One of the most important times to ensure good interpreting is for court interpreting.
What you need is high professional standards from the interpreter – arriving on time, interpreting effectively, encouraging confidence in all parties that the defendant/ witness’s words are being correctly interpreted. In the worst case scenario a mis-translation of a witness’s words can result in a miscarriage of justice.
In the case of the Oscar Pistorius trial in South Africa, it seems that the court interpreters have not met the high standards we demand of our experienced professional court interpreting team at Accutranslate.
The Wall Street Journal calls them “translators” in its report: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/03/03/oscar-pistorius-trial-did-another-south-african-event-get-lost-in-translation/.
After one interpreter failed to show on time a reserve interpreter took on the task, but one witness ended up giving her evidence in English rather than her preferred Afrikaans, as she did not feel that the gist of her words was being correctly conveyed by the interpreter.
There are many horror stories of poor interpreting in courts, police stations and solicitors’ offices – don’t take short cuts – call on the top interpreting team in the North West at Accutranslate!