Milton Keynes council has proven itself a model of multilingual capability, with the news that the council now employs 15 times more interpreters and translators than it did in 2000.
The Milton Keynes Community Language Service has responded to the increasing diversity of languages spoken in its region by increasing its staff of interpreters from 20 to 300 over the past decade.
The language support service now offers interpretation in 105 languages, from Afrikaans to Yoruba – a vast increase on the 12 languages provided for in 2000 – helping residents to understand legal, housing and health issues.
With increasing intercultural communication and mobility between countries, the need for translation and interpretation services in a wide variety of languages is only likely to increase, with public language services like Milton Keynes’ leading the way.
We wonder, though, whether the council has investigated all its options for keeping its translation costs down?
National spending on translation services by the public sector is estimated at £120m per annum, but technology can streamline and automate much of the translation process, providing faster and more accurate translations, while reducing the cost to the taxpayer. With public spending coming under increasing levels of scrutiny, now’s the time to look at ways of cutting costs…without cutting services!