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House of Commons Hansard
x
Armed Forces: Interpreters
29 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military linguists proficient in (a) Pashto and (b) Dari are employed by his Department; and how many of each have been employed by his Department in each year since 2001. [323676]

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The information is as follows:

PashtoDari

Higher level

Lower level

Higher level

Lower level

2001

0

0

0

0

2002

0

0

0

0

2003

0

10

0

0

2004

0

10

0

0

2005

0

10

0

0

2006

0

50

0

10

2007

10

140

0

20

2008

30

150

<5

40

2009

40

720

<5

60

2010 (now)

40

11,200

<5

1200

1 Approximately

Employed is interpreted as serving in HM armed forces. The figures above reflect serving personnel with current language skills; account has been taken of personnel who have left HM armed forces with language skills and those who no longer have currency in their language skills.

Higher level training enables trusted translation. Lower level training enables linguists to undertake basic military business in limited scenarios. The majority of the higher level capability requirement is provided by contractors and locally employed civilians. Figures for 2010 are approximate, based on forecast training output for the first three months. The number being trained at the lower level in both languages will increase significantly during 2010. Higher level Pashto and Dari numbers will also increase in 2010 as courses are completed.