Recordings of court hearings in Spanish
Thread poster: Alex Hughes

Alex Hughes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 19, 2012

Hi everyone,

I have decided to spend the next year preparing for the state court interpreter certification exam. Currently I am using the interpreter's edge as my main study guide. It recommends that native English speakers focus on doing exercises such as shadowing, dual task, and paraphrasing in Spanish, since court interpreters work mainly with the target language. I am wondering if anyone knows of a site where I can download recordings of court hearings in Spanish (preferably from Mexico).

Also, if there are any certified court interpreters reading this, how long did you spend preparing for the exam? and what helped you the most?

Thank you for the help!


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
From Mexico? Aug 19, 2012

Certainly there would be no chance of obtaining recordings of court hearings from Mexico. They have only just begun oral hearings; until recently it was all in writing. I would not imagine that they would ever release any recordings. Besides, the Mexican system is vastly different from the US system and the terminology, routines, practices and institutions are all different. Studying that system would not help at all. I think it would help to attend court hearings in the type of courts you aspire to be working in.

The target language for the court interpreter will normally be Spanish, which you feed to the defendant. It will be both languages if you are dealing with witnesses.

I have been certified by the US Courts since 1981. I did not prepare for the exam at all and passed it the first time. I have always been a very active translator and I attribute my sucess to that.


 

Alex Hughes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for the insight Aug 20, 2012

Henry,

Thank you for your insight on this. I didn't know that the two legal systems were so radically different, fortunately I have never been on trial in Mexicoicon_smile.gif.

I'm considering the certification as a credential more than a means of receiving work. But, since a low percentage pass the test and because of rumblings I have heard about work being slim for even certified interpreters in my state, I might be better off shelling out the cash for a certificate in translation.

That would be more reasonable than a bachelor's degree, which is something I would prefer to avoid.


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Credential Aug 20, 2012

Yes, certification does serve quite well as a credential. Though I am certified by the US Courts, I have never worked there except for very infrequent daily assignments years ago, and my main business has always been translation. My US Court certification has always been a big plus, and even though it is for court interpreting, not translation, translation does enter into the job description. A state certification could also be valuable in that respect. The US Court exam is very difficult, but due to that the certification is also highly respected.

And I hope you never go on trial in Mexico or any other place!


 

Alex Hughes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
focus on translation Aug 21, 2012

Exactly, I am more interested in having a piece paper/title to show potential translation clients that I am qualified. At the same time, it seems pointless to learn skills like simultaneous interpreting when I could spend that time improving my translation work. I will probably end up doing the WLS certificate in translation with a focus on law. I have heard good things about it, and it fits into my budget and time frame.

 


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Recordings of court hearings in Spanish

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