21 May 2021

The 5 golden rules for successful court interpreting

A language diploma is a great thing, but it is usually not enough to do justice to the demanding, mostly consecutive court interpreting. We have the 5 TOP TIPS from fellow interpreters for fellow interpreters.

Blog Ariana Court Interpreting

A language diploma is a great thing, but it is usually not enough to do justice to the demanding, usually consecutive court interpreting, i.e. everything is said twice. In court, it is often a matter of intercultural competence, of evidence being admitted or not, of fates and much more.

So qualified interpreters are needed, who can either be booked through an agency like us or contacted directly. What is the difference?

Well, as a placement agency, we match your qualifications as a court interpreter with the requirements of the client and place you with the right client. We take care of the order intake, background information for the negotiation, client briefings, contacts and, of course, we take care of the elaborate order processing and billing.

And here they come - the tips from our experienced ARIANA court interpreters.

Tip 1: Clients/issues - briefing and getting to know them

A briefing, collected information about the client, the negotiation, the clients, the background, documents and the situation will help you to gain more insight into the negotiation. Being informed creates a good basis for your high-quality interpreting.

Tip 2: Stay discreetly in the background

Make sure that the communication is always between the people in the negotiation and that they do not become an active part of this conversation. Always remain discreetly in the background and make sure that the dialogue, the addresses in the dialogue are not directed at them in the ongoing conversation. Eye contact should therefore always be maintained between the persons in the negotiation.

Tip 3: How to do

Translate word by word and in short sentences as far as possible. Find simple and appropriate words. Do not add or leave out anything. If there is a need for explanation, ask the interpreter to add and record a note. Speak more softly and not too fast. Allow and appreciate follow-up questions and inform the client in advance about the possibility of asking questions.

Tip 4: Continuous quality through pause

Court proceedings or hearings are often longer appointments and interpreting is a demanding, mentally and physically exhausting activity. In order to keep translating accurately and not give tiredness a chance, we advise you to take breaks. Inform the client in advance and ask for breaks according to the planned total duration.

If it is already clear in advance that it will be a very long appointment, then it is advisable to use a second interpreter to support you or relieve you while you take a break. Don't hesitate to discuss this recommendation and the advantages for the client in advance - every euro more for a colleague interpreter is worthwhile here to ensure continuous translation quality.

Tip 5: There is power in tranquillity

Haste and rushing bring mistakes or missing translations.
Avoid stress, hurry and rushing through the negotiation just to save time. This could lead to unintentional abbreviations of facts or wrong translations. Delays or pauses in the conversation or translation are useful elements of the conversation. These serve to clarify, emphasise, check and finally reflect on facts.