Our legal interpretation tips can be used as a good starting points for those that want to get into legal interpretation or as a refresher for our more seasoned linguists.

Everyone has to have a first time interpreting in a legal setting. Or maybe you are a seasoned linguist but this is your first time working with Link Translations.

Here are a couple of basic rules that you are expected to adhere to. Paying attention to these, coupled with your best service, is sure to guarantee a perfect performance.

Arrive on time and have a professional demeanor. A suit is a must for legal proceedings be it a court appearance or a deposition. Allowing yourself 15 minutes of extra time before the beginning of a proceeding can help you meet the different parties and get some information about the case. It is also a good idea to arrive early as many office or government buildings have security or ID checks for visitors.

Your duty as a legal interpreter is to completely and accurately render the spoken words or submitted documents into the target language. This means that you must not alter, omit, add any words of your own or try to explain what is being said.

During legal proceedings you might be asked to represent your qualifications – which you must do in an accurate manner including your experience and any training you have.

An interpreter needs to be impartial and unbiased at all times. If there is a circumstance that presents a conflict of interest such as personally knowing a party involved in the proceedings in any capacity, you must disclose this to the judge and the parties.

You should also refrain from conversing with the parties, witnesses, jurors, attorneys or with friends or relatives of any party outside of your role as an interpreter.

Please remember that you are to protect the confidentiality of all privileged information. You should also refrain from publicly discussing the case, reporting on the case or offering an opinion concerning a matter for which you have been engaged.

As an interpreter you should limit yourself to interpreting or translating and should refrain from giving legal or any other advice or express personal opinions.

If at any moment you have a reservation about your ability to complete an assignment competently you should inform the judge and the parties.

Thank you for paying attention to these basic but essential rules.

You can find more detailed information on our ‘Policies & Explanation of Expectations’ write-up. We encourage you to read this important document. On behalf of all the project managers at Link Translations we wish you a successful assignment.

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