Friday, 20 November 2009
The cost of translation
Bro McFerran, president of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, delivered a wide-ranging speech last night at the organisation's annual banquet in Belfast City Hall.
He raised a number of issues about the economy and public expenditure and asked, 'Where is the cost benefit in Irish language and Ulster-Scots translations? We're not anti-Irish or anti-Ulster-Scots - just anti-translation at great expense.'
I wonder how many people in Northern Ireland share his view, especially at a time when the cost of translations is increasing? The increasing cost has been particularly evident in the case of Caitriona Ruane and the Department of Education, with endless unnecessary and unwanted translations into Irish.
A similar point was made in the Republic earlier this week by Michael Ring TD of Fine Gael who questioned the need for translating official government documents into Irish. He said that 1.8m euro was spent last year translating English documents into Irish, which is the first official language in the Republic.
Of course Michael Ring is a TD for county Mayo, the birthplace of Caitriona Ruane, so clearly there is a difference of opinion in that county!
This is an issue to which I will return, in relation to both Irish and Ulster-Scots, but I simply want to note that it is an issue that is out now in the arena of public debate, north and south of the border.
Posted by Nelson McCausland MLA at 19:13