The quality of interpreters offered to defendants, witnesses and others appearing in court in Taiwan came into question yesterday when Democratic Progressive Party legislator Huang Wei-cher (
According to the two legislators, substandard trial translators could seriously compromise the human rights of defendants who do not speak Mandarin, particularly in the case of foreign workers in Taiwan.
In response, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) said that a directory of interpreters in various languages could be established and on-the-job training programs could be used to improve the proficiency interpreters already employed.
During the press conference, a Filipina whose name was not disclosed said that she had been very afraid while in court because she could not understand the legal jargon being used. She said that she did not have faith in the ability of her interpreter and felt her chances of success in the case were compromised.
According to a volunteer for the Catholic Yeh Chu-li (葉茱莉) of the Rerum Novarum Center, questions such as "Did your employer pay you?" were rendered by the interpreters as "Your employer paid you, didn't he?" putting the non-Mandarin speaker at a considerable disadvantage.
According to Cheng Cheng-hui (
Lin Chi-hui (