What is Court Interpreting?

Interpreting (also known as interpretation, spoken translation or oral translation) consists of translating the spoken word orally. Court interpreting, also known legal interpreting or judicial interpreting, involves interpreting during legal proceedings, whether these take place in a court room, tribunal or conference hall.

When is Court Interpreting Used?

Court interpreting is useful – and indeed needed – for any court proceedings, where an important participant in the proceedings, such as the defendant or a witness, does not master the local language, and therefore cannot follow proceedings adequately. Sometimes, more than one language pair is required.

Court interpreters have a considerable amount of responsibility as any mistakes made could undermine the case in question. They also face more difficult working conditions than other interpreters as court rooms are not usually equipped with booths and interpreting equipment (except in the United States). Their work involves interpreting for speakers who are often nervous and unused to public speaking, which adds to the challenge and demands an even greater level of concentration. As such, court interpreters may ask the judge to be allowed a break during proceedings.

Court Interpreting Services in South Africa

Whether it is consecutive, simultaneous or whispered interpreting (chuchotage) that you require, or a combination of different modes. For more information on the different modes of interpreting please see below.

If you require a written translation of legal documents, please visit our legal translation page.

Modes of Interpreting Services

We offer the following modes of interpreting services in all European and all major world languages. Click on one of the modes of interpreting, below, to find out whether it suits your requirements.

Simultaneous Interpreting

Behind-the-scenes, real-time interpreting for conferences, large meetings and high-level official talks.

Whispered Simultaneous Interpreting (also known as Chuchotage)

In-audience real-time interpreting for an individual or small group of people who require interpretation into their mother tongue. Done at a whisper, with the interpreter sat amongst the target audience.

Consecutive Interpreting

Small and medium-sized group interpreting. The interpreter stands with the speaker and repeats – in the target language – either a whole sentence, having taken notes, or in more manageable portions (often called “chunking”).