Tag Archives: linguistic presence

STEAL ‘EM WHEN YOU CAN

22 Jul

EIGHT VS. THREE

How to move from a three word phrase in English to eight in Spanish? Word inflation between the two languages runs from 15%-20% EN>ES.  For years I interpreted at a local Driver Intervention Program/DIP for those driving under the influence. Instead of a three or six day stay in the pokey, folks spend the weekend holed up with other drunk drivers to view films, chat in group activities and undergo evaluations. Once Joe Offender finishes, the Program notifies the court that he successfully finished that portion of his sentence.

MY CLUMSY FALSE COGNATE

How to render DIP into English? Until I spotted programa de orientación para el conductor infractor on a DIP application last week, the straightforward programa de intervención de conductor served well enough. My rendering hardly defines or explains what the Program does. Whomever translated the document understood the driver/transgressor/ offender attends classes and learns to avoid another arrest. I researched http://www.linguee.com for parallel texts and gladly agreed with the author. The term soon surfaced again, rolled off my tongue, Mr. Offender readily understood and the day went along nicely. Just for curiosity’s sake, how to you render DIP in your area? Please comment.

http://www.linguee.com/english-spanish/search?source=spanish&query=conductor+infractor

 

INTERPRET OR NO?

23 Oct

quizzical

Rarely do I have the chance to watch other interpreters in court. Ours can be a profession of solitude. How do I know when I’m doing something wrong or right? The following situation invites comment on how to approach a colleague when perhaps another approach would work better.

WHO INSTRUCTS WHOM TO DO WHAT

Last month a court called me to give testimony and a LEP defendant appeared. The judge took great pains to voir dire the interpreter and asked for her credentials in open court. The interpreter clearly qualified and rattled off her experience. She did not turn to the defendant and interpret what she said. Madame Your Honor gently asked if she would interpret the same for the non-English speaker beside her. I don’t remember how the interpreter responded, but she did not interpret her last rendering before the judge to the defendant. From the bench another remark: “Would you please interpret that for Mrs. XXX?”. The interpreter complied and continued to interpret everything.

ASSURE LINGUISTIC PRESENCE

Here’s my question. Was the interpreter obligated to interpret when the judge queried her experience and qualifications? Instinctively I interpret the moment the record begins that includes “This is case no. XXX … and present in the courtroom is Interpretress Olga Nazdrova … and now I’ll take the interpreter’s oath.” Overkill or simply fulfill my role? I’d like to know how to approach the interpreter diplomatically. Thanks for your insight.