Mumbai police challenge language barriers

February 23, 2016 10:05
Mumbai police challenge language barriers

Mumbai police, who are masters in dealing the huge mysterious cases, are finding tough to deal with the English language.

Lower-rung officers of the Mumbai police have taken to mobile apps, dictionaries, translation websites, as well as help from journalists, to tackle the bogey, that is English.

A team from the Colaba police station were frustrated, over accolades they received for tracking down an international debit card fraud and arresting two Belgain nationals.

The team was later told to translate the chargesheet filed in Marathi language, for making the accused aware of the charges, made against them.

The investigating team has spent months on it, to navigate the chargesheet with a Marathi to English dictionary.

“This has been especially difficult since certain technical terms were used in the chargesheet. It took so much time to just translate it,” the officer said.

Most of the officers, who got on to the job, after passing Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exams in Marathi, have started using various techniques to get over the language barrier now.

Mumbai western suburbs, API-level officer had put a condition to the journalists, to ask the questions in English. Ever since, from talking on the phone to issuing press releases, everything is done in English.

However, other policemen fall back on technology. Mobile apps translating content from English to Marathi and vice versa is all the rage, especially among junior-level officers well versed with technology.

On several occasions, mobile apps are recommended by the seniors to the juniors for translating the documents. The apps are even being used to translate circulars or English alerts received from the central agencies.

“Sometimes the circulars will have words like ‘intersections’ or ‘interjection’ or levels of a mall that we have to secure and we don’t understand that,” an officer said.

Even the complainants who do not know Marathi are using the mobile apps. If at all the complainant does not understand complaint registered in Marathi, the police use mobile apps to translate it into the language, the complainant is comfortable with. It seems, the officers would have no stop in completely clearing the language barriers, in the future days.

By Phani Ch

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