"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." - Ludwig Wittgenstein


California and Federal Court Certified Spanish Interpreter in Los Angeles


(323) 251-3291



 1) What do interpreters do? Interpreters facilitate spoken communication between people who speak different languages by converting speech into the nearest possible equivalent in the target language; interpreters convey meaning to meaning, not word by word, and strive to conserve as much of the original meaning, tone, intent, and register as possible.

2) What do translators do? Translators convert text from one language into the nearest possible equivalent in the target language. Just like interpreters, translators strive to conserve as much of the original meaning, tone, intent, and register as possible.

3) What is different about court interpreting compared to other types of interpreting? In the New England Law Review (Winter, 1996). Charles M. Grabau and Llewellyn Joseph Gibbons state that "the proper role of the interpreter is to place the non-English-speaker, as closely as is linguistically possible, in the same situation as the English speaker in a legal setting." This involves rendering at times technical, extreme, or highly charged colloquial language as well as formal "legalese."

4) I speak a second language, could I become a translator or interpreter? Possibly, but the rest of the short answer is: having the use of two hands does not a pianist make. Many bilingual people simply do not have the innate abilities and meticulousness to be a good translator or interpreter. Either way, acquiring a level of fluency and general knowledge of the culture of your working languages will require years of effort and immersion.

5) Why do we need human translators if there is machine translation? Computers translate literally, not meaning to meaning. We have all seen the often amusing results of machine translation, where a computer program renders word-for-word "translations" in a target language. When machines run into phrases such as “soap opera,” they simply cannot render a cultural equivalent. It will be a long time before computers can translate or separate laundry.

6) Could I become a court interpreter? Interpretation in general initially requires native fluency in the interpreter's working languages as well as meticulousness, great mental stamina, flexibility, and extensive vocabulary and general knowledge and the ability to work under some pressure. Court interpreters also need knowledge of the justice system and its terminology, as well as of the ethics of interpretation in a legal setting and the ability to work under even more pressure. If you see yourself described in the first sentence above and you acquire the adequate knowledge, you may have the makings to be a good court interpreter.

7) Why should I use a certified interpreter for non-court-related matters? Using a certified interpreter gives you the confidence that the individual in question has been tested by a certifying body. A professional who can handle the demands of court interpreting is someone you can trust will perform well in your non-court assignment.






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