The English and Welsh prisons now have over 10% of foreigners. In order for them to receive legal aid and access to a fair trial, the U.K. government has to provide them with translators. With the percentage of foreigners being so high, translation costs are higher than ever. An overwhelming amount of translation requests were made last year for Irish, Jamaican and Polish inmates, requests that cost the taxpayers over 1 Million British pounds.
What is intriguing is that the percentage of foreigners in the U.K prisons isn’t the highest ever, the highest was in 2006 when it was 14%, as opposed to the 12% now. Even so, the translation costs keep getting higher, amassing to £994.000 in the current year, a small amount from the £15 Million that was spent on translation in the English legal courts.
Despite the vast amounts of money that was paid for the legal translation services, the results have not been perfect. There have been countless disruptions to the translation services provided due to inadequate personnel and confusion. Which is quite a common problem in law courts because of the very nature of legal translation.
Translation can be general or technical. Legal translation is a technical branch, which requires great deals of experience from the translator, both in the legal profession and in the targeted language. Because legal translators deal with ordinary people, they have to both struggle to understand what their client is saying and also convey that information in the proper lingo. Translating legal terms has to be perfect, as any differences, even the slightest, can change the outcome of any proceeding dramatically.