What Lawyers Need to Know About Court Interpreting Services

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It’s absolutely essential for everyone involved in a court case to understand exactly what’s going on, as this is the only way that justice can be served. This can be tricky when people speak different languages, which is where court interpreters in San Jose can be of help. There are a few things you should know about your interpreting services, however. Since some words and terms may not translate perfectly into another language, you might not get a verbatim interpretation, and be prepared to have your words interpreted while you speak. Interpreter certification is required for the more common foreign languages, and interpreters are required to make certain statements at depositions where no judge is present. Here’s what lawyers need to know about court interpreting services.


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They May Not Be Verbatim

When it comes to courtroom interpreting, what you say may not be translated word for word. A literal translation may not be best for a given situation, and it can cause confusion. This can happen when a person uses slang that would not logically translate word for word, and it can also happen when there are expressions that exist in one language but not in another. In those situations, your court interpreter will accurately translate the overall idea rather than the individual words.

Bilingual Doesn’t Mean Certified

Court interpreters must be bilingual, but being bilingual doesn’t make you a court interpreter. When you look for a court interpreter to work with, make sure the individual you choose is certified when dealing with a language where certification is required. Court interpreting might involve legal jargon that the average bilingual person doesn’t understand, which could confuse the matter rather than clarify it.

Interpretation May Happen Simultaneously

In many cases, a court interpreter will translate the speech immediately as it’s spoken. This means that there will be essentially no lag between the beginning of the speaker’s statement and the translation that ensues. Although this is done if requested, there are other cases in which the interpreter will wait before beginning the interpretation. The interpreter will wait until the questions and answers have been completed before beginning the translation.