Spain going the same way as the UK?
Thread poster: Derrio

Derrio  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 31, 2012

After the recent fiasco in the UK regarding the out-sourcing of court interpreting services, it would seem that Spain is (unfortunately) going down the same route.

An article today in my local paper in Ibiza (see link) states that a case had to be adjourned due to not having an interpreter. It appears that this is not the first time this has happened since the Spanish Ministry of Justice awarded the contract for providing these services to a Palma based Agency and the paper even reports that often the interpreting is done via video-conference from Palma. It also quotes some interpreters stating that they are paid a "meagre" amount.

Previously in Ibiza, interpreters were provided by an agency based on the Island or, in certain cases, freelancers could apply to the court and be authorised by the senior judge.

As you can probably imagine, the situation will only get worse as the summer progresses and the number of cases involving the need for an interpreter swamp the already over-worked court.

Once again, "if it ain't broken, why fix it"?

See:http://www.diariodeibiza.es/pitiuses-balears/2012/05/31/ausencia-traductor-obliga-suspender-juicio-violencia-mujer/557500.html


 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:40
Member
French to English
+ ...
Not forgetting Ireland May 31, 2012

It seems to be a well-trodden path across Europe. In this analysis of the Irish court interpreting situation, there's a highly amusing report of a judge becoming irate when two interpreters from the same agency were found not to understand the word "ambiguity" (search for "Judge Con", which marks the start of it):
http://www.trans-int.org/index.php/transint/article/viewFile/98/85


 

Back to basics
Brazil
Local time: 02:40
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
That is unbelievable... May 31, 2012

Peter Shortall wrote:

It seems to be a well-trodden path across Europe. In this analysis of the Irish court interpreting situation, there's a highly amusing report of a judge becoming irate when two interpreters from the same agency were found not to understand the word "ambiguity" (search for "Judge Con", which marks the start of it):
http://www.trans-int.org/index.php/transint/article/viewFile/98/85


Some of the situations described in this analysis are simply unbelievable....Do these things actually happen in court? Scary!


 

Paul Adie  Identity Verified
Germany
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks! May 31, 2012

Peter Shortall wrote:

It seems to be a well-trodden path across Europe. In this analysis of the Irish court interpreting situation, there's a highly amusing report of a judge becoming irate when two interpreters from the same agency were found not to understand the word "ambiguity" (search for "Judge Con", which marks the start of it):
http://www.trans-int.org/index.php/transint/article/viewFile/98/85


Thanks for this excellent link.


 

Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:40
Member (2005)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Read some of them with a grain of salt :) May 31, 2012

Stefan Blommaert wrote:

Some of the situations described in this analysis are simply unbelievable....Do these things actually happen in court? Scary!


For example, on page 99 it is assumed that all Latvians are monolingual which is not true. Many of them can speak both Latvian and Russian. Whether their proficiency is good enough for court proceedings, is another issue. There is some asymmetry in this. It is more likely that a Latvian speaking person, especially from older generation, can speak Russian rather than other way around. Sometimes a Latvian interpreter is called to interpret for a Latvian who actually speaks only Russian.

Also the Russian word приятель is somewhere in the middle between friend (друг) and acquaintance (знакомый). There can be some ambiguity especially if the woman spoke Russian as a second language.


 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:40
Member
French to English
+ ...
Mary Phelan article + the European angle May 31, 2012

Kaspars Melkis wrote:

For example, on page 99 it is assumed that all Latvians are monolingual which is not true. Many of them can speak both Latvian and Russian.


Where on page 99 does it make that assumption, Kaspars? I've read it all the way through but the nearest it gets to that is the tentative conclusion that "it would seem from this that most [i.e. more than half of] Latvians do not speak Russian." That's not the same as saying that all Latvians are monolingual, is it?icon_smile.gif

Stefan Blommaert wrote:
Some of the situations described in this analysis are simply unbelievable....Do these things actually happen in court? Scary!


If you think those are bad, wait till you see www.linguistlounge.org - some of the accounts there are positively hair-curling! And some cases have been discussed in parliament. Perhaps this is something the EU authorities could look into? An EU directive on legal interpreting is supposed to be coming into force soon, but it looks like some countries really need to get their act together!


 

Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:40
Member (2005)
English to Latvian
+ ...
The quoted figures are for native speakers May 31, 2012

Peter Shortall wrote:

Kaspars Melkis wrote:

For example, on page 99 it is assumed that all Latvians are monolingual which is not true. Many of them can speak both Latvian and Russian.


Where on page 99 does it make that assumption, Kaspars? I've read it all the way through but the nearest it gets to that is the tentative conclusion that "it would seem from this that most [i.e. more than half of] Latvians do not speak Russian." That's not the same as saying that all Latvians are monolingual, is it?icon_smile.gif


The usage of the word "most" is ambiguous but it is certain that more than half of adult Latvians can speak Russian. It is close to 80% actually.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:40
Member (2008)
Italian to English
GATS May 31, 2012

Derrio wrote:

After the recent fiasco in the UK regarding the out-sourcing of court interpreting services, it would seem that Spain is (unfortunately) going down the same route.


That's because under the terms of the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services, **everything** is to be privatised.

Not many people seem to know about the GATS. They think these privatisations are only happening in their country.

Google for GATS and read all about what they're doing to our world - so quietly that we don't notice until it's too late.


 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:40
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
GATS II Jun 1, 2012

I have a question for Tom.

In the EU, we have the Austrian model. By law, the services are outsourced by an office under the Ministry of Justice, which controls access to the profession. That much of it is public vs. private. I don't suppose that is a violation of GATS?

(Qualifications under the Austrian SDG: minimum 5 years of interpreting experience, 2 years with T&I degree, pass mandatory oral interpreting and law exam + min. 400,000 eu. coverage in civil liability).

Too much to ask for?

I mean, under GATS, even an NGO or independent body with no profit motive would be obliged to bid, forcing a survival margin upon it which private concerns would bid against. That might really open the proverbial can of worms.

On the other hand, how can a private company comply with the obligation to draw up an official list of interpreters qualified to work with the state, as set forth in 64/2010/EU?


 


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