The Home Office's piecemeal and ineffective approach to foreign language interpreting and translation means immigration and border staff having to muddle through potentially life-changing interviews with non-English speakers by relying on inappropriate interpreters, Google Translate or attempts "to scrape by in English", say watchdogs.
A Pakistani man who 'threatened violence' was challenged by a magistrate about whether he needed an interpreter as he was asked if he understood 'basic English'.
SIR – Your report on the costs of providing interpreters (September 1) reminds me of the time I was chairing a domestic violence case in Newbury magistrates’ court between a married couple from Slough.
On 31st August 2020 you published an article by Sophie Barnes the title of which was “Translation work for foreign crime suspects costs UK £450,000 a week” and its first paragraph read “Government officials have spent £450,000 a week on language experts to provide translation services to foreign-speaking criminals and people caught up in the UK’s legal system.”
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