Council translation costs rise by nearly 50% in three years

Scottish Borders Council logo''April 2009
Scottish Borders Council logo''April 2009

A Freedom of Information Request to Scottish Borders Council late last year has revealed a sharp recent rise in translation and interpreting costs.

The anonymous request, made in the first week of December, asked, specifically, how much the council had spent on translating documents, web pages and leaflets since 2011.

It also asked how much had been spent on interpreters in the same period, and the most common languages information had been translated into.

SBC’s reply read, in part: “The Council does not separately record translation and interpreters cost and the figures represents (sic) the total cost for both services.”

It went on to show that spending for 2011/12 was £17,408.

That figure rose to £13,460 the following year, and rose again, to reach £24,351 for 2013/14.

The council’s reply continued: “Within the People and Place departments, Polish is the language translated most commonly.

“Within Community Learning and Development, SBC translates information into Polish, Russian and Portuguese most frequently.”