Latest News: Interpreting

Many Non-English Speakers Don't Get Court Interpreters

Thursday, August 18, 2016  
Posted by: Julie Hill
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A man in a Virginia court on a traffic case was told by an interpreter he was accused of a “violación,” which in Spanish does not mean “violation,” but “rape.” The interpreter should have used the word “infracción.”The distressed man firmly denied what he thought was a rape charge. Such misunderstandings are surprisingly common in state and local courts, reports Stateline. Because many states and localities don’t use tested court interpreters and ignore federal rules for when interpreters are required, criminal defendants and civil litigants with limited English skills are not equipped to navigate the complex legal system, jeopardizing their constitutional rights.

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