French trial phone chat
The interpreter does an excellent job relaying information between the two languages. Just then, the witness is asked the most important question of the entire trial, the question that will keep his innocent client from going to jail. The jury just heard what they needed to hear to make their decision. The witness is dismissed from the stand and the trial concludes for the evening.
As Steven later finds out, the interpreter wasn’t familiar with a slang word the witness used in his response.
The key witness that will be testifying on his client’s behalf is French and he speaks very little English. He knows that even the smallest misunderstanding has the potential to affect his client’s chance at a fair trial.
The Court Administrator has assured Steven he has nothing to worry about.
Steven, an established criminal attorney, has been preparing for this trial for months; he’s conducted his research, analyzed the evidence and prepared his closing statement.
“We’ve hired a federally certified French interpreter,” she said. Just as Steven is about to speak up, the interpreter puts her notes down and repeats the statement in English.
“We’ve been using this interpreter for years and she has a stellar reputation.” Steven knew he shouldn’t worry. On the third day of the trial the key witness is called to the stand. She appears to be going through her notes but isn’t saying anything! He glances over at his client and see’s the look of fear in his eyes. He takes one look at the jury and knows this is the defining moment of the trial.
The brief pause was so that she could consult her notes and find an alternative meaning for the English translation.
Steven leaves the courthouse that evening feeling relieved, hopeful and, most of all, thankful for a competent interpreter who delivered under pressure.
“LSA has a wonderful face-to-face interpreting department.They are quick to respond to our emergency language needs, and they consistently send the highest quality on-site interpreters.