Scots ducking the law


Court transcribers can’t handle Scottish

Published: May 12, 2008 at 1:22 AM


EDINBURGH, Scotland, May 12 (UPI) — Some Scottish lawyers complain that court transcripts are riddled with errors because the English company hired to make them can’t handle the Scottish accent.

Donald Findlay, a queen’s counsel or lawyer who can represent the government in court, told The Scotsman the transcriptions are “bloody awful.”

“They know nothing of the local topography, which leads to some amazing phonetic translations of places,” he added. “I would have thought it’s not beyond the wit of man to check place names on the Internet.”

The Scottish Court Service in 2006 designated Mendip Media Service, a company based in Devon, at the other end of Britain, to make transcriptions. Mendip blames the transcription problem on poor quality recording equipment used in Scottish courts but said it has also been using Scottish transcribers as much as possible.

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