Court Interpreters

A Surprisingly In-Demand Career as a Court Interpreter Could Be in Your Future.

An interpreter can work in a wide variety of environments today. Their skills are valuable in business, civil, professional and legal settings. Interpreters are often required in court. They are able to translate court proceedings from one language to another. Some of them can even translate verbal speech into sign language and vice versa. This is a very important responsibility because honesty and transparency are of paramount importance in court. Hence, a court interpreter is a very valuable member of the legal department. Here is more About Court Interpreters.

Key Responsibilities of a Court Interpreter:

A court interpreter has many responsibilities which are varied and significant. They include:

◦ Deliver clear, unbiased translation

A court interpreter serves the role of translating the proceedings of a courtroom in such a way that they are understood by the plaintiff and defendant. They are responsible for performing translation which captures the meaning of all courtroom speech in a literal, clear way. The court translator is encouraged to avoid expanding or explaining any aspects of the court dialogue. That’s because doing so can introduce inaccurate information and negatively affect the trial process. For this reason, court translators should not have any prior relationship with the defendant or plaintiff. Furthermore, they should observe full confidentiality.

◦ Simultaneous and consecutive interpreting

A court interpreter is proficient in both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. In simultaneous interpreting, they translate speech for the client in real time. On the other hand, they translate speech one line at a time in consecutive interpreting. In the latter, the court interpreter sometimes has to write some shorthand notes to assist with recalling the conversation at hand.

◦ Maintain tonal consistency

An interesting and crucial responsibility of a court interpreter is to maintain tonal consistency. This is where they mimic the exact tone used by the speaker for the benefit of the client. In this way, emotional relevance is lost in translation.

◦ Sight reading

This is where the court interpreter reads a document aloud while translating it. Sight reading usually requires a high level of concentration and focus. Therefore, it is a core responsibility for court interpreters.

• The Average Salary/Compensation for court interpreters

Court interpreters are some of the highest paid translators. They can earn a salary of more than $100,000. The median salary for general translators is $43,300. Therefore, being a court translator is more lucrative. As a matter of fact, the interpretation sector is expected to show a job growth rate of 42%.

• The agencies that a court interpreter can sign up with:

◦ Courthouses

This is the main employer of court interpreters. Courthouses usually require professionals to translate documents, testimonies and much more. The court interpreter enables the plaintiff, defendant and judge to get the nuances of each case in a language that they can understand. This is essential for ensuring that the trial process proceeds

◦ Law firms

Whenever a law firm is dealing with a foreign client, an interpreter is required. This is another major employer for interpreters. They can translate documents, recordings, testimonies, reports, evidence and legal documents for the clients. In this way, the firm maintains transparency and the client feels secure.

◦ United Nations (UN) agencies

The United Nations deals with people from many different parts of the world. In some cases, they require interpreters. These professionals assist UN agencies to communicate with locals and stakeholder groups. The interpreters also help UN stakeholders to get a deep understanding of all legal documentation. As such, court interpreters are often called upon for this job.

◦ TV and radio stations

Court cases often make it to the mainstream media. In cases where the defendant or plaintiff is foreign, media houses often call upon court interpreters to translate the proceedings into a language that the viewer can understand. This is often a very important and lucrative employment opportunity for a court interpreter.

There are more than 7,000 languages spoken today. In a court room, it is essential that all the stakeholders of a case understand the proceedings. A court interpreter is usually required to make this possible. They have a very important responsibility of ensuring clear communication between people of different languages. As such, this job has substantial social significance!