legal interpreters

Specifics and Problems Regarding Legal Interpreters

(Last Updated On: August 10, 2020)

Humans are curios creatures. They love a good mystery, sure, but they also love the idea of a mystery. Every time they hear a story that involves an air of mystery, they abandon their ideas of truth and false, and just hear the tale attentively to see if they can figure out the solution themselves. Many people claim that humans inherently love chaos, but that claim is debatable. However, what isn’t up for debate is the fact that we naturally want to fix things. We are always looking for solutions. We see a puzzle and we want nothing more but to sort it and figure out the full picture. We see a problem we try our hardest to find its solution. We see a mystery and we want nothing more than to figure it out.

There is a mystery that all of us love very much even though we don’t know much about it and that is the world inside a courtroom. People have always been intrigued by the working of the courts and movies are to be credited for that. They show lawyers debating and using the power of words to render their opponent speechless and help their client win the case. A lot of us don’t have any real experience with the world of courts and that’s why we have no idea what really happens inside them. But all of that has failed to diminish our interest in the legal workings.

In truth, there is no sensationalism inside a courtroom. The stakes are often pretty high for people to be joking or enjoying themselves inside the courts. If things aren’t presented in a proper way, an innocent can end up in jail or a criminal can go free. And that does happen sometimes. We hear of cases from time to time in which innocent people had to spend years in a prison before the truth about their case came out and they got their freedom. There are also instances of criminals being set free and committing even more dangerous crimes after defeating the law. Either cases just show how important it is that the things inside courtrooms are not affected by any outside factor and stay as true to the fact as possible.

There are various people who play an important role during a case and only a couple of them are the lawyers. The jury and the judge are just as important, so are the witnesses who can make or break a case with a single statement. The guards inside a courtroom help maintain the discipline inside the room and are therefore very important to each case. Another important person that is called to the court from time to time for help is a legal interpreter.

legal interpreters

Foreign Languages Inside Courtrooms:

legal interpreters

The world may be huge but it is also connected in an inseparable way. You cannot expect any country to not have visitors from foreign states. There is someone always on tour around you. They are either traveling for work or for fun. But when they visit another country, they become a foreigner who speaks a foreign language. Maybe they might find someone who speaks their native language but mostly it will be just them and they will have to use English or some other famous language to speak with the local people. When people visit other places, they sometimes become interested in an artwork they saw there and bring it home with them. And sometimes they become engaged in a legal drama and witness something that can be important in a case.

There can also be more sensitive circumstances under which someone might become a witness. But if they speak a foreign language, an interpreter will have to be called to the court to help everyone understand their statement.

Specifics and Problems Regarding Legal Interpreters:

Legal translation is a lot different from other types of translation and therefore has its unique set of problems. When it comes to legal interpreters in courts, following specifics and problems are common:

  1. Specific Terminology:

As of now, there isn’t a proper certification program for court interpreters in a lot of countries. Which means interpreters from other fields end up doing court interpretations too. But the problem is that the language of the court is a lot different from that of business. Someone doing interpretation in a courtroom must have full knowledge of legal terms so they don’t have to consult a dictionary each time the person talking speaks a difficult word or uses a terminology not known to the interpreter.


  1. Scheduling and Traveling:

Legal interpreters are not as regularly required as business ones and therefore can’t settle down in a certain area in the hopes that they will get consistent work there. This is why scheduling an interpreter for a session is not that easy and they will have to travel almost every time they are called to the court for help.


  1. Inadequate Pay:

Interpreters in the court are not well paid and since they don’t get tasks regularly, they never get a stable income from this job. This is why they may not even be able to travel each time they are called to a court.


  1. Few Interpreters:

Overall, the number of legal interpreters is a lot less than their colleagues in business. But when it comes to indigenous languages, the number goes even further down. Courts need more interpreters with experience of translating languages both common and uncommon.

Legal system may not be the same as we thought it was but it is definitely pretty cool with people like the interpreters keeping it running smoothly and delivering justice every day.