Deposition Interpreters, and
Preparing for a Foreign Language
Legal Deposition

Interpreting Services for Pre-Deposition Meetings

When it comes to depositions or Examinations Before Trial (EBTs) involving non-English-speaking witnesses, the last thing an attorney wants is surprises – especially from their client. This is why preparing your foreign client and all other individuals involved in the deposition is essential. Nowhere is this truer than when dealing with a foreign language speaking witness, who requires services of a deposition interpreter, in the context of a cross-cultural deposition.

When preparing for a foreign language deposition, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always make sure your client understands the role of the foreign language interpreter, particularly the fact that the foreign language interpreter is an officer of the court and thus cannot assist with his testimony, but has the ethical and professional obligation to interpret everything that is said.
  • When in doubt about the professionalism of the deposition interpreters working into a foreign language in which there is no court certification, invest in the services of a “check” deposition interpreter.
  • Always use professional translators/ interpreters to ensure an effective record of the deposition. An experienced foreign language deposition interpreter would know exactly how to refer to oneself on the record in order to avoid confusion as to who said what.
  • Due to cultural differences, unique problems often arise during foreign language depositions. It would help to establish parameters with the opposing counsel on dealing with disagreements ahead of time. An example would be to have foreign language translation-related disagreements handled off the record or reserved for further review.

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