Trial collapses after interpreter error (UK)

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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:52
Italian to English
+ ...
bitten/beaten Apr 17, 2012

Obviously had never been to a ship or sheep class! Perhaps it's time for a new edition!

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Interpreting in Wonderland Apr 17, 2012

This judicial decision is not surprising, given the galloping ignorance of many judges. I would not consider this an error of interpretation, but a mispronunciation. Romance language speakers (as well as those from others areas) often have trouble distinguishing the short and long "i" / "i:" sounds as in bit/beat. To order a retrial on the basis of such a trifle seems at least hasty if not downright profligate.

 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:52
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I agree Apr 17, 2012

neilmac wrote:

I would not consider this an error of interpretation, but a mispronunciation.


This is definitely a case of mispronunciation.


 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:52
Member
French to English
+ ...
Interpreting in Wonderland Apr 17, 2012

neilmac wrote:
To order a retrial on the basis of such a trifle seems at least hasty if not downright profligate.


As I understand it, the interpreter allegedly realized her mistake afterwards but kept quiet about it. If that's true, it would mean that any interpreting/translating she had done up to that point could not be relied on, so I think that would be a good reason to order a retrial.


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:52
French to English
+ ...
Radical idea... Apr 17, 2012

neilmac wrote:
Romance language speakers (as well as those from others areas) often have trouble distinguishing the short and long "i" / "i:" sounds as in bit/beat.


In the population at large, most people have a diabolically appalling grasp of the basic pronunciation of any foreign language. On the other hand, they have no expectation to work as interpreters.

On the other hand, I suspect that participants in the trial may have been laboring under the radical assumption that their court interpreter had a competent grasp of basic English pronunciation.


 

Gennady Lapardin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 07:52
Italian to Russian
+ ...
Lack of basic follow-up Apr 18, 2012

In any language, there're words that sound alike. The trial process is verbal, and all considerations and conclusions are based on words, written or said. The check of correctness should be exercised by a party who is interested in that the "justice should be seen." I'd give the negative score to the prosecution, in this particular case. They omitted this check during the hearing.

 

Mark Cole  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:52
Polish to English
+ ...
Lack of basic follow-up Apr 18, 2012

Gennady Lapardin wrote:

In any language, there're words that sound alike. The trial process is verbal, and all considerations and conclusions are based on words, written or said. The check of correctness should be exercised by a party who is interested in that the "justice should be seen." I'd give the negative score to the prosecution, in this particular case. They omitted this check during the hearing.


That's exactly what the court was doing: it (believed that it had) hired a professional interpreter to do the job. Unfortunately the Ministry of Justice has got the idea that a lot of money isbeing wasted on interpreters, contracted all interpreting to a dodgy outfit which pays peanuts, and here we have the results.

I believe a professional interpreter who realises that his/her pronunciation is not up to scratch, should be aware of any ambiguities their pronunciation might cause and nip them in the bud if there is any misunderstanding.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Lack of basic follow-up Apr 20, 2012

Mark Cole wrote:
Unfortunately the Ministry of Justice has got the idea that a lot of money isbeing wasted on interpreters, contracted all interpreting to a dodgy outfit which pays peanuts, and here we have the results.


I'd say this is the "quid" of the question...icon_wink.gif


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Interpreting in Wonderland Apr 20, 2012

Peter Shortall wrote:

neilmac wrote:
To order a retrial on the basis of such a trifle seems at least hasty if not downright profligate.


As I understand it, the interpreter allegedly realized her mistake afterwards but kept quiet about it. If that's true, it would mean that any interpreting/translating she had done up to that point could not be relied on, so I think that would be a good reason to order a retrial.


I'm afraid the cost of a retrial - in terms of it being an avoidable waste of public money - make me tend to disagree there.


 


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Trial collapses after interpreter error (UK)

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