First of all, it’s important to note that if we try to find out more about the work of court translators, we would observe that most people don’t really understand it. The language spoken in the courtroom is usually more complex than the one used in our daily lives; therefore, those who would in court would in any case have to have certain linguistic skills.
The demand for court translators surges when the judge and the accused speak different languages. Quite often, qualified translators can make the judicial process transparent for all interested parties from prosecution and defense sides. With the help of a translator, the defendant can listen to witnesses that speak different languages, introduce their own witnesses, obtain information about evidence and have a productive conversation with the court staff during each session of the process.
Often, a court translator has to translate speeches pronounced during the hearing, from English into different languages, as well as vice versa. This helps prevent the communications barrier. His work includes various aspects:
First of all, a court translator ensures an understanding between the defendants, defense witnesses and other parties to the process who can have a limited knowledge of English, and judges and other representatives of power.
Second of all, they translate if a translation is needed during various procedures related to the investigation.
Third of all, they do a written translation of various court documents.
Fourth of all, translators can inform judges about features of different languages and cultures if it has some significance for the trial.
The demand for court translators is high, but the entry requirements are high too. Representatives of various nationalities can participate in trials. It’s not enough for a translator to just know two languages. They have to have at least some knowledge of the law.
Working for the judicial system opens up a lot of opportunities for a translator. They can have a permanent position with some court or get hired to participate in a certain case. There is a high demand of translators from various languages, from English to Spanish, to sign language.
There are several court translators’ training courses that allow them to learn the specifics of this profession and improve their skills. A translator can obtain additional knowledge, for example learn to translate from sign language in order to assist deaf participants in court.
Often, court translators participate in processes where one of the parties is children, as well as domestic violence cases. A translator’s role in this case is particularly important because quite often, the parties can use unclear expressions or be unable to find the proper words.