1. What is the difference between interpretation and translation?
    Translation refers to the written form, so a translator “translates” a written document from one language to another.
    - Interpretation refers to the spoken form of communication; therefore an interpreter will “interpret” everything being said from one language to the other.
  2. I need a business brochure translated; can I use translation software to do this?
    Translation software translates words, not meanings. You can use translation software if you want to know the general meaning of a letter or an article in a magazine or newspaper, but keep in mind that words have several meanings depending on the context, so you might not even understand the general meaning. You definitely need professional translation if you require accuracy, precision and need the message to make sense in the other language.
  3. Can a relative interpret for me if I need to go to court or to a formal hearing or interview?
    Court proceedings usually do not allow relatives to interpret, however there are some immigration interviews that allow you to choose someone to interpret for you. There are several problems with using relatives to interpret in formal settings. Bilingual people with no formal training in interpretation tend to answer for you and not interpret the question. Relatives try to “help” your case by giving what they perceive as the best answer to the question asked, or try to embellish your answers if they feel your answer is not clear. A professional court interpreter is trained to a render complete and accurate interpretation, remain impartial and to protect privileged and confidential information.
  4. What is a sight translation?
    A sight translation is really the interpretation (oral) of a written document.  For example, a court interpreter is given a copy of a police report written in English and orally interprets the contents of the report into another language.
  5. What are the steps to become a Court Interpreter?
    Each state has different requirements and qualifications for court interpreters. Check the court website in the state you wish to work in and review the information on the programs available for court interpretation.  You can also check the Federal Courts, since they have different requirements.