COURT INTERPRETING Louisiana Judicial College Fall Conference October 7, 2013 DEFINITIONS AND TERMINOLOGY INTERPRETATION: The unrehearsed transmission of the spoken word or message from one language to another. Three modes of interpreting are used in court: simultaneous interpreting, consecutive interpreting, and sight translation. TRANSLATION: The conversion of a written test from one language into written text in another language. CONSECUTIVE INTERPRETING: The rendering of an interpretation after the speaker has stopped speaking, usually in short utterances. SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETING: The rendering of an interpretation for a party. Interpretation at the same time someone is speaking, usually heard only by the person receiving the interpretation; may be accomplished using equipment especially designed for such purpose. SIGHT TRANSLATION: The reading of a written text of one language, translated orally into another language. WHAT IS THIS SESSION ABOUT? The difference between being a bilingual person (…even a highly educated one…) and being a court interpreter COGNITIVE AND MOTOR SKILLS What the Interpreter does… 1. Listen 2. Comprehend 3. Abstract the message from the words and word order. 4. Store ideas 5. Search for the conceptual and semantic matches. 6. Reconstruct the message in the other language. 7. WHILE…speaking and listening for the next chunk of language to process. 8. AND…monitoring your own output. LINGUISTIC OBSTACLES Japanese verb comes AFTER subject Kenji sushi ate not Kenji ate sushi Kenji than taller not taller than Kenji Kenji eat did? not Did Kenji eat? WORD ORDER IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES English: The brown house is very big. Hopi: Brown house very big. Vietnamese: The house color brown is very big. Farsi: The house brown very big is. Noun and Adjective Position “The long, hard, rocky road to success.” __________________________ “El camino largo, duro y accidentado hacia el exito.” PASSIVE – ACTIVE VOICE “Golpearon a la puerta.”\ Incorrect: “They knocked at the door.” Correct: “There was a knock at the door.” “Me dijeron eso.” Incorrect: “They told me that.” Correct: “I was told that.” LEGALESE AND ELLIPTICAL LANGUAGE “To violate a defendant” (8 syllables) Correct Spanish: “Acusar de una infraccion a un accusado bajo libertad condicional.” (24 syllables) Verbatim (Incorrect) Spanish: “Violar a un acusado” (Rape a defendant) Experience/Qualifications • Staff court interpreter: 12 years experience – Overall test score: 29% • Staff court interpreter: 38 years experience – Overall test score: 44% • Staff court interpreter: 22 years experience – Overall test score: 36% • Lawyer and staff court interpreter: 12 years experience – Overall test score: (took test twice): 41% and 41% TEST RESPONSES “Now, Mrs. Peña…. ATTY Question: Now, Mrs. Peña, you indicated that you live in East Orange at 5681 Grand Street. INTERPRETER VERSIONS: #1: You say that you live in East Orange. #2: You told me that you lived in the west of Orange, at 56 Grand Street. #3: Now, you told me that you lived at 4581 East Orange. #4: Em, em, I live at 58 on, on, Hunt Street. TEST RESPONSES “Now, Mrs. Peña…..(short version) ATTY Question: Now, Mrs. Peña, you indicated that you live in East Orange at 5681 Grand Street. INTERPRETER VERSIONS: You indicated earlier that you lived at 5681 Grant Avenue in East Orange. Is that right? * * This examinee had 38 years of experience and had passed an Executive Branch Civil Service test. You say that you were eating an orange?