Volume 32, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Interpreting and translation are increasingly provided in the public sector via large-scale outsourced framework contracts (Moorkens 2017). In the UK, one of the largest recent framework agreements for interpreting and translation was introduced between 2016 and 2017 in critical contexts for justice, including the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and the police. These agreements involve new types of collaboration between new partners and agents in the delivery of interpreting and translation, who each have different aims, expectations, standards and working methods. This contribution examines these emerging complex collaborations, and is the result of a rare type of complex collaboration between academic researchers, framework contract-holders and managers, interpreters and translators, language service providers, professional associations, and users of translation and interpreting services, within the Transnational Organised Crime and Translation (TOCAT) project.

The article reports on original research conducted during the TOCAT project, and outlines and evaluates some novel, complex and ethically challenging ‘translaborations’ in police settings. The collaborations discussed are complex because of the range of parties and actors involved and because of the challenging content and settings in which the police rely on interpreting and translation. ‘Translaboration’ is used here to encompass multiple evolving collaborations between different providers and users of interpreting and translation, policy makers, trainers and researchers. Important questions of translation quality and ethics in the management of large-scale framework contexts for public service delivery are raised.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. APCI
    APCI 2010 APCI Code of Practice. AccessedMay 12, 2020. www.apciinterpreters.org.uk/apci_interpreters_code_of_practice.aspx
  2. Berk-Seligson, Susan
    2000 “Interpreting for the Police: Issues in Pre-Trial Phases of the Judicial Process.” Forensic Linguistics7 (2): 212–237.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Büthe, Tim, and Shahryar Minhas
    2015 “The Global Diffusion of Competition Law: A Spatial Analysis.” Paper presented at the6th Meeting of the Research Partnership Platform on Competition and Consumer Protection, 10 July 2015. AccessedDecember 2, 2017. unctad.org/meetings/en/Presentation/CCPB_RPP2015_PRES_ButheMinhas_en.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Carter, Elisabeth
    2011Analysing Police Interviews: Laughter, Confessions and the Tape. London: Bloomsbury.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. College of Policing
    College of Policing 2020 “What is Evidence-based Policing?” AccessedMay 12, 2020. https://whatworks.college.police.uk/About/Pages/What-is-EBP.aspx
  6. Cordingley, Anthony, and Céline Frigau Manning
    eds. 2017Collaborative Translation from the Renaissance to the Digital Age. London: Bloomsbury.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Corsellis, Ann
    2005 “Training Interpreters to Work in the Public Services.” InTraining for the New Millennium: Pedagogies for Translation and Interpreting, edited byMartha Tennent, 153–173. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.60.13cor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.60.13cor [Google Scholar]
  8. Corsellis, Ann, Amanda Clement, and Yolanda Vanden Bosch
    2011 “Training for Members of the Legal Services Working through Legal Interpreters and Translators.” InBuilding Mutual Trust: A Framework Project for Implementing EU Common Standards in Legal Interpreting and Translation, edited byBrooke Townsley, 315–350. London: Middlesex University.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Coulthard, Malcolm, and Alison Johnson
    2007An Introduction to Forensic Linguistics: Language in Evidence. Abingdon: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203969717
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203969717 [Google Scholar]
  10. Criminal Justice System
    Criminal Justice System 2007National Agreement on Arrangements for the Use of Interpreters, Translators and Language Service Professionals in Investigations and Proceedings within the Criminal Justice System. AccessedMay 20, 2019. https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100920144438/frontline.cjsonline.gov.uk/_includes/downloads/guidance/race-confidence-justice/National_Agreement_on_Use_of_Interpreters-August_2008.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  11. DeFillippi, Robert, and Jörg Sydow
    2016 “Project Networks: Governance Choices and Paradoxical Tensions.” Project Management Journal47 (5): 6–17. 10.1177/875697281604700502
    https://doi.org/10.1177/875697281604700502 [Google Scholar]
  12. De Pedro Ricoy, Raquel
    2010 “Training Public Service Interpreters in the UK: A Fine Balancing Act.” Journal of Specialised Translation14: 100–120.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Drugan, Joanna
    2013Quality in Professional Translation: Assessment and Improvement. London: Bloomsbury.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Drugan, Joanna, and Krzysztof Kredens
    2018 “Translation in Superdiverse Legal Contexts.” InThe Routledge Handbook of Language and Superdiversity, edited byAngela Creese and Adrian Blackledge, 411–425. Abingdon: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315696010‑29
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315696010-29 [Google Scholar]
  15. Dunne, Keiran
    2012 “The Industrialization of Translation: Causes, Consequences and Challenges.” Translation Spaces1 (1): 143–168. 10.1075/ts.1.07dun
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ts.1.07dun [Google Scholar]
