The number of horror stories we hear about legal interpreting gone wrong… It’s crazy! This just highlights how important it is to make sure the provider of the legal interpreting service has specialist knowledge and experience in the field. It could be the difference between an innocent or a guilty outcome.
Finding the perfect interpreter is no easy task. Do you need a legal interpreter for a court assignment? Or will the job be an informal briefing with the client? Details like these are essential in securing the right interpreter. Questions about the formality, the required level of specialist knowledge and other considerations will be asked by any professional provider of a legal interpreting service.
In order to provide a professional, successful, legal interpreting service, you will need to have an extensive skill set far beyond simply knowing and speaking another language. The following guidelines are taken from the Code of Professional Conduct which is produced by the National Register of Public Service Interpreters. This is what your interpreter needs to do.
Linguistic and Cultural Competence
Linguistic and cultural competence. The competence to carry out a particular assignment. This includes a sufficiently advanced and idiomatic command of the languages concerned, with awareness of dialects and other linguistic variations that may be relevant to a particular commission of work. The particular specialist skills required; and, where appropriate, an adequate level of awareness of relevant cultural and political realities in relation to the country or countries concerned.
Confidentiality. Practitioners shall respect confidentiality at all times. They shall not seek to take advantage of information acquired during or as a result of their work. The duty of confidentiality shall not terminate on the completion of a commission of work and shall persist, where appropriate, beyond the cessation of registration.
Impartiality. Practitioners carrying out work as Public Service Interpreters, or in other contexts where the requirement for neutrality between parties is absolute, shall not enter into discussion, give advice or express opinions or reactions to any of the parties that exceed their duties as interpreters.
Legal interpreting is no easy task. You need to make sure you have the right interpreter for the job. Here at Lingua, we only provide interpreters with at least 5 years experience. We always make sure we get the right person for the assignment.
Do any legal interpreters out there have any tips and advice for aspiring interpreters? To find out more about the service offered by Lingua Translations, please visit our legal interpreting service page.