Court vs Corporate Interpreting

April 7, 2016

Court vs Corporate Interpreting: Exploring the differences between court and corporate interpreting

I was in an interesting interview today and it dawned on me that there are vast differences between court and corporate  interpreting and wanted to take the opportunity to point some of them out. Court vs corporate interpreting may seem like a minimal issue but understanding the challenges that both professionals face are critical in successful interpreting experiences.

Court Interpreting

In court interpreting, it is absolutely essential to accurately translate each and every word so that the court can make an impartial judgment. The court interpreter has a huge liability to make sure that everyone that is in the setting is absolutely sure of every word spoken.

Court interpreters typically utilize the consecutive interpreting mode, which allows for one person to speak at a time uttering short statements or sentences. The court interpreter also utilizes extensive note-taking and memory skills to recall the entirety of spoken content.

Corporate Interpreting

In corporate interpreting, it is absolutely essential to accurately translate concepts. Rather than interpreting each and every word, corporate interpreting tends to focus more on the overall content and messaging to ensure that the audience members have a smooth and pleasant experience throughout the event.

Corporate interpreters typically utilize the simultaneous interpreting mode, which means that the interpreter will begin interpreting a few seconds after the speaker begins speaking, in a sense “speaking over” the speaker. The interpreter accomplishes this by often times using electronic equipment and sit in a soundproof booth and the audience members listen via headsets.

Court vs Corporate Interpreting

No one is perfect, and human error is inevitable. Interpreters must have thick skin and listen to and accept constructive criticism. Feedback is something that interpreters sometimes never get and when it is offered, it is likely very well welcomed. That said, nothing is better than proper preparation. Interpreters in any setting or format will be able to succeed if they are allowed the time to research key terms and become familiar with the content to be interpreted. Court interpreters just like corporate interpreters have high stakes to get the translated message absolutely accurate. INGCO International is proud to offer language solutions in 200+ languages across the globe.