£17m of taxpayers' money for EU interpreters who are not needed
Thread poster: Alison Jenner

Alison Jenner
Switzerland
Local time: 18:46
French to English
+ ...
Aug 31, 2006

Thought this article from today's Guardian may be of interest:

£17m of taxpayers' money for EU interpreters who are not needed

Millions of pounds of taxpayers' money are being wasted every year on EU interpreters who turn up for meetings only to find they are not needed. A report on the EU's annual interpretation budget to be published next week found 16%, or £17m, was wasted on staff who find themselves kicking their heels.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/eu/story/0,,1861580,00.html


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:46
Flemish to English
+ ...
A cup of coffee Aug 31, 2006

The total linguistic cost of the EU is about the price of a cup of coffee per citizen.
The Brussels-Strassbourg circus, a result of the stuborness of the French is unnecessary and could save much more than the cost of interpreting per day. How much do you think the services of DHL, one of the companies who moves entire offices from one place to another costs?
The total cost of the agricultural budget is a lot more, also thanks to amongst other the French.
If the French weren't that stubborn billions could be saved.

Have you listened to the on-line interpretation of a session of the E.P.? You will notice that at times, there is no interpretation for languages such as Estonian, Latvian,...
Relais interpreting is practised, meaning that interpreting is say from Latvian in Polish and from Polish in other more common languages such as English,French,German, Spanish...
With regard to translation: some documents are only translated into English, French and German : ex. open competition copies are only in those three languages if candidates come from the New Member Countries.



[Edited at 2006-08-31 17:24]


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Boryana Desheva
Local time: 19:46
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Waste Land Aug 31, 2006

I do read the Guardian and I am known to have actually agreed with what is says on occasion but to say money is being wasted on interpreters is plainly ludicrous. Perhaps, what we are looking at is a more rational way of spending what at the time is estimated to be an isufficient budget, and one quite insignificant when compared to CAP, for example, on EU level.

My own pair of languages is Bulgarian-English and I must say that I have not yet met a professional native speaker of English who is capable of rendering a half-decent translation into Bulgarian, even if one chose to leave interpretation alone.

Perhaps, some of the wasted budget could be spent on training or 'stirring' interest in 'minority' languages in the professional community?

Just a thought .....

[Edited at 2006-08-31 19:18]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 19:46
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
The report on translation services due soon Sep 1, 2006

This report on interpretation services of the EU covers the year 2003, so nowadays things are quite different. I hear many interpreters lost their jobs in 2004, when the rules were changed.
17 million are peanuts really.
Regards
Heinrich


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 18:46
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
a more rational way of spending Sep 14, 2006

There's a 3rd-Page article today in Sueddeutsche Zeitung on the subject of sim.interpreters, taking Malta (yes, they have their own langauge) as an example. The bottom line is that there's a a fully-staffed Maltese->something team, translating often ad usum delphini, because all 6 (six) Maltese members have joined the other absentees. Ditto for Gaelic, and where's Gaelic, there sure should be Catalan too, Basque, Corse, Ro and BG are coming aboard, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Frisian (hell why not...)

It may look like I am against my own language cause. Not at all, I love my mother language. I am against politicizing an issue of communication.

So what would be a more rational way of spending? I dont know and I dont care. There's much bigger problems in dire need of attention, starting with the humungous size of agricultural subsidies. I just can see Jörg Haider think aloud:"Now here's one more way to hit both Viena AND Strassbourg. And of course those SoBs, who keep talking about rights for Slovenians in my Carinthia".

[EDIT]An on the second thought, it's encouraging to see one UK Newspaper take a fresh yellow view of the rest of Europe. Way to avoid danger of kraut & garlic jokes turning stale even for hardened British palates.

Regards

[Edited at 2006-09-14 15:03]


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 18:46
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
a double Sep 14, 2006

[delete]

[Edited at 2006-09-14 12:07]


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£17m of taxpayers' money for EU interpreters who are not needed

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