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Nunavut Needs More Translators

Nunavut’s language commissioner, Eva Aariak, is urging the government to hire more translators. The government of Nunavut has just four Inuktitut translators, three to translate documents into Inuinnaqtun and one French translator.

“The demand is so high, that they’re really overworked,” Aariak says. “And sometimes because of that, the quality of the work, the quality of the translations are not quite up to par because they’re just so overwhelmed and they have to produce so much in a short time.”

To help develop a stronger translator workforce in Nunavut, Aariak believes the Government of Nunavut should make a stronger commitment to interpreter programs at the Arctic College in Iqaluit.

Chris Douglas, director of official languages with the department of Culture, Language Elders and Youth, the department responsible for translating all government documents, says the number of translators the department needs also depends on potential changes to Nunavut’s Official Languages Act.

A special committee has recommended the act be changed to make Inuktitut a more prominent part of government business.

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