Does translation hinder integration?

Christina Schäffner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


2006 and 2007 saw renewed debates about rising costs of public sector translation and interpreting. One argument put forward was that the provision of such services for the immigrant population is deterring community cohesion in the UK. For example, the former education secretary Ruth Kelly raised the question of whether we are providing a ‘crutch’ by making translations available to immigrants, thus not giving them the incentive to learn English. The paper will address this question in the context of language policies and language ideologies in the UK. It will be argued that the debate about translation services has been instrumentalised for the discursive construction of identities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-122
Number of pages24
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Special issue ‘Ideology and Cross-Cultural Encounters – Research and Methodology in Translation and Interpreting’, guest editors: Ovidi Carbonell i Cortés and Myriam Salama-Carr.


  • costs
  • public sector
  • translation
  • interpreting
  • immigrant population
  • service
  • community cohesion
  • language policies
  • language ideologies
  • UK
  • construction of identities


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