Long Island Ups Need for Interpreters


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Long Island Ups Need for Interpreters

Subtle differences in interpreting a dialect can make the difference between winning and losing a case in the US legal system. The result is that professionally trained legal interpreters are playing an increasingly critical role in the judicial process. The growing number of cases in need of interpreting services has given rise to concerns about accuracy and interpreter qualifications. Many court systems have established certification requirements, but these vary greatly from state to state—and occasionally from county to county. California mandates the use of certified interpreters for any work used in court. New York is more flexible, requiring interpreter certification only for courtroom testimony. New York attorneys also have 60 days to challenge interpreting errors, leading some lawyers to bring in their own interpreters to verify interpreted testimony. Jeffrey Kimmel, an attorney in a New York medical malpractice firm, believes that the best interpreters know how to put a witness at ease. He says, "You want them to establish a rapport with the witness, so the witness trusts that what is being said is accurate. The depositions go smoother when the witness is comfortable with the interpreter." ATA Spokesperson Kevin Hendzel says that the demand for interpreters began to grow in 2000 when President Clinton signed an Executive Order requiring interpreters for citizens with limited English proficiency. He says, "The legal side has increased because of this mandate." Hendzel adds that the US translation industry expanded by more than 15 percent over the last year, fueled in part by the demand for legal services.

From "Diverse Long Island Ups Need for Interpreters"
Long Island Business News (NY) (03/10/10) Solnik, Claude

Source: ATA Newsbriefs - March 2010


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