The Non-English-Speaking Witness

According to Genesis, the observed variety of human languages originated at the Tower of Babel with the confusion of tongues. (Image from  Gustave DorĂ©'s Illustrated Bible).“Tower of Babel” Image via Wikipedia

The law is a profession where words really, really matter. Sometimes, ensuring the same meaning across languages can be difficult, especially in the absence of an available literal translation. Attorneys who find themselves dealing with witnesses who don’t speak English at all or not well enough to communicate in court will want to to check out How to Work with Court Interpreters at Winning Trial Techniques.

The post provides a 21-item checklist. both of things to do and things not to do, to ensure that you maximize the witness’s effectiveness. As with almost everything we do, preparation is key. About a third of the list is dedicated to things to accomplish before you get to court, while the remainder focuses on techniques to utilize in court.

One of the commenters offers his blawg dedicated to the subject, Translation for Lawyers.