Gaelic translations outsourced to India. Sort of.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/good_day/1230506084/

So back in 2005, the Scottish Parliament passed the Gaelic Language Act, promoting the use of Scottish Gaelic throughout the Highlands. Presumably that means that all kinds of public documents have to be translated from English into Gaelic, including the parliamentary annual report.

But in order to get this translation done this year, Holyrood (the Scottish Parliament) turned to the UK-based company, Format Design. That company, in turn, outsourced the translation to an Indian company, which offered “to carry out the translations for 6p a word - undercutting rivals by 40 per cent,” according to the UK newspaper, The Sun.

This meant, the paper added: “Based on last year’s 12,317-word report, the translation would cost £740 instead of around £1,200 [1414€].”

But here’s the thing: as there aren’t too many Scottish Gaelic speakers in India, the unnamed Indian company then had to hire a sub-sub-contractor in the Western Isles of Scotland to actually do the work.

In a related story, Herald Scotland reports that “First Minister Alex Salmond yesterday announced an extra £800,000 in funding for Gaelic education, bringing the total above £2 million this year.”

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