Lost in Translation – 2

Update: See previous post.

In June 2009 the Ministry of the Attorney General tested 223 freelance court translators (currently providing court translation) and 77 of those 223 seeking accreditation, failed the examinations. The initial crop of court translators to be tested, didn’t do very well, as only 46 passed, 69 were given conditional credentials and 77 failed

On Monday, Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley stated that he believes that the failure of 77 Ontario court translators to pass proficiency exams is not a sufficient enough reason, to launch an inquiry into cases involving those interpreters that resulted in convictions.

According to the Ministry of the Attorney General’s website, you need the following to be an Ontario Court Translator/Interpretor:

Court interpreters have a fundamental role in providing access to justice. Through the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Court Services Division, over 800 accredited freelance court interpreters provide interpretation in over 100spoken languages, American Sign Language and Langue des signes du Québec.

The Court Services Division of the Ministry of the Attorney General is committed to providing highly skilled and accredited freelance interpreters to Ontario’s court system.

To become accredited, interpreters must:

  • Pass a Bilingual or English Court Interpreting Test
  • Attend a training seminar and pass a test in courtroom procedures and interpreter ethics, and
  • Successfully complete a background check with the Canadian Police Information Centre.
  • In June 2009 the Ministry tested 223 court translators and 77 failed to receive the 70% mark in each category they were tested in. In addition to this, about one-third were provided with conditional approval.

    There are still hundreds who have not been subjected to this new accreditation (examination) developed by the Vancouver Community College. These new tests are court specific and based on actual court documents and trial transcripts from Ontario court proceedings,

    The previous test used to accredit court interpreters in Ontario was a standard language interpretation test. It is scary to imagine that a large number of the 800 court translators that the Ministry boasts having, were tested under the old system and it may be found that they are incompetent or grossly inadequate when they are finally tested under the new and improved set of examinations.

    DriveTest (Driver Examination Centres) – Qualifications of Interpreters and Translators

    Read more at CBC

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    One thoughtful comment

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