Wordtrans Comment on The Government's objective to achieve 250,000 Daily Speakers of Gaeilge

Top Quote The Government's main objective of their long term strategic plan to achieve 250,000 daily speakers of Gaelige is totaling 1.6M in translation costs. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) May 04, 2013 - The Official Languages Act (2003) is an Act of the Oireachtas of Ireland that rules that public bodies must translate major public documents into Gaeilge, also known as Gaelic. This act is an important part of the Government's long term strategic plan which is required at a national level, with the main objective to achieve 250,000 daily speakers of Gaeilge.

    The total cost for translations was estimated at 1.6M in 2012 with many documents never actually being used. This figure is only the total of outsourced external translation companies and does not include internal staff who also undertake translation work.

    The highest bill that contributed to this total of 1.6M was from the State Examinations Office, which is part of the Department of Education; their bill totalled 900,000 which was from translation marking and producing exam papers. Ruairi Quinn , the Minister for Education and Skills produced Gaeilge leaflets, press releases and forms, which totalled to 106,000. 23,462 was spent on Gaeilge annual reports from the National Asset Management Agency, the National Pension Reserve Fund and the National Treasury Management Agency.

    Other spenders who contributed to the 1.6M total included many County Councils, with the biggest bill from Meath Council, spending 47,210, Limerick Council spending 12,246, and Kerry Council spending 14,133 for a Gaeilge version of the Dingle Local Area Plan. The Irish postal service An Post spent 7,179 on state savings brochures and forms.

    A further 100,000 was spent by the Departments for Social Protection, Health and Children on website content, information booklets and translating reports.

    A spokesperson for WORDtrans, said "Just like Wales, Ireland has the same challenge on keeping its unique language from dying out and losing its huge swathe of culture and heritage. These languages need to be actively promoted to prevent this from happening, which is exactly what the Official Languages Act was designed for - with the Government's objective to achieve 250,000 daily speakers of Gaeilge we have a number to measure this long term plan against. However, spending huge amounts of public money on translating documents that are never used just to follow the Acts rules is likely to have a negative and an opposite effect."

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