Government offices across the world are facing translation and interpretation issues on a far more regular basis. Shifting populations and immigration have forced national government, local municipalities and school districts to deal with language gaps.
Some recent examples of how language related issues have crept to the top of the news heap are the translation fees related to the UK Census and translation requirements from the recent US Health Care Reform. Many school districts across the US are also facing financial issues related to the economy and decreased tax revenues further crunching budgets related to translation services for parents of children that do not speak English.
Higher levels of scrutiny over government budgets has brought increased attention to translation and interpretation costs. As with almost any issue you will find a wide variance in public opinion. Some saying that this is a required cost of globalization and others saying this is a complete waste of money.
I think there may be some truth to both opinions. Government agencies should work at streamlining communications with their constituents that don’t speak the language of their host country but I also believe that as the world gets smaller we have to find cost-effective ways to do interact and do business together. There is no turning back to the xenophobic ways of the past. The global economy is here to stay.
Peter founded Argo Translation, originally based in Milwaukee, WI, in 1995. Prior to transferring his love of all things international and his savvy business expertise into Chicago’s premier translation agency, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he graduated with a major in finance and human resource management. After graduation he went on to become an Italian translator and project manager for an international medical equipment manufacturer and major airline.