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Should an English website in UK have Polish translations?

31 May 2016 #1

We're currently designing a new website for Northamptonshire Police.

The website will predominantly be in English. Northamptonshire has a high Polish population, so we are trying to create something that can be easily accessible to everyone.

Would you expect the website to be completely translated into Polish or just some parts?

Are most websites you access translated? Or can the majority of the Polish community read English well?

Thanks so much for all of your help. Any responses would be extremely appreciated. This is a very important community project.
spiritus 69 | 651
31 May 2016 #2
Difficult to say.

Are Poles the only minority group of any size in the area ?

It depends what the website is for. If it's to help the local community then perhaps it could be a good idea but if it's to report crime etc then it could be interpreted negatively that Poles are being singled out as the minority most likely to be the perpetrators of crime.

In my local area there is a fishing lodge which is licence only-the police plastered posters all over the area warning people not to fish in the lodge but the poster was written only in Polish which pi**ed me off a bit !
dolnoslask 6 | 2,946
31 May 2016 #3
Of course the Police should translate their websites into all the major languages that are in used by migrants within the UK, after all the UK is a multicultural society now , It should not be assumed that all migrants in the UK would have knowledge of or wish to learn English.

I Note already that the NHS is doing a great t job in translating its literature into Hindi Urdu Polish etc.

I was In the UK a few months ago and noticed a leaflet about Anti natal care at the doctors surgery Polish was included.

Anyway Bravo the Police taking their time to get peoples opinions.
gumishu 13 | 6,134
31 May 2016 #4
Would you expect the website to be completely translated into Polish or just some parts?

most important parts would be enough I guess - translation of whole websites is costly and time consuming
dolnoslask 6 | 2,946
31 May 2016 #5
Yeah do the important bits, try and keep costs down for the tax payer, oh I guess the bits on race hate / crimes , how to report them etc , should be translated in full.
jon357 74 | 21,790
31 May 2016 #6
or just some parts?

The most important and relevant parts. Stuff for visitors to the county and emergency info for very new residents who haven't yet learnt to an adequate level to navigate the website and who don't have anyone to help translate. Plus maybe any parts of the site about very personal issues that someone may not want to talk about, perhaps domestic violence.

Worth mentioning that most local police services here in Poland provide little if any online material in English and if they do, English is the one language (other than Polish) that all foreign residents regardless of origin are expected to understand. This isn't unusual - in most places a public sector website is obviously in the local language and possibly parts in English for any foreigners - after all, English is the international language.

I had to learn Polish to survive here; it isn't unreasonable to expect people living in England to learn English, nor is translating a whole public sector website into other languages helping anyone to learn the language or to survive well in an English speaking country.
dolnoslask 6 | 2,946
31 May 2016 #7
"I had to learn Polish to survive here;" All credit to you Jon but from my experience not everyone makes an effort to learn their host countries language, the elderly find it especially difficult to learn a new language, oh and the cost of language classes can be an issue sometimes.

I also live part time in Austria and Spain but my skills in these languages are poor , to be honest I would struggle to find the time to go to class, bit of work in progress for me, so it is useful to have Government websites in multiple languages.

All said Google translate is pretty good nowadays.
jon357 74 | 21,790
31 May 2016 #8
live part time in Austria and Spain

So basically, it's the key information, perhaps emergency stuff. Or anything sensitive that it isn't easy to ask about.

But yes, search engines can translate whole websites now, albeit after a fashion.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,861
31 May 2016 #9
t isn't unreasonable to expect people living in England to learn English,

well no, but the reality is that a lot of immigrants find it really hard to learn it, esp. if they are living/working with their fellow countrymen.

So emergency information in all languages is essential IMO.

I walked past a doctor's surgery here in South London this morning , it said ' Consultations available in Spanish, Yoruba, Turkish, ...(plus about three more that were too obscure for me to recall)...

Surely this is a good thing.
kpc21 1 | 763
31 May 2016 #10
In my opinion - English should be enough. From the people going abroad (for any purpose) it can be expected that they will be able to speak if not the language of the country they go to, then at least English - as it's kind of "lingua franca" now, the language that most people in the world learn as a foreign language. So a website of such a unit in any country should have at least two versions: in the language of this country and in English. In this specific case both of them are exacltly the same language - therefore it's enough it will be in English.

I understand that it is a multi-cultural society, but it's still the UK, and the immigrants are only kind of guests.

However it's always nice to make things easier for the people, and if there lives many Poles there, it's definitely a good idea to translate the website to Polish. But it isn't anything necessary.

The idea of translating only the most important things is very good.
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 498
31 May 2016 #11
No, it should not.
Longer story: unless you can provide a quality translation (no, Google Translate does not count!) for every language spoken by >1 person within the area (good luck with that) you should not just give either prefferentional (or discriminatory- because that's the way it may be received) treatment to the (possibly the largest) minority.

That will not only save a lot of money, but it will also ensure that migrants shall learn language quicker (than if they would serve everything in their lingo).
Mister H 11 | 761
8 Jun 2016 #12
Option 1) Translate it for every EU country on none at all.

Option 2) Have the manners / commonsense to learn the language of the country you are going to live in / spend a fair amount of time in.

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