Courtroom interpreting

Courtroom interpreting requires full understanding of the laws of the country where the legal transaction is taking place and native-level fluency in the language spoken by each party involved. Important issues are part of courtroom situations and this results in plenty of pressure on participants without having to worry about clear, accurate communication. You can be confident that Skrivanek courtroom interpreters will handle critical legal communication with accuracy and finesse.

For every situation

There are numerous situations that can lead to the need for courtroom or legal interpreting in another language:

  • Business transactions and contract negotiations overseas
  • Conflict resolution in your home country with someone who does not speak your language
  • Weddings in a foreign country
  • Notary public transactions involving people who speak different languages
  • Criminal or civil charges in foreign countries
  • Trials with foreign witnesses
  • Immigration and customs proceedings

A Job for Professionals

While it may seem that any bilingual speaker could facilitate communication during courtroom proceedings or legal negotiations, the approximate translations offered by amateurs are not acceptable in such situations. Expertly trained and tested courtroom interpreters are highly recommended – in many cases they are even a legal requirement. Interpreting in a legal context involves translating an abundance of details and specialized terminology, all of which must be interpreted without mistakes or with timely, professional clarifications of inaccuracies. The meaning of a legal phrase can turn on a single word, and disastrous misunderstandings can result from the absence of even a simple word like “not” or “and.” This is the nature of legal language and specialized interpreters are experienced at catching every word and nuance as they translate.

Interpreting styles

Courtroom interpreting can be handled with different interpreting styles, and the choice will depend on the situation. Simultaneous interpreting is when the interpreter translates the speaker’s words a phrase or two behind as they speak. With consecutive interpreting the interpreter waits for the speaker to stop after a few sentences and then translates everything that was said.

Simultaneous interpreting might be used discreetly in a courtroom to ensure that a witness or other participant understands everything going on. Consecutive interpreting would likely be used when the jury or even the entire audience (including journalists) requires translation. Virtual and Whispered Interpreting are also used in some cases. Your Language Service Provider will help you decide what you need.

Experienced professionals

In addition to language fluency and thorough understanding of the laws of the country at issue, courtroom interpreters must have exceptional character. Courtroom proceedings are not simple conversations. When interpreting, an interpreter’s words are under scrutiny and the stakes are high. The content can also be complex or emotional. Courtroom transactions can be lengthy and mental exhaustion is a risk (often courtroom interpreters work in teams for this reason and/or breaks are necessary).

All of these demanding features require well-trained interpreters of uncommon intellectual and physical stamina, and it is this caliber of professional that you can count on with Skrivanek’s interpreters.



Reliability, speed and quality of services

Do you need a court interpreter?

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