ERIC Number: ED314935
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Court Interpreting: The Anatomy of a Profession.
de Jongh, Elena M.
For both translators and interpreters, language proficiency is only the starting point for professional work. The equivalence of both meaning and style are necessary for faithful translation. The legal interpreter or translator must understand the complex characteristics and style of legal language. Court interpreting is a relatively young profession, recognized as a specialization only since the passage of the Court Interpreters Act of 1978. Many still erroneously equate bilingualism with the ability to interpret. The profession requires specific language and memory skills. There are different modes of interpreting: simultaneous, consecutive, summary, and sight translation. The use of each is contingent on the situation, facilities, number of persons needing the service, and availability of equipment. The Court Interpreters Act provides for interpretive services in all criminal and civil actions in the federal district courts where the United States is plaintiff. Because it does not provide for preservation of the original foreign language testimony or off-the-record interpretation, the use of qualified, certified interpreters is essential to a true and accurate interpretation. The Court Interpreters Act establishes minimum competence levels and, with the resulting certification examination, has made educators aware of the level of expertise necessary for effective court interpreting and has helped professionalize the field of court interpreting. (MSE)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A