How to Interpret Depositions Correctly?

You may be one of the attorneys who had a tough time with an interpreter. You know why? Because interpreting is one of the most difficult and demanding professions that require focus and attention. Yet a lot of attorneys don’t realize that and rely on friend recommendations when it comes to choosing an interpreter. What they get is someone who “does it cheap and fast”. Here you go! You get what you pay for! In this article, both sides of the rope will be pulled – both the interpreter and the hiring attorney. If you want a truly accurate and quality-driven interpretation of depositions, both the interpreter and the hiring attorney or law firm should do part of their job. Here is what to do when you want the interpreter to interpret depositions correctly.


You Get What You Pay For

Interpreting depositions is one of the most important aspects of a court system as a lot is at stake at the pre-trial stage. You may think that only highly-qualified professionals get into this business due to its high level of responsibility and demand for accuracy. This is not true. A lot of conference interpreters are better paid than court interpreters. Why would they even think of getting into a deposition? 

Things are even worse in cases when the hiring attorney or law firm seek the services of an agency not for its quality or reputation but because it was suggested by another colleague.

My advice to the hiring attorney or law firm would be not to be after the interpreters than ask “less”. On the contrary, go for highly qualified professionals. The deal will pay you back in full in terms of quality and successful outcome of your case.

Even if you find the best of the best interpreter, you should know one thing: interpreters are humans. They need breaks in between your talks.

Do not rely on only one interpreter. Get this. Interpreters are the ones that talk both for you, the deponent and the opposing party. Get two of them to give them time to get back to normal after long conversations. The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators of the United States (NAJIT) clearly spells out the function and the need for the second interpreter: “…The typical team is comprised of two interpreters who work in tandem, providing relief every 30 minutes.” 


Word-For-Word Interpretation – That’s What Needed to Interpret Depositions Correctly!

To make things simple for interpreters, they should be aware of one simple rule: you need to interpret word-for-word what the deponent and the participating attorneys say. Sometimes they think that it is helpful to elaborate on the situation, but, in fact, they make a mess and create a hard time for court reporters that end up with confusing records.

If the interpreter starts “answering” questions instead of interpreting what the witness says, stop him or her right away and tell that they need to translate exactly what the witness says. Imagine you ask a question “what are your children’s names?” and the interpreter says “Jone, David, and Carl”. Then don’t complain if the court reporter have a total mess in the transcript! 


Use Online Tool To Find an Interpreter

In this last part of the article, you are going to hear about a high-tech tool called AppearMe that matches attorneys and interpreters. Get matched easily and fast (60 seconds on an average) and leave feedback after the job is done. You will help us make AppearMe even better place for lawyers.

You can also post/accept job offers for court appearances, depositions, court reporting, legal freelance jobs and even refer entire cases

See how funny life is? You had a question about deposition interpreting but you got an answer to many more questions. 

In this article, we tried to address the issue from the attorney’s viewpoint. If you happen to be an interpreter, you are more than welcome to join the app as you may get job offers, including for depositions.

If you are ready, simply download the app from App Store and Google Play or visit the AppearMe website ( Find job offers, gain valuable skills or just enjoy the flexible work schedule!

If any questions, contact AppearMe for more info! Call us at (888) 900-3080.

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