS. The deadline for submissions is Monday 3 September. I will be very interested to see what happens.
Now I know this blog has an international readership, so all this might seem rather parochial to those outside the UK, but in the interests of starting a discussion – what do you think about the following:
- Will this scandal increase people’s awareness of professional interpreters’ skills and lead to more appreciation of their work?
- Or will it turn everyone into an armchair expert whenever they are in the presence of an interpreter and point out all the “errors” (without taking into account the fact that they are taking split-second decisions, may be in less-than-perfect working conditions, etc. etc.)
- Or… something else!
Do let me know what you think!