The New Brunswick Acadian Society (Societé de l’Acadie du Nouveau Brunswick) is weighing in on the discussion surrounding translation devices for paramedics.
Communications and Public Relations Liaison Eric Dow says bilingualism is used by some groups within the province as a scapegoat for problems with the ambulance service.
“I can tell you as somebody that has a Masters [degree] in translation, that regrettably the technology just isn’t there, in 50 years it might be there, in 15 years it might be there, I don’t know,” says Dow.
He says in the case of a healthcare emergency, you would need a system that could provide “quality, automatic, automated translation”, and that simply isn’t the case now.
Dow says whenever the ambulance service issue crops up, bilingualism is used as a scapegoat by certain groups.
“I think that most experts would agree that we can’t just point to bilingualism as being the main source of all of our problems when it comes to ambulance services,” says Dow. “So it’s kind of a false debate the certain parties are trying to exploit.”
Dow says translation technology is improving, but he believes it’s not at a stage yet where it can reliably be used in emergency situations.