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Q: Why is it my responsibility to provide a Court interpreter?  

A: Under many state laws, the courts must provide interpreters, but the law does not specify a timeframe, which means cases could be continued for several months if an interpreter is not available.

Delays could prove especially troubling in criminal cases in which a defendant is in jail awaiting trial. There are situations where an individual attorney is more likely to move quickly and get things wrapped up in one way or another, because the person is being detained.

Q: Why is it important to have an interpreter in a Courtroom?  

A: The low profile of court interpreters, seated in a corner chair until a courtroom clerk or officer requests their help, belies their importance. Court interpreters explain proceedings to criminal defendants and their families, as well as to victims.

They interpret the testimony of witnesses In both criminal and civil cases. "The very essence of due process is for the defendant to participate in and understand what's going on, and the interpreter is probably the single most important person in the courtroom.", said one Boston defense lawyer whose clients are almost exclusively non-English speakers.

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3) Q: What are the qualifications of Court Interpreters?  

A: Court interpreting is a profession that demands high levels of knowledge skills. Many do not realize that being a bilingual speaker is not sufficient to be considered a professional court interpreter. In order to become a certified court interpreter, you have to:

  • Demonstrate a highly educated, native fluency of both English and a second language.
  • Possess college education.
  • Perform all three major types of court interpreting:

    a) Sight interpreting (also known as sight translation)-oral translation of documents: i.e., letters to judges, reports, certificates, documents, etc.

    b) Consecutive interpreting

    c) Simultaneous interpreting

Deliver interpretation in a manner faithful to (1) all canons of the Code of Professional conduct for Interpreters & Translators and (2) all policies regarding court interpreting promulgated by the Judiciary.

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