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Italian man spent two nights in Shrewsbury cell after translation problems

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:10
Hebrew to English
Odd Jan 27, 2015

The first thing I noticed upon moving to Shrewsbury was that there is no shortage of Italians, I'm amazed they had such a hard time finding an interpreter.

 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:10
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Odder Jan 27, 2015

I don't speak Italian (but I imagine I'd have to have a smidgeon of the language to have a job there, drive a car there, buy the booze in the first place to get over the limit), and I might not understand an Italian policeman saying the equivalent of 'ello, 'ello, 'ello, what's all this then sir, but if he brought out a tube and motioned for me to blow into it, I'd have a fair idea of what was going on. Not all language is spoken.

 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:10
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
For example ... Jan 27, 2015

... "I'm afraid you've failed the breath test, sir" (fist thrust out with thumb down).
... "you're nicked, mate" (wrists of both hands brought together, as if cuffed).
... "do you require an interpreter, sir?" (he is shown a laptop with the page "Post a job" on ProZ.com displayed)
... "you are not obliged to say anything, sir, but anything you do say may be taken down and used in evidence against you in a court of law" (can't think how they would do that one, but given the circumstances he wasn't going to say much anyway)


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:10
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Not surprised... Jan 27, 2015

You need to drink heavily if you live in Shrewsbury... icon_smile.gif

 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:10
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Giovanni might be speaking from experience, but ... Jan 27, 2015

... Butcher Row looks quite quaint and olde Englishe Tudor in the photos. Perhaps you can't see it from a cell window, though.

 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:10
Hebrew to English
Mamma mia! Jan 27, 2015

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

You need to drink heavily if you live in Shrewsbury... icon_smile.gif


Sacrilege Giovanni, utter sacrilege!
I love Shrewsbury (admittedly it has its shabbier parts: Harlescott, Monkmoor, Ditherington and Gains Park being among the least picturesque) but the town centre is charming (a typical medieval town with all the architecture to go with it) and there are some nice enclaves around the town centre (the 'posher' parts) that balance out the rough parts and some really nice villages (one of which I live in) within a few miles (well I live 14 miles away but still in Shropshire).


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:10
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The poor fellow! Jan 27, 2015

I completely sympathize with the poor man! What has become of civil rights in Britain! Spent two full nights in a cell just because he drove drunk and with no insurance? It is sad to see how the coppers go chase and cause trouble to such reputable and law-abiding members of our society.

 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:10
Serbian to English
+ ...
such a hard time finding an interpreter - is it surprising? Jan 28, 2015

Ty Kendall wrote:

The first thing I noticed upon moving to Shrewsbury was that there is no shortage of Italians, I'm amazed they had such a hard time finding an interpreter.


before you start shooting down your own profession (...how difficult could it be etc..), please take note that the real problem with interpreting happened in the courts not on the roadside.

if you followed what's going on with court interpreting in UK the last few years, you wouldn't be surprised AT ALL
http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/court-interpreters-reject-new-contract-deal/70879.fullarticle
http://www.linguistlounge.org/all-articles/analysis-and-comment/580-de-professionalisation-of-public-service-interpreting-in-the-uk etc...

+ when someone's liberty is at stake, I don't think that any bored housewife with a passing knowledge of a second language will do [with the honorable exception of few idealists, these are about the only one still interested to work as court interpreters]

[Edited at 2015-01-28 09:44 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-01-28 09:58 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-01-28 10:37 GMT]


 

Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:10
French to English
More to this... Jan 28, 2015

... than meets the eye. You wouldn't spend 2 nights solely waiting to give a breath test, there would be no point. And exactly how pissed would you need to be not to understand the need to blow into a bag? It's not as if the concept of breath tests is something unique to this Sceptic Isle and some swift googlerising indicates the notion exists in Italy too. I'm suspicious...

 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:10
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
As Tomás says ... Jan 28, 2015

...

I also think the article in the paper is looking at this the wrong way round.

