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The Law Society published some useful notes last year on working with interpreters, and reminded us that “accurate interpretation plays a vital role in the criminal process, and can potentially make all the difference between a defendant being found guilty or not guilty”.

One of Accutranslate’s Partners, Andrea Nicholls, is a qualified Interpreter on the National Register of Public Service interpreters. This means she is trained and qualified to interpret in Public Services, including the law courts.

The Law Society says that a good interpreter has:

1. linguistic competence

2. a professional attitude

3. an understanding of the legal process and his or her duties

4. an understanding of the need for impartiality and confidentiality

5. the ability to interpret exactly, and only, what is asked and what is answered.

Andrea, who holds the DPSI (Diploma of Public Sector Interpreting), says “Good interpreting requires more than just language knowledge in both languages. You need the ability to understand a variety of accents and speech styles – some language used in courts is very formal, old fashioned or technical, but the witnesses, may be speaking in colloquial language”.

During a court interpreting session the interpreter may be required to use both consecutive interpreting (working section by section through what is said) and simultaneous interpreting (interpreting a previous section whilst listening to the next section).   The work can be very draining, but Andrea loves it “Yes, some of what you hear in court cases is upsetting to interpreters – we are only human”, she says, “but for myself and the other interpreters at Accutranslate, we get a real buzz from ensuring that the witness/ defendant’s voice is properly interpreted, so that the court can do its job properly.

For good court interpreters in Manchester, Liverpool and the North West who are NRPSI qualified and can be trusted to meet the highest standards of interpreting, contact Accutranslate. Whether you work with Andrea or one of the other members of our team, you can be sure that Accutranslate’s legal team will meet the 5 Law Society criteria.