UK councils spend 50m pounds a year translating documents no one reads

June 14th, 2009 - 5:26 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 14 (ANI): An investigation has found that many of the foreign-language leaflets found in town halls and Whitehall have never been read, and that the government annually spends 50 million pounds on translation and interpretation for the benefit of people who cannot speak English. Though a well-intended initiative for immigrants, these articles or documents have failed to attract a single reader, claims a Telegraph report.

They include a pamphlet for gypsies translated into Polish, and a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender directory translated into French and the Haringey Women’s Directory, which has been translated into Albanian, Bengali, Kurdish, Somali or Urdu.

All were made available by Haringey council, in north London, on its website, which records the number of times each document is downloaded.

A spokesman for Haringey Council said:

“Haringey has some 193 different languages spoken. We generally offer translations where required rather than translate routinely.

Dudley council, in the West Midlands, produced two leaflets that were only read once each.

The findings of the investigation will feature in More4 News, to be broadcast tomorrow night. (ANI)

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