Litigation Translation Experts, Language Experts, Certified Interpreters, and Foreign Language Recordings as Evidence

We’ve blogged about foreign language translation experts and foreign tape translation, as well as the standard of review, pertaining to the admission of foreign language recordings.  When the recording is in a foreign language and the transcript must include a foreign language translation, the issue becomes more complex, as compared to the cases where only an English-language recording of a conversation is used as evidence.


An English-language recording of a conversation may be introduced as evidence during a trial. However, due to the difficulty of hearing and understanding a taped recording – because of background noise and poor recording quality – more often than not a jury is also given a transcript of the recording. This practice is allowed under the Best Evidence Rule since the original recording is presented as the best evidence.  Typically a transcript is introduced as being a fair and accurate interpretation of a recording by having the person on the recording testifying as to the transcript’s accuracy.

If the taped conversation is in a foreign language, a translation of a foreign language conversation requires expert opinion evidence, and the foreign language interpreter must be proved as an expert witness.  Once the foreign language translator is accepted as an expert, then a foreign language translation can be presented to the jury according to the Best Evidence Rule.

To read our legal translation blawg entry “Foreign Language Interpreters- Appealing Points of Law Pertaining to Appointment of a Court Interpreter”, click here.  And to read our legal translation blog entry “New Jury Instruction To Address English Translation of Foreign-Language Taped-Recorded Evidence”, click here.  And to read our language translation blog
“Language Translation Professionals, Expert Translation Services, Instant Message Conversations, and the Best Evidence Rule
“, click here.

 

 

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