A couple of days ago I found this articleon the net:
“Translators were asked to sit in on more than 3,600 driving tests in the Black Country and Staffordshire because new motorists were not confident in their grasp of English, it can be revealed today.”
 
As a person who has been living in a foreign country for a number of years, I have pretty much experienced it all already. I have grown accustomed to certain situations, and even if my control of the local language is far from perfect, I have my little “vocabulary departments” for each and every situation that I encounter in my daily routine: buying products over the counter, asking for information on train routes, that sort of thing. However, I do not cope well with unforeseeable eventualities.
 
The other day, for instance, a nice couple asked me for directions, and for the life of me I couldn’t seem to be able to put two coherent words together. Okay, partly because a, I wasn’t sure how to reach the desired destination, and b, because my dyslexia makes it naturally difficult for me to know which way to go anyway. But still. Up until now, I haven’t had to drive around here, and after this, I don’t think I ever will.
 
Not being able to understand basic information in dire situations, like driving –where there really is no time to look up stuff in the dictionary-, can be a terrifying thing. Just imagine the following: you are in the passenger seat with a foreign driver, and you see that he is going way too fast. You smell the danger. You shout: “Break!” And he doesn’t understand.  Not a pretty picture.
 
Probably that’s why the people doing the driving tests in Black Country and Staffordshire thought it would be worth it to pay professional interpreters to help them. And you know what? It surely was. If you are driving alone, you are guided by your own sense of direction, but when you have to follow other’s instructions, a language barrier is an obstacle only for those who want it to be.
 
With years of experience, inwhatlanguage‘s worldwide network of clients relies on our interpreting services because our interpretation firm goes the extra mile to ensure that we work with the most talented and professional interpreters in the world. And we work both via telephone and on-site, in more than 160 languages.
 

 

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