Court Interpreters

Court Interpreters

Abstract

From the research results obtained below, it can be concluded that there is a big difference between the services provided by trained court interpreters and those provided by untrained court interpreters. Untrained interpreters are cheaper and even in some cases can be free therefore more affordable. It is also easier to make convenient arrangements with untrained interpreters. They offer less confidentiality, have no skills and the consumer is not assured of continued service provision. It is therefore much better to use trained court interpreters over untrained interpreters for reliability, convenience and accurate translation of information.

Introduction

Court interpreters are people present in court hearings who serve to interpret or translate ideas and thoughts. Court interpreters can be used in cases where the judge, witness or the accused does not understand the language of the other. They can also be used in cases where sign language is involved and the people present in a court room do not understand. Generally they are used to convert spoken information from one language to another. Trained court interpreters are certified professionals who provide translation services in a court room. The advantages and disadvantages of trained court interpreters over untrained court interpreters will be analyze and discussed. There is need to find out the importance of having trained court interpreters over the untrained ones or the reverse because most people who use these services are not sure of the accuracy of the information translated and also those in training need to know the importance of their qualification in this crucial service. According to The Great Britain (1869, p.107) “ The court interpreter appeared so inconsistent and incoherent that it seemed evident some confusion existed in the court hearing” This raises the need to determine whether its important to use certified persons as interpreters. Is there any difference between using the service of a trained court interpreter and one who is untrained what are some of the consequences of using either over the other?

Methods

These questions will be answered by researching on some of the cases or problems that have been encountered by use of the either trained or untrained interpreters. The roles of the interpreters will also be considered to determine what makes one qualified for being a court This research will be done from books, journals, magazines and websites. Hatch, E. and Lazaraton, A. (1991). Research manual will be use as a guide during the research data collection and analysis as well.

Results

According to Tyla (2010),In court case, both simultaneous and consecutive types of interpretation might be necessary. Simultaneous interpretation involves listening and talking at the same time as well as using signs in some cases while consecutive interpreting involves listening and writing at the same time. Interpretation requires a person to be able to understand and communicate in both languages being used, be attentive, have good memory and exceptional research and analytical skills. For a person to be a trained interpreter they must be educated and at least be able to understand and speak two languages.

According to U.S. Department of State, Office of Language Services (2009) The United States Federal Court Interpreter Program divides court interpreters into three categories: Certified, professional qualified and language skilled interpreters. The use of proficient court interpreters is important in ensuring justice is given to either the plaintiff or the defendant.

According to the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments (2004) some of the advantages of using untrained court interpreters who in most cases are either family members, friends or bilingual professionals. They are always available and therefore it's more convenient to use them. Most of the time no cost is assigned to the service incase of untrained interpreters or if any it is minimal compared to that of trained interpreters. There is also the issue of trust on the side of the person using the service. Incases where bilingual professionals maybe used, the persons using this service to not suffer from additional costs, confidentiality is assured and there is good knowledge of the Industry as compared to the use of friends and relatives.

There are also disadvantage of using untrained court interpreters which might contribute to unfairness in regard to the court ruling. According to Jacobsen (1866, p. 59) The interpreter might be uncertain about the language which he/she is translating to. They might also be unsure of the impartiality and also conflicts of interest between the interpreter and the consumer might arise. Incases of using friends as court interpreters, confidentiality of the court matter might not be assured. According to Marvin (1847, p.234) Bilingual interpreters are not convenient to use because most of the time they have to be pulled out of their work. One is also not assured that they will provide the service till the end of the court case. According to Urbina (2006) untrained court interpreters do not have good interpreting skills compare to trained interpreters which have led to serious complications in a court case.

Discussion

According to the results obtained above from the research on whether it is better to use trained court interpreters over the untrained ones, it shows that untrained interpreters have some benefit/advantages though they were outweighed by the disadvantages. It is therefore wise and much better top use the interpretation services of a trained or certified interpreter. Some of the advantages of un trained interpreters included availability. Incase it is urgent or if some one can not access a trained interpreter within their region untrained interpreters can be of great help. The cost of service of untrained court interpreters is lower compared to that of trained interpreters therefore making them affordable to almost everyone. There is also the issue of trust on the side of the person using the service. Due to the probably good relationship between the untrained interpreter and the person using their service, they would be more assured that the interpretation would be done accurately and with more care. Incases where bilingual professionals maybe used, the persons using this service to not suffer from additional costs, confidentiality is assured and there is good knowledge of the Industry as compared to the use of friends and relatives. It is also much easier to make arrangements on the assistance needed in a court case interpretation.

Some of the many disadvantages of using this service include lack of skills on the interpretation of court cases which might lead to misinterpretation which can greatly alter the jury results leading to unfair court ruling. The interpreter might also be less informal on impartiality and conflicts of interest between the interpreter and the consumer might arise. This might lead to misinterpretation of ideas which might have negative effects on the court case. When friends are used as court interpreters, one is not assured of confidentiality because they might leak some information concerning the case to the wrong people. Bilingual professionals are inconvenient to use because most of the time they busy with their official jobs and therefore might not be reliable compared to trained court interpreters who have interpretation as their career and hence more reliable and efficient. The consumer is also not assured of their service till the end of the case and therefore it can great a lot of inconvenience if they are not present in one of the court hearings. This might also cause delay of the court case inconveniencing the consumer who has other things to do..It was most probable that trained court interpreters provide better services than untrained interpreters.

Conclusion

Trained court interpreters provide better services than untrained interpreters and therefore it is more preferable to use trained court interpreters ,Untrained interpreters are cheaper, reliable and offer more trust to the customer because mostly they era close friends and relatives. On the other hand they lack skills on interpretation which a vital in a court case. They also don't provide much confidentiality to the customer regarding the court hearings and the information presented in a court by a witness. Conflicts of case interest between the consumer and the interpreter may occur which may affect the interpretation process. In practical cases, trained and certified persons always provide quality and better services than untrained persons. This is because they have full knowledge of their profession and they also acquire useful skills during their training. They are also more conversant with what is supposed to be done and how best because they have done it for a while. More research should be conducted on the training that a person requires to become a certified or professional court interpreter and the rules that govern court interpretation

Tyle,E. Qualities of Interpreters . http://languageservices.state.gov. May 6, 2010

The Interpreter Symbol endorsed by the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments. Language Services Policy: (2004) http://www.multicultural.qld.gov.au/services_and_resources
/translating_and_interpreting_services/index.php (external)

Jacobsen, Julius. (1866). The revelations of a police court interpreter: or, 'Truth is sometimes stranger

The Law reports: Privy council appeals, 2, Great Britain. Privy Council. Judicial Committee, Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales. (1869). The Law Reports: Privy Council Appeals, London, W. Clowes and sons.

Marvin J.G. (1847).Legal bibliography, or a thesaurus of American, English, Irish, and Scotch law books: together with some continental treatises. Interspersed with critical observations upon their various editions and authority. To which is prefixed a copious list of abbreviations. New York. T & J.W.Johnson

Hatch, E. and Lazaraton, A. (1991). The research manual: Design and Statistics for Applied Li nguistics. Boston, Mass.: Heinle & Heinle.

U.S. Department of State, Office of Language Services (2009).Interpreters Translators.Washington.United States Department of Labor.

Urbina, M. G. , 2006-11-01 "Indigent Defendants and the Barriers They Face in the Wisconsin Court System"Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA <Not Available>. 2009-05-24 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p125638_index.html

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