Monday, January 23, 2017

Why You Need Specialized Court Interpreters by Lucy Justina

Interpreters mediate conversations between two people speaking in different languages. They have to have a thorough command of both languages and understand what is being said. They also have to quickly communicate the same idea to the other person and carefully choose the right set of words.
Interpreters are quite different from translators as they work in real time and don't get the chance to review their output! 

Interpreters are needed for many different situations. However, you may need a specialized interpreter for specific jobs. Here are some essentials for any court interpreter: 

Language Skills

This is the minimum requirement for any interpreter. A knowledge of both languages and some general vocabulary. In addition to the general vocabulary, court interpreters also require an understanding of the vocabulary used in court. Any deviation from the true legal meaning could pose a huge problem in the court proceedings.

Court interpreters also have to conduct sight interpretation. This is in when legal documents written in one language are read out by the interpreter in another language. 


A lot of confidential information is disclosed during legal proceedings. This means that court interpreters are required to observe a strict code of confidentiality. Interpreters shouldn't ever disclose any of the confidential information they hear in the court outside of it.


The documents and words spoken in the courtroom are very important. Interpreters should interpret accurately, clearly, and never expand or reduce content as they see fit. Wrongly or partially-interpreted content can hugely affect the outcome of the proceedings.

It is the interpreter’s duty to convey exactly what is being said and not read between the lines. This is  only only if they remain detached from both the parties involved in the case. In order to offer unbiased interpretation, the interpreter should avoid meeting with the parties before or during the proceedings. They shouldn't even consider the ruling of the case.


Since a court interpreter's job can be very different from that of a regular interpreter, it's essential that they complete the appropriate training and are certified. There are court certifications, training accredited by judicial bodies, and many institutes that offer both training and certification for court interpreters. Court interpreters must be both qualified and certified.

A court interpreter needs to know much more than just the two languages they interpret. Finding the right one will make your life so much easier.

Lucy is a freelance blogger. She likes learning by doing new things and sharing her knowledge through blogs.

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