Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Language Barrier Can Be Costly for Us All ; Letters, Comments and emailsVIEWPOINTS Write To: Viewpoints, M.E.N, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Avenue, Oldham, OL9 8EF or Email: Viewpoints@men-News.Co.UK

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Language Barrier Can Be Costly for Us All ; Letters, Comments and emailsVIEWPOINTS Write To: Viewpoints, M.E.N, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Avenue, Oldham, OL9 8EF or Email: Viewpoints@men-News.Co.UK

Article excerpt

LANGUAGE problems have received attention at both national and local level and your story 'Doctors' surgery slammed over lack of translators' (M.E.N. August 15) seems to have sparked off a controversy. This year's A-level results have shown a fall in the numbers studying foreign languages.

Surely patients, people appearing in court, applying for jobs or allowances etc should learn English? We might be a multicultural nation but everyone should be able to communicate in English. It is not fair to expect overworked doctors to be responsible for organising translation. Huge sums are wasted on translators and putting council and government documents into a growing number of languages. Perhaps councils should have some of their staff taught minority languages so that they could persuade people in their own languages to learn English. …

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