Tuesday, December 30

Cost In Translation

Cost in translation
Money is no object when it comes to the ‘right to a fair trial’

They say that one of the greatest of all human rights is the right to have a fair trial, and ‘equality before the law’ is seen as one of the key defining characteristics of any democratic country.

But with many countries becoming increasingly multicultural, language barriers can make the communication process that little bit trickier, thereby hindering an individual’s chances of receiving fair and equal treatment.

In 2007, British pop star Amy Winehouse was arrested in Norway on drug-possession charges and, despite the presence of police offers who could speak fluent English, her attorney argued that the lack of a qualified interpreter during the interrogation process meant that she was unable to receive fair counselling.

And in England, Lincolnshire Police recently revealed that they are currently spending more than £300,000 a year on translation services, covering almost fifty different languages.

Of course, this is a vital service that ensures alleged offenders receive fair treatment within the legal system and is now a standard service across most countries’ police forces.

In the UK alone, national police translation costs have increased from £13.5 million to £22 million in the past four years, with some constabularies using an international translation service called ‘Language Line’, which enables police officers to hold three-way conversations with interpreters by telephone; this is particularly useful when specialised real-time interpreting is required at very short notice.

But ultimately, this expenditure not only demonstrates the increasing requirement for translation services within the UK legal system, but also a real commitment from the powers that be to offer equal access to a fair hearing, irrespective of language or culture; it is, after all, a fundamental human right.

Article Contributed By: © Lingo24

Monday, December 1

Translators and World AIDS Day

As translators, World AIDS Day is an opportunity to be inspired to respect and protect the health and well being of ourselves and those around us through knowledge, action and consideration.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children. The concept of a World AIDS Day originated at the 1988 World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention. Since then, it has been taken up by governments, international organizations and charities around the world.

Besides observing this day as concerned global citizens, as interpreters and translators we should make it a point to familiarize ourselves with the specialized terminology of AIDS and HIV research. Whether you specialize in medical, legal, business, or scientific translation, AIDS affects all facets of our society and all people, regardless of culture and language. This is a global epidemic which requires the attention of all people and as linguistic liaisons we have the responsibility to ensure the dissemination of AIDS research in all languages.
In order to expand our knowledge of HIV/AIDS related terminology, the following are links to relevant multilingual resources:

Treat HIV Globally Multilingual Glossaries
European Multilingual Thesaurus on AIDS and HIV infection
UNAIDS: 2008 Report on the global AIDS epidemic