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The ATC responds to Whitehall’s botched Brexit translation

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The ATC was shocked to read the Independent’s account of the Government’s botched attempt to translate its new Brexit white paper into other languages, which reveal Whitehall had produced an “unreadable” German translation.

According to the Independent, the Government faced ridicule from German-speaking officials and diplomats after translations of Theresa May’s Brexit plan were written in strange “archaic” language featuring made-up compound words.

Dan Peachey, ATC Council Member, said: “It’s embarrassing that the Brexit white paper does not appear to have been professionally translated. It reinforces the ATC’s view about the importance of professional native speakers to make sure local idiom and culture are reflected in the translation of any document.

“If the Government had appointed an ATC member to carry out this work, they would have been assured of accurate translations for their white paper and critical negotiations with Brussels officials could have started on a firmer footing.”

Dan, who is also Commercial Director of Fareham-based language company, Intonation, added that mother-tongue linguists would play an increasingly important role in ensuring UK prosperity within a post-Brexit global economy.

“Native speaking language service professionals, with their knowledge of local idiom and culture, will play a vital role in the country’s future economic success following EU withdrawal and an increasing need for international trade agreements,” he said.

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