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Chronicling a UK Translation Success!

By Shohreh Fleming

 

As economic migration to the United Kingdom has intensified, so too has the need for integration of the various communities that contribute to the UK economy. It is vital to ensure that equal provision is made available to enable foreign nationals to integrate within their new communities.

Much of the speculation surrounding economic migration issues is often made without actually taking stock of the potential benefits locked within. And, as we move forward into a growing multi-cultural society, we need to assist new residents by providing equal provisions that help to unlock that potential, thanks to successful integration into society.

There is the argument that foreign workers need to learn the native language if they are to integrate successfully into the working environment and social culture of the country. This will not happen overnight, however. For this reason, it is important that information is available to all sections of society in order to engage them with local issues. By providing this information, it goes some way to prevent individuals feeling alienated whilst at the same time encouraging integration.

By demonstrating a capacity to accommodate and integrate foreign nationals in the UK a message is expressed that diversity is actively encouraged here. This can create the possibility for a more cosmopolitan perspective to infiltrate sectors of society where matters such as equality in the workplace and cultural education need revising.

Since Poland became a member of the European Union in 2004, its citizens gained the right to move freely within the EU to work. Attracted by the higher wages offered in the UK, many Polish workers made the decision to settle here to seek employment.

In Reading, Berkshire, unofficial estimates state that there are around 8,000 Polish people currently living in the town. And, in October 2006, if you happened to stroll past a newsagent you might have been surprised to notice a billboard displaying headlines in a language other than English.

Kronika Reading is the brain child of Simon Jones, editor of The Reading Chronicle. It began publication with the printing of 5,000 copies in which the first six pages had been translated completely into Polish from the original English version. The Reading Chronicle, in response to the growing Polish population in the town, made the decision to make its newspaper accessible to the changing face of its community.

The publication of Kronika Reading gained widespread media attention; making the editor of the paper the centre of many interviews to local and national media. The interest raised by the publication of the Kronika points to a wider need for inclusion by the media, so that the ever diversifying population of the country can access it.

As papers such as The Reading Chronicle take the initiative to produce a foreign language version of their newspaper, there is an indication that others will soon need to follow suit. The important issue that the publication raises is that there is a real requirement for this kind of service within the UK media. With over a quarter of a million Polish people currently working in the UK, it is likely that there will be a greater need for media outlets to engage with Translation Services in the future.

The relatively recent advent of translation service providers enables information media to reach out to communities, regardless of language. With the capability to provide translation in over 200 languages, there is no longer a reason for a community to be left in the dark about issues which directly affect them. In this way translation services encourage diversity, empowering each member of the population with the means to access information that is important to them, whilst at the same time providing an invaluable means to engage directly with the culture around them.

 

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