If I'd been pulled in and had had no difficulty understanding the point of it all, my competence with the language would hardly have got me off. And I could have had the same expense to come back for the hearing too, as I have a feeling the wheels of justice grind exceeding slow just about everywhere in the world. And would the Shropshire press have painted this rather indulgent portrait of Mario if he'd killed someone in the process? I think we can all imagine the reaction - they come over here, they take our jobs, they take our cars, they drive them with no insurance, they get sloshed and kill our people etc. ....


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:10
Hebrew to English
... Jan 28, 2015

Daryo wrote:

Ty Kendall wrote:

The first thing I noticed upon moving to Shrewsbury was that there is no shortage of Italians, I'm amazed they had such a hard time finding an interpreter.


before you start shooting down your own profession (...how difficult could it be etc..), please take note that the real problem with interpreting happened in the courts not on the roadside.

if you followed what's going on with court interpreting in UK the last few years, you wouldn't be surprised AT ALL

+ when someone's liberty is at stake, I don't think that any bored housewife with a passing knowledge of a second language will do [with the honorable exception of few idealists, these are about the only one still interested to work as court interpreters


1) I'm not belittling the profession by expressing surprise that they couldn't find an interpreter involving a major language like Italian. I know the state of things in the UK are bad, I'm just surprised they're that bad.

2) I have been following the court interpreting debacle, but I still find it hard to believe that this can explain away the failure to find an interpreter.

3) I wasn't suggesting they just go pick up a random Italian off the street. Again I was only expressing curiosity because of the sheer number of Italians here I was surprised that Italian linguists weren't drawn to the area (at least one or two).

Moreover, Shrewsbury is less than 50 miles away from Birmingham, the second city. We aren't that secluded. So if they couldn't find one in the immediate vicinity, they surely could have looked for one there.

But I tend to agree with Charlie, there seems to be more to the story......


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:10
Member (2008)
Italian to English
He didn't take the test Jan 28, 2015

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

.- , they get sloshed ....


It's very unusual for an Italian to get drunk. Getting drunk in Italy would instantly make you a social leper. Nobody would want to know you. Your former friends would cross the street if they saw you coming. I just wish the constantly drunk British could be like this.

The problem here was not that the Italian was drunk. He seems to have shown no sign of drunkenness, for which reason the police officers needed to breath-test him. However he could not understand what the police officer was saying to him.

Given the very strangely accented, garbled pronunciation of English one comes across these days,which even I have difficulty in understanding, and which is particularly the case when it comes to police officers parroting standardised phrases they've said hundreds of times, my sympathy is entirely with the Italian. I find some of the comments here faintly distasteful.

[Edited at 2015-01-28 20:14 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:10
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Sceptical Jan 28, 2015

Charlie Bavington wrote:

this Sceptic Isle.


was that an intentional malapropism?


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:10
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
S(c)eptic, sceptre'd Jan 29, 2015

Charlie refers either to the lyrics of the Boomtown Rats' "Banana Republic" - "Septic isle", although that was definitely a reference to Tom's and my own green and occasionally pleasant land to the west of the UK, or obliquely to John of Gaunt's "demi-paradise" monologue in Richard II - "this sceptre'd isle".

 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:10
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Ditherington! Jan 29, 2015

Ty Kendall wrote:

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

You need to drink heavily if you live in Shrewsbury... icon_smile.gif


Sacrilege Giovanni, utter sacrilege!
I love Shrewsbury (admittedly it has its shabbier parts: Harlescott, Monkmoor, Ditherington and Gains Park being among the least picturesque) but the town centre is charming (a typical medieval town with all the architecture to go with it) and there are some nice enclaves around the town centre (the 'posher' parts) that balance out the rough parts and some really nice villages (one of which I live in) within a few miles (well I live 14 miles away but still in Shropshire).


OT but the names of these neighbourhoods are just pure poetry, I don't understand why I don't live in Ditherington, it is such an apt description for my translation workflow


 
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