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Friday, December 14, 2007


That translation will be required by almost 60% of the Western Isles councillors because only 18 of the 31 are fluent Gaelic speakers.

At the moment only some committee meetings are conducted in Gaelic but the council, which was set up in 1976, has now decided that all committee meetings and the full council will be held in the native tongue.

A full simultaneous English translation service will be available for all non-Gaelic speakers.

There will no additional costs involved because there is already a translator in the council's Sgioba na Gaidhlig (Gaelic team).

The translator sits in a booth at the rear of the council and translates the proceedings. Councillors can listen through headphones. There are also headphones available for members of the public.

What stupidity. The important point is that all the councillors are fluent in English & I suspect even the Gaelic speakers will be better English speakers. Obviously no real organisation wold do this.

I doubt the bit about "no additional costs". certainly all this translation nonsense will make meetings considerably longer & less coherent. If they are not, in due course, going to have to hire another translator then the present one(s) are woefully underemployed. Of course if, after introducing this, they find they do need an extra translator they have the option of deciding they were wrong & going back to speaking to each other in English or hiring another translator. Any bets?

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