Working With Legal Interpreters
If you work within the translation industry, or have been keeping up-to-date with recent language news, you will no doubt be aware of the controversy. I am of course talking about the contract signed recently between translation and interpreting agency Applied Language Solutions and The Ministry of Justice.
The reported £300M contract signed last year was introduced as a money-saving arrangement. This has allowed the private firm ALS to source linguists for the courts, and ousting the legal interpreting service previously supplied within the public sector. The contract was intended to save the courts £18M a year in interpreter costs. Everything has not been running as smoothly as both parties might have envisaged.
T’s and C’s apply
As the new contract is intended to save money, there have of course been new conditions introduced for the interpreters. These include drastically reduced payment rates for an interpreter. By up to 50% in some cases! This has angered many of the interpreters, who are now refusing to work for ALS. This in turn has meant that the ALS pool of linguistic talent is shrinking by the hour. Now it is alleged many under qualified and inexperienced interpreters have been turning up to court hearings across the country. The Daily Telegraph has also reported that court staff have had to resort to using machine translation software like Google Translate. Google Translate is to aid communication when interpreters have either been late or haven’t turned up at all. Not exactly approved by other translation agencies out there!
We’re not all the same
Our concern at Lingua Translations is this story will scare off people from using interpreters from an agency. The last thing the client needs is to be worried about the skill set of the interpreter they have asked for. All of interpreters are trained linguists with an in-depth knowledge of the translation industry and all of its intricacies. Many of our competitors on the other hand are run by individuals with a limited knowledge of how the industry works. Which in turn can have an effect on the quality of the legal interpreting service they can provide.
We also understand how undervalued linguists can become in an industry such as this. Our highly stringent vetting procedures mean we highly value and appreciate the linguists we work with. We also endeavour to provide the utmost support and care to our translators and interpreters throughout every stage, and within every area of their work.
For more information on the legal interpreting service we can offer, visit our website. We’re here to help you. Not hinder!