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london translation & Interpreting

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10/08/18

Hosted by the International Interpretation Translation Association, a group of four professional translators competed against three AI-powered programs provided by U.S. Internet giant Google Inc., South Korea's top Internet provider Naver Inc., and leading automated interpretation company Systran International.

Humans beat artificial intelligence (AI) language software in translation at a high-profile battle held in South Korea on Tuesday, though experts forecast the cutting-edge technology is improving at fast rate and may reach human-level accuracy soon.

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/02/21/0200000000AEN20170221012500320.html

24/07/18
Interpreters will hold a protest outside the Commons today about a new contract to privatise court translation services.

Members of the Professional Interpreters Alliance claim the contract could lead to miscarriages of justice because some translators lack the competence to do the job, while others have failed to turn up.
David Evans, chairman of the Lincolnshire branch of the Magistrates' Association, described how he has been hearing stories of interpreters not turning up and turning up late which means that people do not get a fair hearing.

Mr Evans said when that happens, "cases have to be adjourned and people have to be released sometimes several times before the case is finally heard."

He believes the new interpreters system is a lot worse than it was before and many interpreters feel there careers are affected badly.

"It's not just a case of using a dictionary" in court, he said. "Words have special meaning" and the old system appeared to have worked very well.

"Disaster and chaos" are not too strong words to use, he continued, adding that it should not take a large company months to "get their act together".


http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-17009115

05/06/18

Once, in a restaurant in Italy with my family, I occasioned enormous merriment, as a nineteenth-century humorist would have put it, by confusing two Italian words. I thought I had, very suavely, ordered for dessert fragoline—those lovely little wild strawberries. Instead, I seem to have asked for fagiolini—green beans. The waiter ceremoniously brought me a plate of green beans with my coffee, along with the flan and the gelato for the kids. The significant insight the mistake provided—arriving mere microseconds after the laughter of those kids, who for some reason still bring up the occasion, often—was about the arbitrary nature of language: the single “r” rolled right makes one a master of the trattoria, an “r” unrolled the family fool. Although speaking...

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/05/26/word-magic

12/04/18
A police and crime commissioner has described the translation services used in the legal system as "crap".

Paddy Tipping said the service used by Nottinghamshire Police no longer provided a translator in person.

He added that it was often impossible to get a service within a "sensible timeframe" and that the courts system was also badly affected.

LanguageLine and Capita said they were meeting targets and clients were satisfied with their service.

Mr Tipping was speaking at a conference on Monday and reiterated the comment when questioned afterwards.'Impossible' serviceHe claimed interpreters were "fed up" with not being paid properly, the courts were facing problems with a national contract and even the government was getting "irritated".Continue reading the main story“Start Quote

"It needs to be taken away, torn up and started again” Paddy TippingNottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Tipping said: "It doesn't work well, it is pretty poor and the contract with the provider firm needs to be revisited.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-26836144


14/09/17

A government department has been branded "shambolic" by MPs over its handling of a contract for court language services in England and Wales.

The Ministry of Justice ignored fears that standards would fall when the contract was outsourced, the Commons justice committee said.

Some interpreters failed to turn up, leading to cancelled trials, and others mistranslated evidence, it said.

Ministers said "dramatic improvements" had followed the initial problems.

The contract for language services began in early 2012.

The translation and interpreter services - for victims, witnesses and defendants - immediately ran into difficulties, MPs said.

The committee said the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) had not had a sufficient understanding of the complexities of court interpreting and translation work before it decided to put the services out to tender.

"The Ministry of Justice's handling of the outsourcing of court interpreting services has been nothing short of shambolic," committee chairman Sir Alan Beith said.

He said the MoJ "did not have an adequate understanding of the needs of courts, it failed to heed warnings from the professionals concerned and it did not put sufficient safeguards in place to prevent interruptions in the provision of quality interpreting services to courts".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21347718