When interviewing or questioning someone who doesn’t speak English well, or at all, an interpreter is necessary to bridge the language gap. Having an interpreter helps put the witness at ease by allowing them to speak openly in their native language rather than struggling to find the right word in English. Ensure the translation process goes smoothly by avoiding these mistakes when hiring a legal interpreter.
Appointing an Inexperienced Person
Before you select an interpreter for the job, meet with them to make sure they are qualified. Federally certified court interpreters with years of experience understand the role they play in the deposition or interview process. They conduct themselves professionally, maintain the appropriate tone, and stay focused on the task at hand. Their fluency helps ensure accuracy and brevity in the translation, with no embellishment or explanation that could taint the original testimony.
Failing to Prepare the Interpreter
If this is your first time working with a legal interpreter, you may be unaware that some preparation is required. After all, while the interpreter may be fluent in English and the language the witness speaks, your case may involve unique terminology that will be used during questioning.
Speak with the interpreter before the interview begins to ensure they are comfortable enough with both languages to avoid confusion during the translation. If the interpreter requests anything to assist with the process, make sure you have it available upon their arrival.
Directing Your Questions to the Interpreter Instead of the Witness
Because you can comprehend what the interpreter is saying, but you can’t understand the witness, it may feel natural to look at the interpreter during the interview. However, the witness is the person you’re questioning, so you should maintain eye contact with them while you or they are speaking. Directing questions to the witness is more professional than giving all your attention to the interpreter.
If you need an unbiased, professional, and accurate interpreter for your upcoming court case or deposition, Talty Court Reporters can help. We have years of experience coordinating and scheduling interpreters who speak Spanish, Haitian Creole, Navajo, and more. Our services are suitable for legal depositions, video depositions, and court proceedings.
Contact us today to arrange legal interpreting services in San Jose.
If you need someone to transcribe an upcoming deposition or trial, you want the agency you hire to provide an experienced, certified court reporter for the job. This might make you wonder what it takes to become a court reporter in San Jose. Consider the demanding requirements that ensure these professionals are up to the task.
Meet Licensing Requirements
The minimum prerequisites to become a certified court reporter include the following:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
- Have a clean criminal record
Candidates must also have one of the following:
- 12 months of full-time work experience in shorthand writing and transcribing
- A Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) Certificate or Certificate of Merit from the National Court Reporters Association (NCPA)
- A license to practice shorthand reporting in Georgia, Nevada, or Texas
- A certificate of completion from a California-recognized court reporting school
Complete an Educational Program
If candidates lack any prior experience, certificates, or state licenses, they must complete an approved educational program. Students must complete 660 academic hours, log 2,300 machine hours, and be able to type at least 45 words per minute to be awarded certification from the California Court Reporters Board.
Classroom courses cover the following topics:
- English and vocabulary
- Medical terminology
- Legal terminology
- Transcript procedures
- Resource materials
- Apprentice training
Depending on the exact program a court reporter chooses, training can take anywhere from one to four years.
Pass the California Licensing Exam
The final requirement to become a certified court reporter in San Jose is to complete the three-part state licensing exam, which includes performance and written tests. To pass, applicants must transcribe at a rate of 200 words per minute while maintaining an accuracy of 97.5 percent.
The Dictation and Transcription Exam includes a four-voice recording from an actual trial or deposition. Test takers are expected to maintain a rate of 200 wpm for 12 to 13 minutes at a time throughout the three-hour exam.
After passing the skills portion of the test, candidates must past two written exams: the English Examination and the Professional Practice Examination. These take two hours each and are administered in a computer-based testing center.
Retain a Court Reporter’s License
After obtaining a license, court reporters must renew their certification annually. It’s also necessary to take continuing education classes every two to three years to keep the license active. This ensures court reporters stay up-to-date on the latest technology and techniques used to transcribe depositions and court proceedings.
At Talty Court Reporters, we pride ourselves on having a team of well-qualified, highly trained, and experienced court reporters to fulfill your legal transcription needs. Our court reporting services ensure the professional and accurate outcome you expect. Please contact us today to learn how we can assist you with your next legal case.
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