What Should You Know About Interpreting Depositions?

So it finally happened. I got an offer to interpret at a deposition. I was happy. I called my mom and friends to share the great news. Ugh! Then I realized I knew nothing about depositions (though I had experience interpreting in court). In short, I wasn’t as much excited as I was terrified. So I started watching a lot of videos of depositions, texting some of my colleagues and asking for advice.

If you have also been contacted to interpret at a deposition, you are probably feeling a little (or a lot of) stress right now, aren’t you? Here are a few things that helped me (and will help you) properly interpret my first deposition. Keep reading!


Be Ready! Attorneys Tend to Speak Fast

Who will be there? There will be at least four people: two attorneys, a witness and a court reporter. Yep, there’s no judge which allows lawyers to speak very fast and interrupt more than they would in a trial. Expect the attorneys to ask some long and complicated questions as well. And yes, these are the top challenges you will face while interpreting deposition. So always stay focused! Also, keep a piece of paper and jot down difficult names and places on it. And never hesitate to ask, “Can you repeat again?”


Take Interpreting Depositions Seriously

Interpreting depositions is not as easy as you might think. That’s why you should take depositions seriously and spend a couple of hours preparing in advance for the ‘depo’. Read all the information available, learn the names of the law firms, companies and/or individuals involved. You can even email the person back who hired you and ask if they can provide you with some additional documents to help you get ready.


You Are Expected to Provide Word-For-Word Translation

Whether in the court or in a deposition, remember that the interpreter shouldn’t simplify or summarize the words of the speakers and express personal opinions. During the deposition, your main role is to provide the non-English speaker with an accurate and complete interpretation of all questions and comments and to convey their words accurately to the English speakers.

Long story short, it’s crucially important to translate exactly word-for-word what the deponent/attorney says.


A Brand-New Way to Find Jobs Faster

In this article, I’ve tried to show you some tips on how to interpret properly during depositions. I hope you’ve found this helpful and soon you’ll start enjoying depositions.

Now I’d like to talk a little about AppearMe, the best-ever app that helps thousands of court interpreters find jobs on the go. Nope, you don’t need to send your resume to us. We won’t call you for an interview either. All you need to do is sign up to AppearMe, get verified and start receiving court interpreter requests in your area. AppearMe users post hundreds of jobs every day in Arizona, California, Nevada, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington and you have the exceptional chance to find a job in seconds, gain experience as a deposition translator and earn dollars.

If you want to know more about our court certified translation services (and not only), just head to our Help page or contact AppearMe. Our support agents will give you all the info you need!

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