Court interpreters are lingual professionals who provide legal translation services. They are a vital part of any country’s legal system. Despite their name, the duties of a court interpreter, extend far beyond the four walls of a courtroom.
These particular interpreters serve in various capacities within the legal circle. For instance, their services are commonly required at police stations where they handle interrogations and discussions between the police and citizens. These interpreters are also present during legal discussions where they provide interpretation services between two varying parties.
Still, the most popular use linked to court interpreters is the role that they provide within modern court rooms. Since most states have people from varying lingual backgrounds, the services of an interpreter are bound to occur more often than not.
The equipment used by court room interpreters is largely determined by the type of translation service that they are providing. For example, during court room cases where simultaneous translations are being used, court interpreters typically work within secluded booths where they relate with the participants of the courtroom through carefully fitted communication equipment. The advantage of this approach is that it allows the proceedings of a court to be handled without any pause for translation.
However, in situations where the services of a professional interpreter will not be needed for more than a few minutes (or an hour at best), most court rooms prefer the less expensive and less complicated approach of consecutive translation. In such scenarios, court interpreters are visibly present within the courtrooms and work alongside the parties involved. Needless to say, court interpreting can be very demanding for the professionals involved.
Even with the strains of their profession, interpreters are expected to remain neutral and sharp during their duties. They are expected to provide impartial translations that do not strengthen or remove anything from the comments of the speaker.
These language professionals are expected to have, not just great speaking skills, but excellent listening skills as well. They are also expected to have a fair knowledge of the court system. This includes an appreciation of legal terminologies. This goes a long way in preventing the likelihood of errors or misinformation during the translation process.
Court reporters must be able to provide speedy interpretations. To make the task easier and reduce the likelihood of errors occurring, most court interpreters work in teams where the lead translator is rotated every half hour. This keeps them sharp and fairly alert. Depending on the terms of their arrangement, court interpreters might be given assignments that require travelling. For instance, freelance interpreters that are in the employ of a law firm might be called upon to travel to another state to provide services during a meeting.
Even though the educational background of court interpreters tends to vary, most countries request that they be a member of a recognized interpreter association before applying for a position. This goes a long way in ensuring that they possess all the professional requirements and skills needed to become a successful interpreter.