Interpreters join forces across Sussex as cuts hit their income

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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
No sympathy Jan 28, 2013

Don't you just love all the Brits' reactions!

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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
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Tatty Jan 28, 2013

So if you were a highly skilled interpreter, would you be happy to work for £16 an hour with no travel expenses?

[Edited at 2013-01-28 15:27 GMT]


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Hebrew to English
The reactions do have (some) merit Jan 28, 2013

On one hand, the interpreters are right. They shouldn't be expected to work for such insultingly low rates. I'm not sure how they should go about combating the downward spiral, but organising as they have done seems like a good start.

On the other hand, the arguments/reactions of the "Brits" do have some merit. There's something to be said for over-providing translation and interpreting i.e. there are arguments to be had about whether this helps or hinders (long-term) assimilation / whether it encourages a certain 'complacency' or even creates dependency.

In addition, taxpayers do have a right to question how their local authority is spending its money and to question whether too much is being allocated to translation and interpreting...especially in this 'economic climate'. How you define too much and how you go about reducing it responsibly is also a great topic for debate - it might be to look at whether you really need to translate documents into 10+ languages rather than slashing interpreter hourly rates etc.

I'm under no illusion that the reactions are probably borne out of dissatisfaction with immigration policies, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are the racist rantings of "little Englanders" either.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
A pinch of salt Jan 28, 2013

I can't offer an opinion about the rates, but I do find it hard to believe there are as many as 400 interpreter/translators in the county cited, especially "highly qualified" ones. From the sounds of it, their job is more like social work, since it includes finding accommodation and helping with other issues.

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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Yes, they are the same as always Jan 28, 2013

Tatty wrote:

Don't you just love all the Brits' reactions!


But I would love to see all these people 30 years from now, retired in Spain, France, Italy, and so on. I want to see just how much Spanish, French, Italian they'll learn.


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Limited provision Jan 28, 2013

Here in Spain if you go to the doctors and you don't understand the language you have to take someone with you who does, one option is to employ an interpreter of course.

The main area where public service interpreters are employed is in the criminal courts. Here you get €15 for the first hour and €12 the second, etc. no travel expenses of course. So it's up to you if you wish to train to be this type of interpreter. It isn't really worth it IMO. However, training isn't actually a requirement. The languages needed are too rare: different Chinese dialects, different African languages, different types of Arabic. Usually, the interpreters are foreign people who have learnt Spanish here.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Hebrew to English
Ah but...... Jan 29, 2013

Diana Coada wrote:

Tatty wrote:

Don't you just love all the Brits' reactions!


But I would love to see all these people 30 years from now, retired in Spain, France, Italy, and so on. I want to see just how much Spanish, French, Italian they'll learn.


This is always the argument trotted out in this debate. However, I would posit that there's a difference between an aging (50+) Brit, looking to retire in the sun and an economic migrant in their 20s (especially in terms of language acquisition potential / ability, their motivation - a key factor in language acquisition and the ways in which they are going to interact with the wider society/access public services etc.).


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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Ty, Jan 29, 2013

what is the difference? The money spent on the local economy, ie fish and chips and the local golf courses? What about the the 20+ immigrant who will work long hours, pay their contributions, rarely access any of the public services and will then go back home as soon as they are comfortable with the amount of money they have saved up?

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Hebrew to English
The trouble with this route is... Jan 29, 2013

It's based on generalizations. Many economic migrants stay (the economic migrants from India, Pakistan, the Caribbean are still here 40, 50+ years later) and many ex-pats come home after a relatively short time.

In addition, the argument I was getting at wasn't really a competition about who "puts more in" - this is a whole other debate - I was merely trying to point out that you really aren't comparing like for like at all.

Aaaand....the language point I was making was that it is simply a matter of linguistic accepted wisdom that it would be easier for an immigrant in their 20s to acquire the language (especially if they are going to work in the host country among native speakers) than for an OAP who is long past their prime with little incentive to do so.

[Edited at 2013-01-29 11:55 GMT]


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Josephine Gardiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Attitude not age Jan 29, 2013

@Ty Kendall
Re Brits in Spain - absolutely agree about stereotypes and the importance of motivation in language acquisition, but it is motivation and attitude, not age, that make the difference. I've met plenty of younger people who fit the expat stereotype, and plenty of older people who are completely integrated.

Also I think many people might question your definition of 50+ as "ageing"! We're all ageing once physical maturity is reached.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Hebrew to English
Walking the tightrope... Jan 29, 2013

J. Gardiner wrote:

@Ty Kendall
Re Brits in Spain - absolutely agree about stereotypes and the importance of motivation in language acquisition, but it is motivation and attitude, not age, that make the difference. I've met plenty of younger people who fit the expat stereotype, and plenty of older people who are completely integrated.

Also I think many people might question your definition of 50+ as "ageing"! We're all ageing once physical maturity is reached.


Lol no offence meant, I had to pluck a random age out of the air and 50 just came to me! (as an age when expats might think about uprooting to spend their twilight years in warmer climes).
I agree that motivation and attitude are THE most important factors in language acquisition, but I also think age plays a part too when we are talking about extremes (and in extreme cases - another random figure, let's say 70+) then motivation and attitude can only compensate so much (in my opinion).


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Interpreters join forces across Sussex as cuts hit their income

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