  16. Durban, C.
    2014Translation: Getting it Right: A Guide to Buying Translation. Milton Keynes: ITI. https://www.iti.org.uk/pdf/getting-it-right/english-uk.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Elias-Bursać, Ellen
    2015Translating Evidence and Interpreting Testimony at a War Crimes Tribunal: Working in a Tug-of-War. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9781137332677
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137332677 [Google Scholar]
  18. ESPO
    ESPO 2015Framework 402: Interpretation, Translation and Transcription Services. AccessedAugust 14, 2016. https://www.espo.org/Frameworks/People-Professional-Services/402-Interpretation-and-translation-services
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Fernández-Ocampo, Anxo, and Michaela Wolf
    2014Framing the Interpreter: Towards a Visual Perspective. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315746418
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315746418 [Google Scholar]
  20. Fowler, Yvonne
    2003 “Taking an Interpreted Witness Statement at the Police Station: What Did the Witness Actually Say?” InThe Critical Link 3: Interpreters in the Community, edited byLouise Brunette, Georges L. Bastin, Isabelle Hemlin, and Heather Clarke, 195–209. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.46.21fow
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.46.21fow [Google Scholar]
  21. Fraser, Janet, and Michael Gold
    2001 “‘Portfolio Workers’: Autonomy and Control amongst Freelance Translators.” Work, Employment and Society15 (4): 679–697.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Gaballa, Viviana
    2012 “Exploring the Boundaries of Transcreation in Specialized Translation.” ESP Across Cultures9: 95–113.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Gallai, Fabrizio
    2012 “Legalising EU Legal Interpreters: A Case for the NRPSI.” The Interpreters’ Newsletter17: 139–156.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Goldschmidt, Deborah, and Johannes F. Schmieder
    2017 “The Rise of Domestic Outsourcing and the Evolution of the German Wage Structure.” Quarterly Journal of Economics132 (3): 1165–1217. 10.1093/qje/qjx008
    https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjx008 [Google Scholar]
  25. Gov.UK
    Gov.UK 2000Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. AccessedAugust 14, 2016. www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/23/contents
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Gov.UK
    Gov.UK 2016Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2016. AccessedMay 12, 2020. www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2016/25/pdfs/ukpga_20160025_en.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Gray, Barbara
    1989Collaborating: Finding Common Ground for Multiparty Problems. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Grossman, Gene M., and Elhanan Helpman
    2005 “Outsourcing in a Global Economy.” The Review of Economic Studies72 (1): 135–159. 10.1111/0034‑6527.00327
    https://doi.org/10.1111/0034-6527.00327 [Google Scholar]
  29. Haynes, Laura, Owain Service, Ben Goldacre, and David Torgerson
    2012Test, Learn, Adapt: Developing Public Policy with Randomised Controlled Trials. AccessedAugust 14, 2016. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/test-learn-adapt-developing-public-policy-with-randomised-controlled-trials
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Hodge, Margaret
    2016Called to Account: How Corporate Bad Behaviour and Government Waste Combine to Cost Us Millions. London: Little, Brown.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Home Office
    Home Office. n.d. “About.” AccessedMay 12, 2020. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office/about
  32. Home Office
    Home Office 2018HM Government Transparency Report: Disruptive and Investigatory Powers. AccessedNovember 21, 2018. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/728110/35962_R_APS_CCS207_CCS0418538240-1_Transparency_Report_2018_print.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  33. House, Juliane
    1997Translation Quality Assessment: A Model Revisited. Tübingen: Gunter Narr.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. House of Commons Justice Committee
