It’s not always possible for attorneys to be fluent in the languages of foreign-born clients. Fortunately, professional translators and interpreters help overcome language-related difficulties in the courtroom and beyond.
Nevertheless, attorneys representing foreign clients would benefit from learning some key legal terms, relevant to their practice area, in the languages of their multilingual clients.
If your clients speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Farsi, Punjabi, Spanish, or Vietnamese, there is a free multilingual glossary of legal terms available in the area of criminal law, court-related terms, and street language.
So next time you’d like to know, how to say “subpoena” in Russian, or “testimony” in
Farsi, click on this link, print out the translation, and ask a foreign-language court interpreter, or translator, or even your client to help you with the phonetic pronunciation of that word or phrase in the language of your foreign client.
Your non-English speaking clients will appreciate your attempts at bridging the language gap.