The services of language translators were recently needed in India’s Lok Sabha, it has been noted.
Last month, the political institution temporarily descended into chaos due to a technical problem that left some members unable to understand what was going on, Sify reports.
Speaker Meira Kumar had to adjourn the house, which is the directly elected lower chamber of the parliament of India, because some MPs from the southern states complained they were not receiving the English translation of minister of state for power Bharatsinh Madhavsinh Solanki’s speech in Hindi.
The incident highlighted the importance of language translation in modern politics.
T R Baalu was the first to raise the issue with the speaker and he asked to suspend the session if the issue could not be resolved.
He remarked: « What is the use of we sitting here if we don’t understand (what) the minister is saying? »
Offering to engage in some language translation of his own, Mr Solanki said he would continue the speech in English.
However, a number of those present complained and so he did not make the transition.
While the house was adjourned, language translators managed to fix the technical problems and the session was subsequently resumed.
After the MPs reassembled, Mr Kumar stated: « I would apologise. There was some technical fault in the English translation and some members were feeling inconvenient. I am told it has been corrected. »
Sify pointed out that debates in the Lok Sabha take place in a number of languages and Hindi and English translation systems are in place.
Many politicians find themselves being spoken to in languages they are not familiar with and so translations have become a prominent feature of talks between such people.
The systems enable individuals to get their points across and to understand the utterances of others.
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