The European Parliament's chief of staff has urged MEPs to speak slower and stick to their native language, to help the interpreters.

Secretary General Klaus Welle said: "It's extremely important that people do not speak too fast." Interpreters had made that request, he added.

Thousands of interpreters and translators work in EU institutions, to cope with 24 official languages.

The parliament has about 330 staff interpreters and 1,800 freelancers.

In addition, the parliament employs about 700 translators, who translate more than 100,000 pages each month.

The most recent languages to be made official were Croatian (in 2013), Irish, Bulgarian and Romanian (all in 2007).

Interpreters translate orally, in real time. But Mr Welle said some were overburdened and others under-employed.

A man has appeared in court at Yeovil charged with sexual assault at a south Somerset nursing home.

Bogdan Dumitrache, 37, of Bulevardul Tomis, Constanta in Romania, appeared before Somerset magistrates on Wednesday (February 3).
Dumitrache first appeared in court on Tuesday, but his appearance had to be adjourned until a Romanian interpreter could be secured.

He is charged with three counts of sexual assault on women over the age of 16, with the alleged incidents taking place last year.

Dumitrache entered no pleas and the magistrates ordered him to appear at Taunton Crown Court on March 7 for a preliminary hearing. Until then he was released on unconditional bail.

All credit to Monidipa Fouzder for yet another attritional contribution to the scandalous running sore that is the outsourced non-provision of professional interpreter services.

As has been asserted by more than one parliamentary select committee, this has been an object lesson in how not to decant core ministerial duties to mega-companies with poor track records of delivery. It would be funny were it less serious and less guaranteed to wrench us back to the future, with the next resultant miscarriage of justice case likely to hit the streets any time now. For a nanosecond or two perhaps, the odd hand will be raised in horror.

And so, at a snail’s pace, we are assured that things improve. Who says? Well, Capita actually, since under its contract it marks its own homework (nice work if you can get it; many a legal aid practitioner would rather like that). And the £38m in savings on interpreting services? Whose figures are these, since the Ministry of Justice is on record as keeping none of its own? Yes, got it in one: Capita’s. And in any event, what of all the costs thrown away in delays and aborted hearings? Right again: the MoJ has no idea since it keeps no records, but vastly more in any event than the supposed savings.

We must continue to watch both organ grinder and factotum like dyspeptic hawks – and so we shall.

Three men have appeared in court charged with being concerned in the production of 105 cannabis plants in Worcester.

Marcin Pobiegly, 29, of Vauxhall Street, Worcester, Lukasz Kloch, 27, of Pitmaston Road, Worcester, and Andrzey Ratowski, 27, of Vauxhall Street, Worcester appeared before magistrates in Worcester on Friday concerning a cannabis grow in Vauxhall Street, off Rainbow Hill, Worcester today.

All three faced identical charges - being concerned in the production of class B (cannabis) and using electricity without authority on Wednesday, January 27.

The case had to be adjourned for lack of court time as magistrates waited for a Polish interpreter to arrive.

The case will be heard on Monday.

Experts who speak 226 tongues, dialects and who can sign for deaf foreigners have been employed for criminal, civil and family hearings.

The Government is paying almost £2 million a MONTH for court translators as the legal system deals with more foreign criminals and immigrants.

Experts who speak 226 tongues, dialects and who can sign for deaf foreigners have been employed for criminal, civil and family hearings – being paid a total of £60,000 a day.

Translators who speak Zulu, Creole, Jamaican Patois and Mongolian have all appeared in court to help proceedings.

Polish was the most requested language in criminal hearings with 18,600 cases and there was an enormous jump in Romanian defendants needing help - rocketing to 11,000 from 800 in the previous 12 months.

In December last year, the Ministry of Justice paid out £1.5 million to translation service Capita. In June the figure was £1.8 million.

More than half of the requests for a translator were for criminal proceedings , with a third being for immigration hearings and family courts making up the rest.

Figures show that a huge 160,600 requests were made for translators in 2014.