Lost in translation

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  • I have had a lot of dealings with "fast growth" applied and their boss Gavin.
    Here are a few truths which point to how the company is managed and which the company wont want airing:
    First, applied absolutely did not envisage that the moj would ever go back on the agreement in this way, especially in public.
    Gavin sells the services of his company whether his people can actually deliver what he has promised or not.
    They often overstate what their capacity is and how experienced the linguists will be. The case of the moj is no different
    Their staff have been working all hours just to fulfill the below par level of service delivered that has caused this u turn. The company is now at full stretch and is still struggling to keep up.
    Stories of unveted people for the moj are not true as they do vet their linguists, just not all of them and not always properly. When desperate they understandably turn a blind eye on quality control.
    Unqualified interpreters have been used by applied in the courts, for police and medical purposes.
    Greater manchester police even ripped up their contract with applied last year after the companys services affected police investigations. Quality was the main comlpaint, or so said the PIA.
    Going into the contract without the support of the PIA was something applied was happy to do and defiantly told linguists that "these are the rates. take the work or we will find someone else who will", such was their confidence in the moj brief to reduce cost. It's also why they never thought the moj would go back on the agreement as long as their cost was reduced.
    They refused to entertain from the outset that this could impact the quality of the linguists who would make themselves available for the money on offer.
    Gavin always oversold his company. He has previous for doing it. Getting denied investment on tv for overvaluing the company was just the start.
    Overselling to investors was one of the next steps after a number of private translation contracts went to the wall.
    The company recently sold for £7m "but up to 65mil" depending on performance.
    This just shows you how exaggerated Gavins claims are. Capita saw through this and insisted on the "up to" element of that agreement while they pacified Gavins ambitious boasting.

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  • Josephine Bacon, who is one of the most experienced interpreters in this country - in and out of court - is absolutely right. This level of pay is a sick joke. ALS can post as many lame excuses as they want: they can't deny the facts. Although I am not as experienced as Josephine, I have been a court and police interpreter for over 20 years, and I flatly refuse to work under these conditions.

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  • Just you wait Henry Higgins until the people start claiming wrong sentences due to bad interpreting. This could run into millions of pounds, sued against ALS, of course.

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  • It is interesting to read so many comments on ALS
    Today has been a bad day for us .
    We have been desperately running around trying to buy more interpreters.
    We have been emailing them and texting them and in some desperate occassions even calling them , but they all remain against us.
    Yesterday we watched several memers of the judicial critice ALS and last night it was revealed we had our first wasted costs order againt us.
    Today its already a little worse same analyists are advising to sell capita shares because of the bad publicity.

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  • I am not an interpreter, I only speak a little French from school. I work in Coventry for £9.20 per hour and I live in Birmingham, it costs me £10.40 each day to get to work, I have to pay this myself. I spend 40 minutes getting to and from work each day in my own time. I cannot choose to attend my work I must turn up every day or be fired, as I believe it interpreters are "offered" jobs which they can decline due to the weather coniditions, family issues or perhaps what sport is on TV that day. We, the normal people, cannot boycott employers who refuse to pay us top rates, that is against the law and anyway we could not afford to do that, no income means no food, are you living off your stockpile of cash built up over many years of earning good money? GET REAL you guys, get in to the same world as the rest of the working population. We are all suffering as a result of the last Labour government selling us out, it is a hard life, just get on with it and do not moan.

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  • Dear "Anonymous | 25-Feb-2012 11:08 am"
    If you think interpreters are overpaid, study a language for a few years, spend some time abroad to become truly fluent, perhaps go to college, pass some exams and become an interpreter. Then you too can be paid £24 for spending an hour travelling, an hour working and an hour travelling home, richer by maybe £10 or £15 after paying for petrol/parking/train fares.
    A busy interpreter might manage 10 such assignments in a week, and earn, before tax etc. as much as £150! What are you waiting for?

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  • I am really confused by all of this, apparently there have been 26.000 requests for interpreters in the last 3 months, that does seem a lot to me, how many of these were defendants and how many were witnesses, that is the real question.
    The puzzling thing is that when I watch TV News from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, any eastern European country they can almost all speak pretty good English, even the man in the street. In fact watching Eurovision and SoccerAid this weekend I saw that most of the Eurovision entries sang in English, all of those representing their countries in the vote spoke very good English, not the french though, and SoccerAid's visits to India, PhillIpines and a number of African countries introduced many pretty good English speakers in the streets, I also seem to recall the same with all of the other televised AID programmes.
    My question therefore is why do all of these people need interpreters?
    If there is a genuine need then so be it but If they are defendants and found gui;ty they should be made to pay the interpreter costs, that might just stop them demanding an interpreter and rouse their long lost command of the English language.

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