A courtroom interpreter is vital for communication in a courtroom. Because of the special skills court interpreters have, many people in the legal system are able to understand court proceedings, no matter the language they speak.

Below is more information about court interpreting services and who can benefit from them.

Who Needs Court Interpreters?

There are many people involved in legal proceedings that may not speak English or understand it well enough to understand what is happening in a courtroom. In these situations, a court interpreter can be vital so people’s rights are being respected.

After all, if you do not understand the language in which a legal proceeding is being conducted, your rights are being violated. Some of the people who need the services of court interpreters are:

  • People charged with a crime. When someone is charged with a crime, they appear at hearings, trials, sentencing, etc. Some of them may not speak English, so the legal proceedings will be translated for them so they understand.
  • Witnesses called to testify. Many witnesses called in criminal or civil cases may not speak English. If there is no interpreter, they could not serve as witnesses in the first place. The interpreter is vital to the case of both the prosecution and the defense.
  • Sometimes people who serve on juries do not understand the language of people giving testimony in court, including the defendants themselves.

Court interpreters also are needed in other parts of the legal process. For example, police or immigration officers may contact interpreters for help, such as for interviews after an arrest. Courtroom interpreters also may provide their services during attorney-client meetings or depositions.

Whoever needs the courtroom interpreter, it is vital that the person is impartial. He or she must listen to what the person is saying and interpret the information from English into the target language. There cannot be any words added or removed that would change what the speech means. This is especially important in legal proceedings.

Also, courtroom interpreters are there only to interpret. They are not allowed to provide advice or make suggestions during a deposition or court hearing.

Courtroom interpreters are a vital part of the legal system. Without them, many people would not be able to understand charges against them or participate in many legal proceedings. If you are thinking about being a court interpreter, it is a worthy profession.