Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Marine Atlantic missed to its linguistic obligations

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The Blue Puttees, one of the Atlantic Navy's ferries. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

Voice synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, allows you to generate spoken text from written text.

Six complaints filed in recent years against Marine Atlantic for failure to meet its linguistic obligations are well-founded, concludes the Commissioner of Official Languages ​​of Canada, Raymond Théberge, in a preliminary report that he has just presented.

Marine Atlantic is responsible for the ferry service between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. It is a state corporation and, therefore, it is subject to the obligations provided for by the Official Languages ​​Act.

Travelers have filed complaints against Marine Atlantic in 2021 and 2022 for signage and digital communication products that were not of equal quality in both official languages.

These included signs and clocks providing information only in English at the Port aux Basques terminal in Newfoundland, untranslated URLs or email addresses, and posts containing translation errors .

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In addition, a complaint was made about two video recordings posted on the company's website, which showed in English only the annual review meetings of its activities in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

Commissioner Théberge provided recommendations to Marine Atlantic to correct these problems. It reports the company's responses. In each case, she has made the necessary corrections or is in the process of doing so at the moment.

Commissioner Théberge was not in a position to grant an interview Tuesday afternoon. Since the investigation is ongoing, I must limit my comments on this specific report, he explained in an email to Radio-Canada.

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The Commissioner of Official Languages, Raymond Théberge. (File photo)

However, I would like to remind you that it is essential that the public be able to receive communications, including digital communications, and services in the official language of their choice from federal institutions subject to theLanguages ​​Act official, added Raymond Théberge.

In response to thepreliminary investigation from the commissioner, Marine Atlantic has corrected the documents covered by the complaints.

In an email to Radio-Canada, in English, the company adds that the online reservation system will be completely translated in the coming weeks and that she will remind staff of the rules regarding the distribution of documents in both official languages.

Regarding Port-aux-Basques, the company claims to accelerate the updating of its signage.

With information from Adrien Blanc

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