NACDL - Lost in Translation at Trial: Avoiding Issues Arising from the Use of Interpreters

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Lost in Translation at Trial: Avoiding Issues Arising from the Use of Interpreters

and Faulty Translations During Court Proceedings

There is a growing demand for courtroom interpretation and a shortage of qualified interpreters. Making sure that an individual’s defense does not get lost in translation requires understanding the regulatory framework in which courtroom interpretation occurs, anticipating common problems that arise from the presence of foreign language witnesses and evidence, and developing a record when a judge adopts a questionable procedure. Defense attorney Gabriel Reyes provides some practical considerations for trial counsel.