Jessica (floatingoranges) wrote in linguaphiles,


So I'm going to start this entry with the age-old, "I'm not sure if this is appropriate, so if it's not, feel free to delete it." However, it is related to languages, but more towards the process of interpreting and not so much interpreting from one language to another. Alright, enough procrastinating on what I want to say... ;)

As my language skills improve, I get more and more interested in the idea of interpreting and translating. Yet while I have plenty of questions about how you get into these sorts of fields and how it works, I have [possibly prematurely] agreed to a free-lance interpreting in a court room next Monday.

I've never had any formal interpreting experience--nothing more than translating between doctor and patient, and to be honest, a court room setting is a little more intimidating to me. So I have a few questions about the common practices of interpreters, especially in this setting.

What are suggestions for preparing for this, other than learning/reviewing phrases and words commonly used in this setting? I will not know the dialect of the person until I get to the courtroom, which could cause problems if it's one I am vastly unfamiliar with--what are the best ways to address this problem, let's say, if I need to ask him to repeat something? What about ways to address the officials (judge, etc.) to say that I am having difficulty translating a certain idea, or if he is having difficulty understanding? (As I read the "canons" for interpreters, and I am aware that explaining is, definitively not, my job.) I'm also told to translate everything to the client, whether or not it address him or not--so, when I'm sworn in, will I be repeating all of this in the target language for him, as well?

I hope this is appropriate. If not, I understand. And any other tips about interpreting/translating, in general, would be amazing. It's something that I am honestly interested in and, hey, you have to start somewhere.

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