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.