Court case on poor interpreting/Klage über fehlerhaftes Dolmetschen in Ontario

A class-action lawsuit in Ontario was filed in April alleging that the government uses an inadequate test for court interpreters.

This was reported by the Globe and Mail – original article available for payment. It can also be found on Lia Barros’ Portuguese translation weblog, It’s all about translations, here.

The suit alleges that despite years of clear warnings and complaints from judges, Crown prosecutors, defence counsel and even its own staff, the government still uses an inadequate test for interpreters (for half the languages interpreted in the province’s courts, no attempt is made to even evaluate the candidate’s fluency in the second language) and still uses those who either don’t take or fail even that minimal test.

A mistrial was declared in Mr. Sidhu’s first trial because of incompetent translation; the interpreter had used the word “Henh?” to indicate a lack of comprehension, 27 times in a 36-page transcript.Mr. Sidhu was convicted in a second trial, with different interpreters, and sentenced to six months in jail.

Exciting stuff, so no excuse for not reporting it earlier.

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