• Sweden edition
 
Interpreter loses license for poor Swedish skills
Photo: Jessica Reilly/AP/Scanpix (file)

Interpreter loses license for poor Swedish skills

Published: 22 Jul 2010 14:54 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Jul 2010 14:54 GMT+02:00

The agency is the oldest public authority in Sweden, established in 1539 by Gustav Vasa. It is the public body that authorises interpreters and translators, among its other current functions.

In addition to making mistakes in Southern Kurdish and Swedish, the man, who lives in Kista northwest of Stockholm, also omitted information and made his own additions.

"The notifier believes that [the man] has a 'catastrophic lack of knowledge in Swedish and also in the interpreted language,'" the agency wrote. "During the first five days of proceedings, the notifier cited detailed examples of the inaccuracies he or she felt [the man] made in his interpretations."

Southern Kurdish is spoken by about 3 million people along the Iran-Iraq border. The man has a long track record of translation and interpretation assignments and has taught legal interpreters.

The man received his authorisation to interpret in Southern Kurdish and Swedish in May 2004 from the agency. In June 2006, he also received a certificate of special competence as a legal interpreter.

The agency received an anonymous notice at the end of September questioning his language skills in Swedish and Southern Kurdish, as well as his abilities as a certified interpreter.

The man had interpreted during the trial at Norrköping district court earlier in the month. Digital voice recordings of the proceedings pertaining to the man, who interpreted the majority of the material for the accused woman, amounted to about five hours.

The types of errors raised in the notification included several examples of significantly altered misinterpretations, major gaps in idioms, syntax, morphology and semantics in both languages and lack of terminology.

Other observations were that the interpreter answered on the defendant's behalf and consistently mixed in Swedish words. There were also omissions, incomprehensible Swedish phrases, reflecting his own values, misunderstandings and significant slips.

An authorized Swedish-Southern Kurdish translator, the assessor of the agency's translator test, assessed his skills based on five recorded interrogations with the accused.

"Since the accused understands Swedish, [the man] interpreted mostly from Southern Kurdish into Swedish," the agency wrote.

The assessor judged he is not very idiomatic in Swedish, has a "fairly limited" vocabulary and lacks nuance with language. In general, there were also numerous wrong sentence structures and tenses. He also failed on numerous occasions to reflect core information, with 30 citations.

The man did not interpret on October 1st, the last day of the hearing, claiming he had to attend a funeral. The investigation later learned that he had interpreted at Svea Court of Appeal that day instead from 9:30am to 5pm.

The man was the first to computerize the Kurdish alphabet and established a Kurdish publishing house in Stockholm in 1986. He has also written four Kurdish children's books, translated two Astrid Lindgren books into Kurdish and published a Kurdish children's newspaper.

In addition, he has published a Kurdish-Swedish dictionary for legal and social terms and worked as a language tutor at the ABF, where he taught legal interpreters.

He also claimed Stockholm University's interpretation and translation institute chose him to lead a project for translating terms for an interpreter glossary and the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration asked him to assess their Norwegian-Kurdish translation test.

The man has admitted interpretation discrepancies in Norrköping, blaming them on his father's death in the summer and serious family problems. He had cancelled work appointments from August 10th to 30th to return to his homeland and attend the funeral.

The man added the Kurdish language is not as developed as Swedish and lacks direct translations for certains terms. Moreover, Southern Kurdish interpreter, one is forced to use Arabic, Persian and Swedish words depending education levels and social class, he said.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

18:07 July 23, 2010 by The Baldchemist
I'm not at all surprised. Interpretation work is difficult at the best of times. While we are on that theme, I'm really amazed at some of the English translations from organisations claiming business expertise and running companies selling English language teaching .

I can't name them here but one well established "institute" used "and" 6 times in one sentence that would have easily broken down into three paragraphs.

Not that I'm perfect but then again I'm not selling my services as an expert teacher.

Bloody good job Sweden doesn't have the death sentence! This poor bugger would have fried!
22:04 July 23, 2010 by Anon 1:50
What?

Requiring skills in a language that you are paid to translate?

Whatever next? Requiring doctors to know what bits to cut out?

Madness! [/sarc]
Today's headlines
Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange court ruling expected on Monday
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange court ruling expected on Monday

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can expect the next court ruling on his case to take place on Monday October 27th in Stockholm. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Politics
Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at an EU summit in Brussels this week. Photo: TT

Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'

Sweden is set to get 1.2 billion kronor ($168 million) back from the EU on December 1st, according to leaked EU documents which suggest that other European countries will have to make large top-up payments this year. READ  

Science
Asteroids leave mark on Sweden
Astroids can leave marks like these. Photo: TT

Asteroids leave mark on Sweden

Some 458 million years ago, Earth was whacked in a double asteroid strike, leaving craters visible in Sweden today, space scientists have reported. READ  

New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Royal family
Swedish royal couple set wedding date
The couple pictured in the summer. Photo: TT

Swedish royal couple set wedding date

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, who got engaged earlier this year, have announced they will marry next June. READ  

Analysis
Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'

There is talk that the nationalist Sweden Democrats could trigger a fresh election, by rejecting the new coalition's budget. But leading Political Scientist Li Bennich Björkman tells The Local that the party is just game-playing and should be focusing on getting its fatigued leader back. READ  

Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Chocolate and liquorice are on the menu in Gothenburg this weekend. Photo: Shutterstock

What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st

A secret gig in Stockholm, a short film festival in Uppsala and a gastronomy event in Gothenburg have caught our eye this week. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

979
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN