The legal system can be incredibly complex, and it is especially difficult for someone who is trying to understand it in another language. Interpreters are essential for lawyers who need to communicate more efficiently in and out of the courtroom. An interpreter translates the spoken word in two directions as opposed to a translator who translates the written word. Interpreters think and speak in two languages on the spot and generally without the aid of reference materials or other resources.
The most common types of interpreters are either consecutive or simultaneous. A consecutive interpreter is used in meetings such as medical appointments (doctor/patient situations), business meetings, phone calls and press conferences. Other situations where consecutive interpreting is frequently used is in court settings and police interrogations.
In consecutive interpreting, the speaker talks and pauses to allow the interpreter to translate in the target language for a portion or the entire speaker’s message. It is a stop/start process. The interpreter generally sits or stands beside the speaker, listening and taking notes when necessary. High-level interpreters have crafted techniques utilising an intricate note taking ability and memory retention that can allow them to interpreter long speeches up to five or six minutes in length. Consecutive interpreting is common in court rooms and other legal proceedings.
Simultaneous interpreting is disseminated on the spot in live time. A classic example of simultaneous interpreting is a United Nations conference. At these meetings, it is common to see world leaders wearing headsets. While the main speaker is delivering his/her speech instantaneously, it is being interpreted to the recipient of that target language who is wearing a headset. While translating the words, the interpreter also conveys the right tone, intention and emotion of the speaker. During debates or confrontational speaking, the interpreter must demonstrate a high level of professionalism and diplomacy by conveying the appropriate meaning of the message as it is expressed. The role of an interpreter is extremely complex when dealing with individuals and two or more totally different languages. Regardless of the type of interpreter you choose to work with, there a few things you need to consider.
- Speed of Service: As the need for an interpreter can arise at any time, it is important to have a person or service on hand at a moment’s notice.
- Know the Interpreter’s Skills: Know your interpreter well and understand their skills and limitations. Every situation may require something different, and an interpreter must have the necessary skills to assist according to the needs of the proceeding.
- Selecting the Right Interpreter: If you do not have a relationship with an interpreter, an interpreter service provider such as Translationz, can provide the right interpreter for the project.
- Accuracy: Lastly, it is critical that everything written and spoken in the proceedings are accurately translated into the client’s native language so they can be present and aware of the legal service being provided.
Court cases are usually quite stressful and can be extremely intense. Having the right interpreter who is skilled, accredited, understands confidentiality issues, is knowledgeable in the subject matter and is an accomplished interpreter is imperative. You can rely on Translationz, a professional language service provider, to select our best interpreters who possess these qualities to your unique and important assignment. Give us a call. We are here to answer your questions.
Karen Hodgson, CEO of Translationz