` Don’t translate council documents, teach immigrants English’: Tories

Translation into 120 languages annually costs £10.9m


12th February 2010: Teach immigrants English, instead of translating council documents, the Tories have asserted.

The assertion follows surfacing of estimates suggesting that the translation of council documents into as many as 120 languages is annually costing approximately £10.9million.

The figures for language services were obtained by the Tories from 387 local councils across Britain under the Freedom of Information Act. The most frequently translated language was Polish. As many as 208 councils were catering for those speakers. It was   followed by Cantonese and Mandarin.

Asian and African languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Urdu, Arabic and Farsi too were on the list, besides obscure tongues including Bambara, Ewe, Xhosa and various dialects of Mandarin Chinese.

Translation work is being offered by the town halls across Britain as a result of mass immigration. The amount is spent on translating paperwork and providing interpreters with councils in some parts of Britain. The work involves duplication of literature into languages from Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

Dubbing it as a waste of cash, Tory Shadow Communities Minister Sayeeda Warsi said the taxpayers’ money should be spent on teaching people English rather that keeping people apart by translating into a plethora of languages.

She has added the Government needs to focus its efforts on integrating communities, otherwise Britain risks becoming a divided nation.

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