Lack of Court Interpreter Leads to Dismissal of Sex-Abuse Charges

Demand for Exotic Language Legal Interpreters Exceeds Supply

As the need for highly skilled court interpreters continues to grow, the national and local media outlets increasingly focus on the case in Montgomery County, in which charges against a man accused of raping and repeatedly molesting a seven-year-old girl have been dropped because the court took too long to find an interpreter fluent in Vai, the defendant’s native language.

The Circuit Court clerk responsible for finding interpreters said her office searched exhaustively for a speaker of this tribal language spoken in West Africa.

Even though it is rare for a criminal case to be dropped for lack of a court interpreter, there are lessons to be learned from this case.

Representatives of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators and the American Translators Association view this case an “unfortunate symbol of a systemic problem”- the “need for language professionals to be identified and readily available to serve our courts and justice partners.”

Clearly, there’s a need for new systems to be put into place to help state and federal authorities be better prepared to quickly find qualified court interpreters, fluent in the obscure foreign languages they’ve never heard of.

To help them find language translators and court interpreters, capable of providing foreign language tape transcription and translation, if foreign language evidence is present. Those obscure foreign languages, by the way, are often called languages of limited diffusion.

A simple solution would be to partner with a legal translation and interpreting company they can trust, a language translation service that can provide legal translation and language interpreting services in virtually any foreign language.

Contact our professional translation service to retain professional court interpreters for government debriefings, depositions, hearings, IMEs, settlement conferences, mediation, arbitrations, and trials.

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