Legal Interpreting

The extraordinarily difficult nature of legal interpreting.

Trust me, legal interpreting is not for the faint of heart. There are daunting encounters for professional court interpreters. First, they must be experts in their language pair(s). Second, they must have accurate knowledge of current legal terminology. Third, they must always maintain neutrality and professionalism. However, one of the greatest obstacles legal interpreters face …

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Interpreters Must Adhere to Rules of Professional Conduct

In every profession, we have those on the cutting edge, as well as those who believe there is no school like the old school. As legal professionals hone their abilities, a monkey wrench is often hurled at them when the services of a certified court interpreter are required. For those who have never been trained, …

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How My Certified Court Colleagues May Be Sabotaging Themselves

In the past, we had an attorney angrily complain about our independent certified court interpreter. She was furious because the certified interpreter continually paused and reminded her to speak directly to the deponent. The attorney kept forgetting; she kept speaking to the interpreter. After a while, the attorney became frustrated with his constant reminders. She …

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Six Action Items You Can Do to Limit Due Process Rights Violations in Court Part II

Last month we discussed three action items to minimize violations against your client’s due process rights.  To close 2018, here are the remaining action items that empower you to solve the issue.   As soon as a court date is scheduled, notify the clerk’s office what kind of certified court interpreter is needed (for common …

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Six Action Items You Can Do to Limit Due Process Rights Violations in Court

South Carolina has become a larger melting pot since the 1990s.  Today in Spartanburg, there is a decent Russian language community.  In Laurens, there are many Guatemalans for whom Spanish is their second language.  South Carolina has pockets of Asian communities.  French and German speakers also abound.  Let us not forgot those who are hearing …

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AI versus Court Interpreter

I have been watching the debate on artificial intelligence. Many translators will attest that only highly skilled human beings with knowledge and training can understand the nuances of human interaction can properly translate. Artificial intelligence such as Google Translate and other programs are not capable of performing as a human being.   Granted, they are …

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The problem with using a bilingual Police officer instead of a professional interpreter

It’s understandable that the police department wishes to spend taxpayer dollars in a responsible way. Certified and quality professional interpreters are not cheap. Some departments might think it wise to utilize their bilingual officers to conduct interviews or interrogations. However, there are powerful arguments for using a professional court interpreter, especially if she is certified. …

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The Problem and Potential of Legal Interpreting

As a business owner, one thing I have noticed over many years is that Hispanics relocating to the U.S. will move wherever there is work. Back in the 1980s, central Florida was growing exponentially. I observed a massive influx of Hispanic workers. Over time, many set roots in the area. In time, many of the …

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Legal Services for Hispanics

Recently, Emily and I were invited by Charleston Legal Access to work at a Spanish power of attorney clinic in Charleston, SC. About nine lawyers offered their time and expertise pro bono to assist undocumented and limited English proficient Spanish families in case of arrest, detention, deportation, or other incapacitating circumstance. They met with families, …

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Is Every Court Interpreter in the South Carolina Court Interpreter Directory Certified?

The function of a judge is to ensure that the law is upheld, and justice is carried out.  When any party or witness before the judge has limited English proficiency, a competent interpreter is necessary to ensure the due process rights of the party and/or proceeding. Are all court interpreters in the South Carolina Court …

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