Why Can’t People Speak Swedish?

There is a growing problem in Sweden because immigrants do not arrive being able to speak the Swedish language. Worse, some of these folks wind up in court and that causes another problem– where are the interpreters to help the judge conduct a trial. It is estimated half  of courtroom interpreters are so poor  in language skills that their mistakes can lead to total confusion in trials. They may know some words in the foreign language, but few are familiar with judicial terms and this causes confusion.

In one recent case a boy claimed to have fled his homeland because a grenade was thrown at his house, but the interpreter got confused and told the judge he fled because a pomegranate was thrown. It is now not uncommon to end trials because of language problems between judges, interpreters and clients.

The solution is simple. Let’s have all trials conducted in English. That will then require judges to learn English and they will be in the same situation as the person on trial who does not quite grasp Swedish.