Legal procedures can pose difficulties for anyone because they concern the legal field and may last a long time. But what happens if you do not know the language they are carried out in?
In such cases, interpreters are crucial in court, at the notary public, when signing various documents or in partitions by court. It is therefore very important to know you can use an interpreter if you are legally summoned in a country whose language you are relatively unfamiliar with.
It is a fact that not all the inhabitants of a country speak the official language of that country. And legal procedures may involve people who do not speak that country’s official language as witnesses, defendants, members of the jury (in those countries where citizens are randomly summoned periodically to act as jurors such as the United States of America), etc. If we think of the large variety of languages spoken on the USA territory, we realize how important it is for someone who does not speak English to understand what is asked of them in a court of law. In such cases, interpreters can help explain the entire legal process (which may differ completely from that in the respective person’s country of origin) and also translate. They will therefore fulfill two jobs.
An interpreter’s role in such cases is to shorten the duration of the legal procedures which are lengthy anyway and may last for months, even years, keeping the respective person abreast of what is going on. A rapid translation will also shorten the time spent in the courtroom by those who have difficulty expressing themselves in the respective language.
An interpreter will also make sure that an individual suffers no legal injustice (in a partition by court trial, for instance) or is unfairly questioned because they are not familiar with the official language. In such cases, interpreters provide legal services to their clients. The interpreter will have to make sure that the client receives the correct message, taking care to be unbiased and not impose or insinuate their own opinion in the translation.
They will therefore become extremely important in the course of legal procedures, possibly even more important than the respective person’s lawyer.