Updated: Jul 20, 2021
What do you know about Court Interpreters and Translators? Why do they even exist?! How do you become one? How am I supposed to help this defendant if the audio and video evidence is all in Spanish?!!
Are these some questions that have crossed your mind? They certainly are questions I am asked day in and day out! Lucky for you those questions are my life's passion, which happens to be the way I make a living as well, and I really enjoy sharing my expertise! So, I’ve finally decided that is time for me to turn plans and ideas into reality, and start doing just that… And why not use social media as a forum for something useful and interesting; a place where I can give you the real deal, true and accurate information that’s based on my training and education, as well as many years of experience in this field.
So, let me get the boring part over with so we can get to serious business. For those of you who don’t know me yet, my name is Cristina Frasier, and I am originally from Argentina. I know… that name doesn’t sound Spanish, right? Well… go back a little in time, and you will find me as Cristina Deluca! Frasier is just my darling New Yorker husband’s last name, whom I met in 2002, and married 2 months later! I actually dated the poor guy with a dictionary and a pad of paper… but that’s a story for another time! So, stay tuned!
I have been a Certified Court Interpreter since 2013, but I started the certification process around 2008. In fact, this is one of the first subjects we will be discussing in upcoming posts! The certification process can be long, depending on when you start it, and what testing options are available, and some interpreting skills require some serious practice and experience in order to be able to achieve that passing score in the many tests one needs to pass.
My husband and I moved from South Florida to Tennessee around July or 2007, and in 2008 I began working as a freelance interpreter. In 2009 I left behind the freelance work and joined the interpreter team at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Fast forward 5 years to 2014, and that is when the American dream opened full-blown for me! I was offered a full-time position at the State Trial Courts, in Nashville, Tennessee, and the rest is history. Once again, one day I will tell you the full story, but for now let’s just leave it at that.
I don’t want to leave you without your very first lesson! I know all the interpreters and translators out there are screaming at the screen right now! Yep! I know, I know you all! Here it comes!
Although most people calls us “translators”, what you know and see are “interpreters”! Those are two different concepts:
A translator is a professional who works converting written material from one language to another. Interpreters work with spoken language, and there are different modes of interpretation, which I will share in detail later as well. In other words, interpretation involves speaking and listening, while translation involves reading and writing. Both translators and interpreters use completely different skills, so although some interpreters may also be translators and vice versa, that is not always be the case!
And finally, the million-dollar question: Why is my page’s name “Translating the Law” and not Interpreting the Law! Two reasons:
1- Since most people will search us as “translators” I thought it would be easier to be found with that name. Then they will learn the difference!
2- Attorneys and judges “interpret” the law, we interpret language for individuals with limited English proficiency in the judicial environment.
So, there you have it! I hope you will follow me, ask your questions, get your answers, and plug into some trainings that I hope to be able to offer as well! We will keep this professional and friendly, no politics, maybe some dogs and cats here and there, but other than that, just serious language provision business!
I’ll see you all soon! Hasta pronto!