As reported in the previous post NUBSLI has launched. The first meeting is Wednesday 25th June at 6.30pm at Unite the Union's head office in London. As many BSL interpreters need to join as possibl...
As many BSL interpreters need to join as possible. Here is why you should, and some answers to some queries you may have:
Whether employed or freelance will we actually be stronger in negotiations as a result of being in a union? If only 100 registered interpreters joined NUBSLI that would represent 10% of those on the register. That would mean a high percentage of a profession that are members of a union. This is one of NUBSLI’s stated aims. If the union has that much representation we will be harder for government to ignore.
What do I get out of being in a Union? Uniting with colleagues under a common banner where everyone recognises the importance of their work and being paid appropriately for it. Being a collective voice which is stronger and absolutely necessary in the face of government cuts. Union services also include help with personal injury claims, employment matters, wills, conveyancing and many other legal issues.
The buildup to the mistrial in New York state Sen. Malcolm Smith's bribery case wasn't just courtroom drama. It became a whole megillah. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas had ordered prosecutors to turn over 93 hours of a cooperating government witness's telephone conversations to defense attorneys. But complicating matters, 20% of those conversations were in Yiddish and the court has but a single interpreter on call.
The buildup to the mistrial in New York state Sen. Malcolm Smith's bribery case wasn't just courtroom drama. It became a whole megillah.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas had ordered prosecutors to turn over 93 hours of a cooperating government witness's telephone conversations to defense attorneys because the recordings might help the defense. But complicating matters, 20% of those conversations were in Yiddish.
Though the New York region is home to more than 75% of the nation's 159,000 Yiddish speakers, according to U.S. Census data, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has but a single interpreter on call.
Amy Meckler encourages sign language interpreters to be conscious of the impact of one's core values on ethical decision making.
Dennis Cokely wrote in his 2000 article, Exploring Ethics: A Case for Revising the Code of Ethics,
“As individuals, and certainly as interpreters/transliterators, we face choices that can have profound effects on other people and their lives, choices of how we will or will not act in certain situations. The choices we make, and the actions that follow from those choices, can uphold or deny the dignity of other people, can advocate or violate the rights of other people, and can affirm or disavow the humanity of other people. Given the potential consequences of our choices and resultant actions, it is reasonable to expect that we constantly re-examine those values, principles, and beliefs which underscore and shape the decisions we make and the actions we undertake.”
Chartered Institute of Linguists - IoL - 2014-06-12
The full report of our Membership Survey results is now available to view here. Our Communications and Marketing Manager Debbie Butler also outlined the key results in this article in the latest issue of The Linguist.
We would like to thank everyone who took part in the survey and the Professional Associations Research Network (PARN) for conducting the survey.
As you will read, the results of the survey will inform our Strategic Planning for 2014 and beyond.
New Europeans is collaborating on a new international project called Migrants Contribute.
In the UK, the campaign is being taken forward by a partnership which includes Migrant Rights Network, Migrant Voice, the Latin American Womens' Rights Service , the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants , many other agencies and voluntary organisations and New Europeans.
We are part of an international campaign led by the International Organisation for Migration.
Saptarshi Ray: If a non-English speaker feels like a 'donkey out of water', it's right to change their words to help them get their point across clearly
If a non-English speaker feels like a 'donkey out of water', it's right to change their words to help them get their point across clearly,
Idioms are by their nature tied to language and culture so can cause all manner of problems; and yet they can also result in magical copy, adding colour and atmosphere. It's the difference between a Colombian feeling like a fish out of water – a phrase so common it doesn't even need quotation marks – or feeling "as lost as a cockroach at a chicken dance". I know which my editors would prefer
INDIANAPOLIS | Justice requires criminal defendants with limited English proficiency be provided competent translators to explain their constitutional rights and enable meaningful participation in their trials, the Indiana Supreme Court
Coupled with the mistranslation of his rights by the Spanish interpreter, the court said it's clear Ponce's guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily given, and must be vacated and sent back to the trial court for a new hearing.
Some buyers think they can save money by using smartphone services, websites or foreign language students to translate foreign real estate contracts, but that can translate into problems, warns expert, Simon Conn
Overseas property buyers must make sure they have a professional and accurate translation of contracts, advises an industry expert.
This is the average cut in PSI interpreters rates too since the MOJ outsourcing of court language services to Capita-TI:
The percentage of people who lost their full-time jobs during the banking crash around 2008 were matched by the same percent moving into part-time jobs. Many of these people, as a result of the cut to their incomes, will require "benefits" to top up their low pay.
According to the Office of National Statistics the average (median) weekly wage in April 2013 was
Full Time: £517 per weekPart Time: £160 per week
On average, going from Full-time to Part-time involved a 70% pay cut.
Even though they have saved the government's blushes by keeping the headline unemployment figure down, they are still casualties of ill-informed villification by politicians who surely know better.
Did you teach your children your native language or do you have encouraging language-related experiences you would like to share?
