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Saturday, September 20, 2014
 

Columns and Commentary


Perspectives: A translation buyer reflects on standards

Karen Netto

Under a contract designed to save the UK Ministry of Justice £18 million a year, Applied Language Solutions (ALS) started to provide them with court interpreting services on February 1, 2012. UK professional interpreting organizations have mounted a campaign against this contract because it significantly reduces interpreters' earnings.
According to the Law Society’s Gazette, nine out of ten court interpreters are boycotting the ALS service. Protesters claim that hundreds of court and tribunal proceedings have been cancelled because of a lack of interpreters. The campaign also urges statutory regulation of the interpreting profession and protection of the title of legal interpreter.
Alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear that it is time to intervene in the language services industry. How can this “cottage” industry, which is struggling to mature rapidly and effectively, support exports at this critical economic time? On the one hand, the industry bemoans in an interminable, internal debate how it is undervalued and constantly undercut in pricing, while on the other hand, it quite frankly delivers uneven quality standards from its various practitioners.
If the mighty Ministry of Justice has experienced quality issues with its new interpreting service contract due to its pure focus on cost reduction, what hope is there for an inexperienced interpreting or translation buyer?. . .

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Above excerpt taken from the April/May 2012 issue of MultiLingual published by MultiLingual Computing, Inc., 319 North First Avenue, Suite 2, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864-1495 USA, 208-263-8178, Fax: 208-263-6310. Subscribe

April/May, 2012