Changes in the Landscape of Legal Interpretation Services
Due to restrictions put in place because of COVID-19, many organizations have made the necessary move to conduct meetings remotely. Fortunately, meetings that require language interpretation have been able to proceed thanks to the modern interpreter’s ability to interpret remotely via conference calls, and video meetings on platforms such as Zoom, WebEx, and Skype.
Interpreting in the legal world is no exception to this, especially when it comes to depositions that still must be handled in a timely manner. Traditionally Interpretations for depositions were done on-site, the interpreter being physically present during the deposition. Interpreting remotely for a deposition still follows the same basic principles that are followed for an onsite interpretation. The interpretation style that will be used is consecutive interpretation. This means that there are pauses and breaks between sentences to allow the interpreter to interpret what was said in English to the target language and vice versa. Consecutive interpretation is the ideal method for depositions as the built-in breaks allow for questions or clarifications to be asked without interrupting the speaker or interpreter.
While the interpreting method will remain the same, there are several things to take into consideration leading up to and during the actual deposition interpretation.
Ensure that all parties have the correct conference line phone numbers if the interpretation is taking place on a conference call. If the deposition interpretation will take place over a video platform, providing the correct meeting link and any necessary log-in information is also especially important. This information should be provided to JR Language at least one day prior to the interpretation starts. In addition, making conference lines and video meeting rooms open prior to the deposition start will allow all parties to log in a few minutes beforehand to ensure that everyone is logged in and ready to go.
Ensure that all parties have an internet connection that can support video calls if the interpretation is to take place over a video platform. If the interpretation will take place over a conference call, using landlines or cell phones with good reception is always preferable for the best audio quality.
While the interpretation is taking place, it is important for all parties involved to speak clearly, and slowly. Speaking too quickly can make things difficult for our interpreters to accurately interpret everything that is being said. Be prepared to repeat sentences or phrases at the interpreter’s request if needed to provide an accurate interpretation.
If the deposition interpretation is taking place over the phone, interpreters do not have the benefit of being able to pick up on body language. This is another example of why speaking slowly and clearly is so important during remote deposition interpretations.
Be prepared that the deposition may last longer than the original timeframes, especially if it is anyone’s first time handling a deposition remotely. Unless there is a hard stop due to scheduling, our interpreters will continue to interpret without interruption up to one hour past the original end time. Once the interpretation has extended one hour past the originally planned end time, our interpreter will politely notify all parties that they have reached an additional hour and ask if all would like to continue.
Benefits of Remote Interpretation for Depositions
While there are some drawbacks to not having an interpreter onsite, there are also benefits to remote interpretation.
Remote interpretation does not limit available interpreters to only those in the local area. This can be especially helpful if a specific dialect of a language is needed. This can also be helpful in smaller metro areas where there may not be many professional interpreters available.
Interpreters with a legal background are more readily available as JR Language can utilize its entire roster of interpreters around the United States. If a certified legal interpreter is required, please let us know as most states provide legal certification in various languages.
As there is no travel involved, JR Language can work with shorter minimum booking times, often being able to provide one-hour bookings as opposed to the typical three-hour minimum booking for onsite work.
Onsite Interpretation and Remote Interpretation
There are a few constants that remain between onsite interpretation and remote interpretation.
Allow as much lead time as possible when scheduling an interpreter. Interpreters have busy schedules as many have adapted to working remotely and meetings that require interpretation are happening daily. JR Language understands that not all depositions provide much lead time, and we will always do our best to accommodate on short notice.
Provide any necessary prep information ahead of time to familiarize the interpreter with the case and any important details that will aid in the interpretation. If the notice of deposition is not able to be shared, even a short paragraph providing some context can make a difference for our interpreters.
Formally introduce our interpreter to all parties involved at the beginning of the deposition, and if needed, explain that the interpreter’s role is to ensure that all details are accurately communicated throughout the deposition.
Our Translation Company is ready to provide professional legal interpretation in dozens of languages to help in a remote capacity. You can check out our Zoom interpretation services page for more information. If you need a professional interpreter’s service or are just interested in learning more about how we can help, please reach out and a member of the team will be glad to provide further assistance. We look forward to helping in a remote capacity and eventually getting back to onsite interpretation once it has been deemed safe.
Jackie was born in Venezuela. Jackie has a BS in computer engineering; As President of JR Language, she spends time researching new technology and productivity tools for the Company. She holds a certificate of Localization and Project Management- Localization. Through her many years of experience working in multilingual corporate environments, she understands firsthand the value of bridging language barriers in creating smooth communication that allows for productive and happy work environments.
She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is a frequent contributor to both our English and Spanish blogs.
Jackie loves nature and to be outdoors.