The Qualities of a Good Court Interpreter

The court interpreter plays a very important role. This is why in most countries court interpreters need to take tests to become recognized and certified. The interpreter helps their clients speak and answer questions and at the same time represent to the people who are in attendance. The testimony of a witness can dictate the outcome of the case and when not interpreted correctly, it means a decision which is not favorable.
Court interpretation and how it works
Court interpretation works in two ways, via executive interpreting or simultaneous interpreting. Consecutive interpreting is interpreting the speaker’s complete thought. On the other hand, simultaneous interpreting runs along-side the original speech and is commonly translated to the listeners through their headphones.
In simultaneous interpreting the workload is shared by at least two interpreters. There is great demand and the work is intense. Interpreters take turns to avoid stress and fatigue. In some cases a check interpreter is required. The check interpreter verifies the work of the main interpreter.
Qualities of a good court interpreter
A court interpreter has to have the right education, credentials and extensive experience. There are also other essential qualities which they need to possess and they are the following:
Experience
Experience in the legal field and the subject matter are vital. With extensive experience it will be easier for the interpreter to clarify technical vocabulary to clients and help them understand the matter at hand.
Accuracy
It is important for an interpreter to interpret words as accurately as possible. He or she must be careful not to omit words or add any unnecessary words that will alter the meaning of the original message. He or she must also convey the exact tone and register of the client because other features of speech are also used to evaluate the character of the person from whom the message originated.
Impartiality
The court interpreter must be impartial. They do not have the right to defend or advise their client. Their work is just to interpret what he or she is saying. This is why everything the client and the interpreter says is noted in transcript.
One of the main reasons why court interpreting is not well understood by the public is that they are basically invisible in the justice system. They are supposed to be completely neutral entities with no interest in the case or the people involved in the case. The interpreter’s sole purpose is to form a bridge between the non-English speaker and everybody else. They are supposed to help promote understanding and not confusion.
Today there is a growing need for court interpreters. In the United States there has been a documented growth in foreign language speakers, as well as foreign language court interpreters. Non-English speakers appear in courts across the globe with increasing frequency and many courts both in the US, the UK and other English-speaking countries are struggling to cope with the shortage of qualified interpreters. Suffice it to say that the future for court interpreters looks very good.