    House of Commons Justice Committee 2013Interpreting and Translation Services and the Applied Language Solutions Contract. Sixth Report of Session 2012–13, Volume1. London: The Stationery Office Limited.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Jacquemet, Marco
    2010 “The Registration Interview: Restricting Refugees’ Narrative Performances.” InCritical Readings in Translation Studies, edited byMona Baker, 133–151. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Jameel, Leila, and Sarah Bunn
    2015 “Body-Worn Video in UK Policing.” Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology POSTbrief14, September 2015 AccessedNovember 21, 2018. https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/POST-PB-0014
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Li, Defeng
    2000 “Tailoring Translation Programs to Social Needs: A Survey of Professional Translators.” Target12 (1): 127–149. 10.1075/target.12.1.07li
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.12.1.07li [Google Scholar]
  38. Loveday, Barry
    2015 “Police Management and Workforce Reform in a Period of Austerity.” InPolice Services: Leadership and Management Perspectives, edited byParesh Wankhade and David Weir, 115–127. Cham: Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑319‑16568‑4_10
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16568-4_10 [Google Scholar]
  39. Martinsen, Bodil, and Kirsten Wølch-Rasmussen
    2003 “What Skills and Structures Should Be Required in Legal Interpreting and Translation to Meet the Needs?” InAequalitas: Equal Access to Justice across Language and Culture in the EU, edited byErik Hertog, 48–58. Antwerp: Lessins Hogenschool.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. McFarlane, John
    2013 “Transnational Crime.” InCorruption and Anti-Corruption, edited byPeter Larmour and Nick Wolanin, 131–145. Canberra: ANU Press. 10.22459/CAC.03.2013.08
    https://doi.org/10.22459/CAC.03.2013.08 [Google Scholar]
  41. Moorkens, Joss
    2017 “Under Pressure: Translation in Times of Austerity.” Perspectives: Studies in Translatology25 (3): 1–14. 10.1080/0907676X.2017.1285331
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2017.1285331 [Google Scholar]
  42. Mulayim, Sedat, and Miranda Lai
    2017Ethics for Police Translators and Interpreters. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Niranjana, Tejaswini
    1992Siting Translation: History, Post-Structuralism and the Colonial Context. Berkeley: University of California Press. 10.1525/9780520911369
    https://doi.org/10.1525/9780520911369 [Google Scholar]
  44. Perez, Isabelle Anne, and Christine Walker Leckie
    2009Translation, Interpreting and Communication Support: A Review of Provision in Public Services in Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Pöchhacker, Franz
    2016Introducing Interpreting Studies. 2nd ed.Abingdon: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315649573
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315649573 [Google Scholar]
  46. Rock, Frances
    2001 “The Genesis of a Witness Statement.” International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law8 (2): 44–72. 10.1558/sll.2001.8.2.44
    https://doi.org/10.1558/sll.2001.8.2.44 [Google Scholar]
  47. Suojanen, Tytti, Kaisa Koskinen, and Tiina Tuominen
    2014User-Centered Translation. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315753508
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315753508 [Google Scholar]
  48. Townsley, Brooke
    2007 “Interpreting in the UK Community: Some Reflections on Public Service Interpreting in the UK.” Language and Intercultural Communication7 (2): 163–170. 10.2167/laic272.0
    https://doi.org/10.2167/laic272.0 [Google Scholar]
  49. Vertovec, Steven
    2007 “Super-Diversity and its Implications.” Ethnic and Racial Studies30 (6): 1024–1054. 10.1080/01419870701599465
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870701599465 [Google Scholar]
  50. Wills, Jane
    2000 “Great Expectations: Three Years in the Life of a European Works Council.” European Journal of Industrial Relations6 (1): 85–107. 10.1177/095968010061005
    https://doi.org/10.1177/095968010061005 [Google Scholar]
  51. Wood, Donna, and Barbara Gray
    1991 “Toward a Comprehensive Theory of Collaboration.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science27 (2): 139–162. 10.1177/0021886391272001
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0021886391272001 [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error