In an effort to tell them of the progress of the case, the court clerk's computer was programmed to use the Google Translate software. The message rang out: "Coming back on Monday."
The latest figures for providing interpreters and translators in court cases show that current contractor thebigword is doing a far better job ensuring someone turns up than its predecessor Crapita ever did. But questions remain over whether all those supplied are up to the job.
Public service interpreters working in the NHS and justice sectors are alarmed by the recent prediction of the lord chief justice that they would soon be out of a job, replaced by machine translation.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what safeguards his Department has in place to ensure that contracted interpreters for courts and tribunals are appropriately qualified and competent in the use of (a) the foreign language they are translating into English, (b) the English language, (c) English law and (d) English and Welsh judiciary's legal terms; and what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of those safeguards.
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