Best Practices for Working with Interpreters and Clients
Best Practices for Working with Interpreters and Clients with Limited English Proficiency NAJIT Bench and Bar Committee 2016-2017: Ernest Nio-Murcia (Chair), Magdalena Girn, Armida Hernandez, Ana Silvestri, Elizabeth Torres, Vinka Valdivia Defining Key Terms
Source Language Target Language Interpreting Translation Linguistic Presence L.E.P. Language Proficiency Limited English Proficient (LEP) Conversational vs. Advanced Fluency Technical registers
Component Skills of Interpreting SubjectSpecific Vocabulary Language Language Subject-Specific Vocabulary Expert Witnesses Legalese Common words with uncommon usage Charge (arraignment vs. jury charge)
Discovery Descubrimiento (false cognate in Spanish) Component Skills of Interpreting SubjectSubjectSpecific Specific Vocabulary Vocabulary Language Language Interpreting
Skills Modes of Interpreting: Sight Translation Sample Legal Text: Plea Form Computer Crime Prevention Fund Penalty, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3.8. If the crime involves a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b) (knowingly possessing or knowingly viewing child pornography, N.J.S.A. 2C:34-3 (selling, distributing or exhibiting obscene material to a person under age 18) or an offense involving computer criminal activity in violation of any provision of Title 2C, chapter 20, you will be assessed a mandatory penalty as listed below for each offence for which you plead guilty?
USED FOR: Documents SKILLS: Modes of Interpreting: Sight Translation PLEA FORM Computer Crime Prevention Fund Penalty, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3.8. If the crime involves a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b) (knowingly possessing or knowingly viewing child pornography, N.J.S.A. 2C:34-3 (selling, distributing or exhibiting obscene material to a person under age 18) or an offense involving computer criminal activity in violation of any provision of Title
2C, chapter 20, you will be assessed a mandatory penalty as listed below for each offence for which you plead guilty? USED FOR: Documents SKILLS: Reading Comprehension Analytical skills Multitasking Modes of Interpreting: Sight Translation Pitfalls
Risk of overly literal rendition Increased interference More errors compared to a written translation Modes/Skills: Consecutive Interpreting English Interpreter E Non-English Language
SS Modes/Skills: Consecutive Interpreting USED FOR: Witness testimony Interview SKILLS: Modes/Skills: Consecutive Interpreting USED FOR: Witness testimony Interview
I cant see the driveway because my window is in the back of the house above the bushes next to the pool. But because I could hear the door close, I think it was a big car like a truck, van or SUV (43) Consecutive Interpreting: Notes Meaning based symbols
Legal equivalent Hedges, fillers, false starts, self-corrections Differs from a word for word rendition Modes of Interpreting: Simultaneous Modes of Interpreting: Simultaneous (new image) USED FOR: SKILLS: When exchange is more monologue than dialogue
Time-saving Modes of Interpreting: Simultaneous USED FOR: SKILLS:
When exchange is more monologue than dialogue Time-saving Multitasking Analysis Problem Solving Speed Modulation of voice Component Skills of Interpreting SubjectSubjectSpecific Vocabulary
Language Interpreting Skills Protocol and Ethics NAJIT Code of Ethics (Part 1) 1. Accuracy 2. Impartiality/Conflict of Interest 3. Confidentiality
4. Limitations of Practice 5. Protocol and Demeanor Court Interpreter Ethics/Protocol Correct Use of Person (e.g. Always interpret in the FIRST PERSON) Llegu a las diez I arrived at 10
He arrived at 10 He says he arrived at 10 Action Items for Attorneys Address the L.E.P. Party DIRECTLY When did he arrive? ess theWhen L.E.P.did Party DIRECTLY you arrive?
Ask him when he arrived Q. Why is this a problem? A. When attorney says: Does he have any questions? The interpreter must interpret: Does he have any questions? (in target language) Ambiguity of Pronoun Usage: Confusion/Ambiguity: Witness: I arrived and saw that my brother ....was upset. Attorney: When did he call the police?
Witness: Whos he? Action Items for Attorneys Address the L.E.P. Client DIRECTLY Recognize and address red flags Interpretation too long or too short Interpreter is silent when they should be interpreting Interpreter has a side conversation with L.E.P. Seek out a professional interpreter: One who carries/uses a dictionary, asks for repetition when necessary, requests materials beforehand, asks for a break.
The High Cost of Unprofessional Interpreting Possible Appeal Issue Longer, Less Fluid Proceeding Miscommunication Bad Outcomes NAJIT Code of Ethics (Part 1) 1. Accuracy 2. Impartiality/Conflict of Interest 3. Confidentiality 4. Limitations of
Practice 5. Protocol and Demeanor Action Items for Attorneys Address the L.E.P. Client DIRECTLY Recognize and address red flags Seek out a professional interpreter
Respect Interpreter Scope of Practice Do not ask that an interpreter: Communicate directly with the L.E.P. Explain legal terms or concepts Offer opinions on the proceeding Interpret a/v materials on-site * *https://najit.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Onsite-
NAJIT Code of Ethics (Part 2) 6. Maintenance and Improvement of Skills and Knowledge 7. Accurate Representation of Credentials 8. Impediments to Compliance Canon VII: Impediments to Compliance Interpreters must inform the court when there
are conditions that impede full compliance with any Canon of the Code: Inability to Hear Inadequate Knowledge of Terminology Interpreter Fatigue Impediment: Interpreter Fatigue 30 minute window1 Fatigue Mistakes Compromised Record Court Rules Two interpreters required for any proceeding longer than 2 hours (NM)
1 http://www.najit.org/publications/Team%20Interpreting_052007.pdf Action Items for Attorneys Address the L.E.P. Client DIRECTLY Recognize and address red flags
Seek out a professional interpreter Respect Interpreter Scope of Practice Be Aware of Interpreter Impediments to Compliance Spoken Language Interpreter Classifications: New Mexico In Directory under CCIs In Directory under Registry Of JSIs
Certified Court Interpreter Justice System Interpreter Language Access Specialist Requirements LAS JSI CCI
Online language skills assessment interview Same and background check Background check 12 wk. online course 26 wk. online course
2 wk. online intro course Annual 1 day Symposium Membership in professional association Membership in professional association 4 CEUs annually 20 CEUs bi-annually
20 CEUs bi-annually LAS Code of Ethics Court Interpreter Code of Ethics Court Interpreter Code of Ethics No NCSC exam
NCSC exam min. 80% written; min. 55% on 3 parts of oral exam NCSC exam min. 80% written; min. 70 % on 3 parts of oral exam Scope/Limitations of Practice LAS JSI YES - Outside
courtroom, including mediations Same as LASs YES - In Municipal court for non-jailable traffic offenses YES In court except NOT for jurors, or if a jailable offense forevidentiary hearing; guilty or no-contest
plea proceeding; or trial. (civil and criminal) Act as scribes for LEPs CCI NO limitations on practice Requesting an Interpreter in New Mexico
File a timely request Coordinator will assign interpreter(s) using the Gridcheck system Team Interpreting: 2 interps for > 2 hrs 1 interp with breaks if < 2 hrs * Public/private attorneys can access a Directory on the NM Court website *Rule 5-122, NM Rules of Criminal Procedure
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