GHMC council meeting to have a simultaneous language interpretation system

For the first time, the GHMC council meeting on Saturday will have a simultaneous language interpretation system where speeches delivered in Urdu will be translated into Telugu and vice-versa.

A wireless language conversion system is being tried out on a trial basis pending the setting up of a full-fledged translation system at a cost of Rs.1.08 crore for which the government has accorded administrative sanction a few days ago.

The system which the municipal corporation will install, is wired technology ostensibly for greater voice clarity and it could take some more time for it to be in place. The need for translators was initiated by Mayor Majid Hussain after he took over and on presiding his first council meeting earlier this year.

He realised that some members were not able to follow speeches made in Urdu or Telugu and even English. Officials too were having a tough time as there are demands to answer in the same language in which the question has been asked. And not all officials are polyglots either.

Language issues

The problem is not a new one but somehow it escaped the attention of the powers that be. Previous Mayors like Teegala Krishna Reddy and Banda Kartika Reddy too had language issues yet they never thought it fit to seek the translation system!

But, once Mr. Majid Hussain took up the issue with Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu, the latter too immediately consented. Mr. Krishna Babu had also written to the Legislative Assembly Secretary seeking the services of its single outsourced translator working there for the council meeting. Reasoning is that GHMC council meets do not happen when the Assembly is in session.

If permission does not come, the civic body is mulling to engage another outsourced polyglot. Once in place, the language interpretation system will ensure the translator replay the speech being given by a member, Mayor or an official into either Telugu or Urdu almost simultaneously.

The firm setting up the system will scan the council hall in the next couple of days to test the system and also scour an appropriate spot for the translator to sit.

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