UK judge uses Google Translate in pre-trial hearing! A sentence that I never would be thought of that maybe someday I hear. When we hear that a judge uses Google Translate, what do we really get? Is it a bad thing or not? Let’s see what happens when a UK judge uses Google Translate in a pre-trial hearing.
Jaroslaw Nowacki, 31, from Pierrepont Street, Bath, appeared before Judge Euan Ambrose over a charge related to possessing a knife without lawful authority. During the preparation for the trial, the judge found that Nowacki was originally from Poland and needed a translator:
“We need a translator who speaks Polish for you and English for me,” he told the court.
And then suggested postponing the hearing until court arranges a decent translator for him. Nowacki was also ordered to speak to a lawyer before he returns because he didn’t have any barrister at that time. But the report says that Nowacki has a limited grasp of English and couldn’t understand the judge.
“Whether Google Translate will accurately translate what I want to say I don’t know”
Nowacki then confirmed that he understood the message and the case was adjourned, with the defendant given unconditional bail ahead of the next hearing.
This wasn’t the first time Google’s app was used in a UK court. One month before, a barrister used Google Translate to help a defendant after the Mandarin speaker was not provided a translator during her appearance. Joan Smith had to download Google Translate on her phone to help Xiu Ping Yang.
What you think?! Considering everything we hear about machine translation and it’s deficiencies, is it really reliable enough that now a judge uses Google Translate to get his message across? Of course, in all these cases they kind of had too and there were approvals on the side of defendants, but still!