A report by the British Council found that three quarters of people in the UK are unable to speak one of the 10 most important languages for the country's future; one of the key recommendations was to make better use of the languages spoken by the country's minority communities.
A union for sign language interpreters was mooted many moons ago under a Chair of ASLI who was interested at the time. It was an unpopular idea with members and many at the time wanted to keep ASLI...
A union for sign language interpreters was mooted many moons ago under a Chair of ASLI who was interested at the time. It was an unpopular idea with members and many at the time wanted to keep ASLI as the professional Association for BSL interpreters providing mentoring, training and a support network amongst other things.
The political landscape and the interpreting market have changed radically since then. From 2010 outsourcing has increased in scale and has been damaging to interpreters and the Deaf community they serve. This has been the main subject of many posts on this blog.
A survey puts translators' pay at an average £26,207. How does that compare with other professions? What does it take to be a translator? Is £26,207 enough?
Step 1 – consider translators’ career paths
Read this description of the translator’s career path, by Lanna Castellano (I first saw it in the 1992 edition of Mona Baker’s book “In Other Words”, published by Routledge):
“Our profession is based on knowledge and experience. It has the longest apprenticeship of any profession. Not until thirty do you start to be useful as a translator, not until fifty do you start to be in your prime. The first stage of the career pyramid – the apprenticeship stage – is the time we devote to investing in ourselves by acquiring knowledge and experience of life. Let me propose a life path: grandparents of different nationalities, a good school education in which you learn to read, write, spell, construe and love your own language. Then roam the world, make friends, see life. Go back to education, but to take a technical or commercial degree, not a language degree. Spend the rest of your twenties and your early thirties in the countries whose languages you speak, working in industry or commerce but not directly in languages. Never marry into your own nationality. Have your children. Then back to a postgraduate translation course. A staff job as a translator, and then go freelance. By which time you are forty and ready to begin”.
ACCC to allow Professionals Australia to collectively bargain for translators and interpeters.
Professionals Australia (formerly "APESMA") has welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) ruling to allow it to collectively bargain for translators and interpreters members who operate as independent contractors.
The ACCC determination allows Professionals Australia to collectively negotiate the terms of engagement for translators and interpreters and to provide information and advice about rates of pay and other contract terms.
Professionals Australia's Many Languages One Voice, campaign director Bede Payne described the ACCC's determination as a “watershed moment” for the languages services industry.
"This ruling is a huge leap forward in shifting this industry from being purely cost-focussed, to one that is sustainable and quality-focussed,” Mr Payne said.
“El refranero español” (The Spanish book of proverbs) is one of the most complete in the world, with nearly 100,000 registered idioms and proverbs. But also, they are very useful for students of Spanish because they are an essential part of the popular and informal way of speaking.
Either way, denying poor foreigners their legal right to benefits by putting up a language barrier won't really affect the "vast majority of voters". On the other hand, the government's ongoing outsourcing of providing interpreters for the Justice System will. Impairing foreigners' access to good interpreterswhen they appear in courts and police stations will affect all of us. Those voters who care little whether an innocent foreigner gets an undeserved punishment should remember: when the innocent get punished for a crime they did not commit the guilty who did commit the crime get away to offend again.
In my post on English in Berlin, I wondered what is required for a language to become ‘local’, and about the perhaps problematic tradition of defining languages on the basis of territory. Although ...
The example I chose was communities of practice constituted by salsa dance in countries outside of Latin America. Depending on the particular salsa style, many salsa dancers in these multi-ethnic communities, irrespective of their ethnic origin, learn and/or use Spanish.
A Spanish-speaking woman is suing New Jersey's Berlin Township police department for false arrest because she was not provided a competent interpreter. Carmela Hernandez alleges that in June 2012 police wrongly arrested her for child endangerment. At the time, she was three months pregnant. Hernandez spent six months in jail awaiting trial, and in the interim lost custody of her three children, including the baby she delivered while in prison. Documents filed with the court say Hernandez "lacks any ability to effectively communicate in English." Her boyfriend, who tried to speak with the Berlin police at the time of the arrest, has only "limited ability" in English. The Berlin police called in an officer from a neighboring department to conduct Hernandez's interrogation. Although the officer was fluent in Spanish, Hernandez asserts in her lawsuit that he was "without the proper training and skills to have acted as an effective interpreter." As a result, Hernandez says she was "unjustifiably and falsely arrested." In February 2013, Hernandez was found not guilty after the judge in the case ruled her interrogation inadmissible.
From "Police's Lack of Spanish Interpreter Caused False Imprisonment of Pregnant Woman, Lawsuit Claims" South Jersey Times (NJ) (05/14/14) Beym, Jessica
Now in its third year, the agreement appears ever more unsalvageable, particularly considering the decline in standards and the continuing boycott by professionals. Beyond court interpreting services, the issue has wider ramifications for the outsourcing of legal services by the MoJ; the emphasis on saving money may be appropriate in a private corporate setting, yet these are public services paid for and in the service of the wider public, where quality matters.