If your client or witness isn’t proficient or fluent in English, or requires the presence of a judicial interpreter, the law states that a professional interpreter must be present during proceedings for superior Indianapolis court reporting. This ensures there will be no barrier in providing due process and allowing the LEP (Limited English Proficient) to be properly documented, represented, and understood in the courtroom. 

This can be a stressful process. However, the following is a set of recommendations that can help you make this process much smoother, ensuring a successful experience with a judicial interpreter.

Stay calm and Prepare the Witnesses / Clients.

Speaking through an interpreter can get frustrating, especially since you have to communicate your thoughts through a language barrier which can cause confusion and misinterpretation at the worst of times. Keeping calm can mitigate this. 

This is especially important when preparing your client and witnesses. Emphasize the importance of the translation process; let them know to wait for the translation to speak. Tell them to wait before delivering answers. Prepare them to use simple language, to avoid idiomatic terms, to not ask questions to the interpreter without judicial consent — anything that can complicate or obfuscate details during the translation process.

Keeping things calm can prevent misinterpretation, inaccuracies, and misunderstandings.

Speak Slowly and Carefully.

Interpreters are only human and should not be expected to carry the full burden of the translation process. Ask questions at a slow, steady pace, and in a voice loud enough for the interpreter to understand. Also, make sure the questions you are asking are to the point, simply worded, and easy to understand.

The only way to have a fully accurate record is to make sure the recorded statements and the questions from the interpreter are accurate, without modifications, omissions, or alterations. 

Be mindful of the Interpreter’s Stress—Prepare them Carefully

Being mindful is extremely important. State-of-the-art preparation can prevent issues in the record due to an interpreter’s stress, discomfort, or fatigue, so be diligent. 

This can be done in several ways: 

  • If the deposition is longer than two hours, find multiple interpreters so as to prevent inaccuracies due to interpreter stress.
  • If you have multiple interpreters, you must disclose their roles (i.e. Primary or support interpreters) to relevant parties: opposing counsel, witness/es, and the court reporter.
  • Try to conduct the deposition in short thirty-minute bursts, with ten to fifteen-minute breaks in between.
  • Let your interpreter/s know any required case information so as to more easily perform their needed function.

Make sure to clarify the record.

Remember: it is your responsibility to clarify the record. Interpreters and Court Reporters are simply there to interpret the words of the witness / client, not allowing for any personal opinions, summaries, or any modification that may compromise the integrity of the testimony.

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