Legal Interpreting Outside the Courtroom
When considering a Legal Interpreting Certificate training program, many people will likely think of (and receive) an educational course that is specific to the type of interpreting needed within a courtroom. However, there are many instances where legal interpreting is needed outside of traditional court settings – and where different rules may apply.
Such instances include arbitration, discrimination/domestic violence complaints, interpreting for law officials or immigration needs and custody mediations. These services can be delivered in many places outside of courtrooms including shelters, immigration services offices, private legal offices and anywhere where a law enforcement officer may need to perform his or her duty. As such, there are certain standards that apply in the courtroom that may not necessarily transfer over to these situations.
Do The Same Standards Apply For Court Interpreters In Out-Of-Court Settings?
There is often a bit of confusion in the interpreting field on the overlapping nature of legal interpreting and community interpreting - as both a legal interpreter training program, and a community interpreter training program will prepare participants for different situations. In general, court interpreters deal with a much more structured environment than do community interpreters – with that in mind, those who engage the services of legal interpreters outside of the courtroom which could arguably also be the field of a community interpreter, may then have different opinions on the abilities of the interpreter or the scope of the their duties.
Terminology can differ, as can the perception of the interpreter’s responsibilities when performing their job. Any legal interpreter training program will go over a code of ethics for legal interpreters, as well as what an interpreter can and cannot be requested to do – like giving advice or opinions on a defendant or case the interpreter is providing services for. Community interpreting is generally viewed as enabling an LEP individual to participate in some form of every day experiences – like acquiring a service. Within this realm, it may be expected that the interpreter provides some form of cultural background pertaining to their client, to try and facilitate a greater communication. However, this is something that court interpreters are not allowed to do – as they are not trained in any form of sociological or anthropological field. This, although not incorrect by the standards of court interpreters, can be a hindrance in out-of-court settings where situations are slightly more lenient, and that information may be helpful and acceptable to apply under a more broad code of ethics.
Is There A Legal Interpreting Certificate training program For Out-Of-Court Legal Incidents?
As evident by the above examples, if a legal interpreter is asked to go out into the field of non-courtroom interpreting, he or she may not be sure of how responsibilities change, and what from their learned code of ethics still applies to him or her. While there isn’t necessarily a legal interpreter training program that specifically focuses on out-of-court legal interpreting needs, it is important for anyone interested in becoming a legal interpreter to discuss the potential implications of applying court interpreting practices to out-of-court legal proceedings with teachers and experienced professionals already in the field. Doing so will enable you to implement the skills learned through a legal interpreter training program in the best way possible both in, and out of, the courtroom.
Get the necessary, in person training to become a certified Legal Interpreter, with Language Connection’s Legal Interpreting Certificate Training Program.
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