Job Description of a Court Interpreter

The job of a Court Interpreters is to translate information from one language into another for the court systems. They work with lawyers, witnesses and defendants to relay information for depositions, hearings and other court cases. It is an Interpreter's job to orally translate everything that is said. They should be fluent in multiple languages as per requirement of the court and have the ability to understand the tone of conversation in languages known because they communicate back and forth among the people who do not share a common language.


The goal of an interpreter is to have people hear the interpretation as if it were the original. He must render a complete and accurate interpretation or translation, without altering, omitting, or adding anything to what is stated or written, and without explanation.

The job of an interpretation can be divided into three main categories: simultaneous, consecutive and liaison. Simultaneous interpretation occurs while the speaker is still talking. Consecutive interpretation occurs after the speaker has paused, usually sentence by sentence. Liaison is usually used for public service, such as in a hospital or legal setting. In all cases, the interpreter must check that the listener understands each word after each sentence. All these involve listening to, understanding and memorizing content, then reproducing questions, statements and speeches in a different language.

Professional court interpreters are individuals who possess an educated, native-like mastery of both English (or some other native court language) and a second language. A court interpreter is bound by the rules of confidentiality and will not repeat to anyone what you said privately to your lawyer. He/she cannot give you legal advice neither explain what certain words or terms mean.

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