Providing translation services does harm?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Myss, Dec 13, 2006.

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  1. This isn't a 'attack the immigrants' thread. Reading JonWilly's post on Home Justice and the line he used about questioning our leniency reminded me of this report I saw on the news last night.

    What a waste of time and money, this line is being used too many times when the very same people it is apparently helping is attacking it and especially when funding is dearly needed elsewhere. Rest of the report.
  2. I wholeheartedly agree, the extensive provision of translations for immigrants is a bar to integration. What became to the nationality course/test that was in the media about a year ago? I remember coverage of the launch but have seen nothing since. At the time, I thought that it was a step in the right direction. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy cultural diversity but firmly believe that, like the USA, anyone seeking residence or citizenship ought to prove proficiency in the English language.
  3. But if extensive translation is not provided, how are they going to integrate? Further, there will surely be large numbers of people who will miss out on paying things like taxes etc because they didn't know they needed to do so and have no means of finding out how to pay. Are they to be thrown into jail?

    I think the most sensible apporoach would be to provide translation but couple all visas with the proviso that within say 4 years you must pass GCSE English or out of the country you go/ no citizenship/ no benefits.
  4. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    And it's costing nearly £110Mil a YEAR in translation for those imigrants who cant,or wont,speak English!!

    From todays Daily Express;

    £110m bill for migrants who won't talk English
    By Tom Whitehead
    Home Affairs Correspondent

    MINISTERS have come under fire after it was revealed that at least £110million a year is spent on translation services for immigrants.

    The Government admitted that ploughing taxpayers’ cash into fees for interpreters acted as a barrier to integration rather than a help.

    In a victory for commonsense, communities minister Phil Woolas said less money should now be spent on such services and more on teaching English.

    The shake-up came as it emerged that one council details its rubbish collection in 15 languages while another pays for one-to-one sessions in Turkish to quit smoking.

    Critics said the huge bill was down to Labour’s obsession with political correctness and that it had finally woken up to the problems it has created.

    Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Translating every piece of Government literature into multiple languages costs a fortune and undermines social cohesion.

    “People who move to Britain should be encouraged to learn English because it helps them make friends and find their way around.”

    Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said: “These are some of the costs of political correctness. We should expect immigrants to learn English and should not remove the incentive to do so by spending millions on translation.”

    Figures showed that local authorities spend £25million a year on interpreter and translation services. The NHS ploughs £55million into similar services while the police and courts spend £31.3million.

    The startling statistics were obtained during a BBC investigation but the true picture is likely to be even higher.

    The council at Peterborough translates details of its refuse collection service into 15 languages because of concerns that non-English speakers will not understand its three-bin recycling system. It also provides details of its residents’ parking schemes into different languages.

    In Tower Hamlets, east London, there is a council-run current-affairs workshop in Bengali which attracts only 10 people a week.

    Other items of annual spending on translation and interpreters includes £8.5million by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate at the Home Office and £1million by Barts and the London NHS Trust.

    Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust spends £580,000 a year, Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust £750,000 and Manchester City Council £800,000.

    The picture is embarrassing for a Government that has pledged to ensure immigrants be required to learn English.

    Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has finally admitted the issue needs to be looked at and has asked the Commission on Integration and Cohesion to report on it next year.

    But her Communities Minister, Mr Woolas said: “We believe that the system may need to give greater focus on teaching English.”

    A Bangladeshi woman, who has lived in the UK for 22 years and does not speak English, admitted that translation services were a disincentive to learn English.

    She said: “When you are trying to help us you are actually harming. Even before we ask, all we have to do is say hello. They are here with their interpreters. We just sit doing nothing and we don’t need to speak in English at all.”

    Leonie McCarthy, project manager at Peterborough’s New Link centre, said: “If they need it in their language we make sure they have it because we believe everybody should have equal access to knowledge of the services.”

    Anyone arrested or charged with a criminal offence is entitled to a translator but the majority of other circumstances are at the discretion of the authorities.

    The head of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, said the cost of translation was simply a feature of globalisation and “we should just soak it up”.

    The Daily Express has revealed that police are spending millions on interpreters instead of badly-needed beat officers.

    Separate figures released to MPs last night showed forces in England and Wales spent £21million last year.

    Foreign murderers, a surge in migrant workers and large numbers of asylum seekers have been blamed by forces for rising bills.

    It emerged last year that a soaring number of foreign crooks appearing in court unable to speak English is plunging the criminal justice system into chaos.

    Shadow Culture Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “The Prime Minster was right to say that with the privilege of living in this country comes responsibilities, and one of those is to learn English.”

    Meanwhile hard-working families are being squeezed by rising taxes, soaring energy bills and low pay rises with spending power at its lowest for nearly 60 years, official statistics showed last night.

  5. Good idea SM, anything that intergrates the migrants into our society better should be welcomed but there must be an incentive to do so!!!!!
  6. It is a bit dammed if you do dammed if you don't. Much of the translation service was set up in the first place was to provide for the women who were not allowed or did not go out much, something that was prevalent in some areas a few years ago. I think there is a happy medium to be found fro providing support to allow people to understand, but at the same time helping people learn.

    I would agree that for new incomers providing a target for being able to communicate is a good thing but setting a standard that many of our own will fail to meat after going through our excellent education system is perhaps just a trifle too much

  7. I think the idea is for them to seek to understand the language of the country they emigrate to, not vice versa. Back in my college days, they had free classes for such circumstances called ESoL (English for Speakers of other Languages).
  8. Exactly. The proverb "Give a man a fish and he shall eat one meal, teach a man to fish and he shall eat many meals" springs to mind. Translation and interpreting certainly has its place but it is no substitute for the tuition that can give immigrants the necessary skills to be come part of society rather than passengers.
  9. My Local Authority proudly boasts it offers ALL publications in English, Bengali, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Somali, Spaish, Tamil and Urdu.

    It has an Interpreting Service that will attend meetings and if necessary engage external interpreters in Amharic, Tigrigna, Swahili, Afghan, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Turkish and "other languages". My only relief is that Welsh is not included :p

    In short, they spend a fortune spoonfeeding people on the questionable basis that they are required by law to faciliate equal opportunity and "social inclusion" but as already said all this really does long term is foster continuing social exclusion.

    I would suggest that diverting half of this spending and effort into teaching people the basics of English would be money far better spent. But then after a while you would not need such a large Interpreting Service, would you?

    It is complete nonsense. Which other European Country offers such comprehensive translation facilities?
  10. The difference is that an immigrant has to earn the right to settle in a country whereas that is the birthright of citizens.

    Anyway, I do not think an O level pass within 4 yours is too high a standard to set. Yes, I have met quite a few native English men/women who have only just managed a couple of GCSE Es but I suspect that is more due to a lack of hardwork than anything else.

    English is a very easy language to learn and 4 years is more than enough time, provided that effort is put in. Whilst at Uni, my housemate, who was from china and spoke no English prior to entering England, managed to get the equivalent of a pass in O level English within 2 years. Thereafter, he graduated with a 2nd class upper law degree!

    It will be hard but it is certainly acheivable.
  11. they will hardly do that when they cant even kick out a fella who rapes a 13 year old girl