Find translation errors in the UK government's Brexit White Paper


The British government published a White Paper on July 12 outlining the trade, security, and immigration agreements which must be achieved before the UK leaves the European Union next year. Since then, much attention has been given to the political crisis the document has prompted within the Conservative party.

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The United Kingdom is due to depart the EU in March 2019.

The White Paper is also published in 21 translations which seek to explain the government’s vision to its EU partners. The languages include French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Greek.

In a series of social media posts, conference interpreter Daniel Pashley has highlighted a number of linguistic errors and poor phrasing in the translations he has examined:

Daniel Pashley on Twitter

Update: the mistakes on the menu page (misspelled language names) have now been corrected. But the translations themselves (the ones I can read) are still poor.

Others have pointed to a lack of foreign language skills in the civil service:

Dr. Helen Finch on Twitter

Lack of foreign #language skills is a perennial issue for the civil service. During the Ukraine crisis the Foreign Office lacked enough Russian speakers. Just 38% of “speaker slots” at the FO filled by speakers of the language to the specified level. https://t.co/HPaK562jEV

Can you help WikiTribune examine the 21 translated versions of the White Paper? Please help us find instances of inaccurate language or clumsy syntax. Point out instances where your think poor phrasing or inexact wording could be improved.

WikiTribune has contacted the Department for Exiting the European Union to ask for more information about the translations.

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