Legal Interpreter Training & 3 Vocabulary Hacks For ESL Learners


Legal interpreter training is an admirable career pursuit for bilingual adults willing to put in the work. Our online legal and court interpreter training program is taught by expert instructors. Teaching every class LIVE through our webinar portal that brings the classroom to your living room. Over 7-weeks, the 45-hour legal interpreter training course will cover everything from ethics of interpreting, to legal terminology, to essential interpreting skills and so much more. As with every form of language interpreting, maintaining client confidentiality is vitally important. Understanding and applying the confidentiality in legal interpreting is a whole other thing entirely.

Court and legal interpreter training can be the start of a very successful career. Especially for the bilingual adults who are already fluent in 2 languages. A legal interpreter is someone who can translate conversation, from one language to another, during legal proceedings. That's it. They aren't required to go to law school. They don't need to know the intricacies of the law, or how to apply those laws on a case-by-case basis. That job is reserved for lawyers. So if you are considering or already enrolled in our legal interpreting course, here's 3 vocabulary hacks:


3 Vocabulary hacks for legal interpreter training students:

1. Understand word context

Especially in legal settings, context is everything. Some aspects of the English language make it especially difficult for those learning ESL (English as a Second Language). For instance, there are synonyms, which are different words that have the same meaning like pretty and beautiful. Then there are contronyms, which is 1 word that has multiple meanings that contradict each other. Like "transparent" for example- which can either mean that something is invisible or plainly obvious.

  • In a legal setting: it is important that legal interpreters understand the difference between an actual battery, and the unlawful application of force on a person or their belongings that causes bodily harm or offensive contact.


2. Identifying root words (most likely Latin) helps

A legal interpreter doesn't have to know the definition of every legal term they come across. There are many, and they are long and sometimes difficult to pronounce. But if you can pick up on identifying patterns that can give you a lot of information about words you aren't familiar with. Especially in legal terminology that is heavily influenced by latin if you can identify a root word, or its prefix or suffix that can help to provide a lot of context.

  • In a legal setting: you might hear talk about Mens Rea which is Latin for "the guilty mind" and is essentially the legal concept of whether the crime was thought about beforehand. There is also Actus Reus which is Latin for "the guilty act" and refers to the actual actions involved in the crime. If you notice, both of these terms include a variation of Rea, and since they both involve the word guilty, you can infer that Rea or Reus is Latin for guilty.


3. Understand that you don't have to understand

Legal Interpreter Training, translation coursesThere is a lot of factors that make legal and court interpreting more difficult for students whose first language is not English. Remember earlier when we said: "A legal interpreter is someone who can translate conversation, from one language to another, during legal proceedings"? It's still true. You don't have to understand every legal definition and its application to the case- leave that to the lawyers. Your job as a legal interpreter and a student is to translate the words you hear.

  • In a legal setting: this can look like translating to your client that the lawyers are discussing Mens Rea. Your job is to pronounce the words correctly, as they are spoken in one language to another. Your client is talking to their lawyer through you, not to you.


Our online translator classes are taught by expert instructors ✅ who have real-world experience in their interpreting specialty. They have worked hard to make fully remote online courses that are unique and engaging ✅ using a hands-on approach that is unparalleled by the competition. If you or someone you know is interested in our online Medical Interpreter Training Programs with live instruction✅, our fully remote yet real time classes ✅ are offered in SpanishPortugueseArabicRussianChineseHaitian Creole, Vietnamese, Farsi, French, Hindi, Korean, Somali, Urdu, Ukrainian languages online and onsite.

Get the necessary online interpreter training in order to become a competent professional interpreter. Register now for one of our online interpreter training programs: Online Medical Interpreter TrainingOnline Legal Interpreter Training,Online Immigration Interpreter Training, Business & Community Interpreter Training

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Molly Romano

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