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Interpreting highly technical depositions is a grueling task, both mentally and physically exhausting for even the most seasoned interpreter. The best interpreters want to prepare well in advance for such depositions, to familiarize themselves with relevant patents, terminology, and the like. They can sometimes do a little bit of research on their own with just a case name, but in most cases, will call upon the court reporting agency to provide additional materials so that they can fully prepare. Remember, these are serious professionals who take pride in their work, and justifiably so! Qualified interpreters quickly develop strong reputations and build lasting relationships with satisfied clients. They don’t want delays, questions over their interpretations, or mistranslations any more than the attorneys. As much as the legal team wants to win the case, interpreters want to provide accurate interpretation to keep their reputation intact and their client pleased with their services. Here are four tips to ensure both the attorney and interpreter are happy with the results!

Send plenty of materials, and send them early

The interpreter will begin requesting them as soon as their assignment is confirmed, whether it is a last-minute scheduling or a booking made several months in advance. The sooner they receive the materials, the better prepared they will be when the depositions commence.

MVP (Most Valuable Prep)

Of particular value as prep materials are patents, previous transcripts in the case, word lists, copies of Notices, Complaints, and similar documents. Previous transcripts are enormously helpful, particularly if the line of questioning will be similar in the newly scheduled depositions. It is also beneficial to the interpreter in the sense that they will have exposure to the attorneys’ deposition styles, as it were. This advance exposure again is a valuable resource for mental and practical preparation (e.g., they can make note that this attorney speaks very quickly, that attorney prefers a more roundabout way of questioning, etc.).

Don’t Underestimate the Benefit of Realtime

Though not strictly prep, realtime is definitely worth mentioning and relevant to this topic. If realtime has been offered to the legal team, seriously consider requesting an additional feed for the interpreter. Realtime is an invaluable tool for the interpreter, especially when interpreting for a fast-talking attorney and/or witness! This extra realtime feed may even be available at no extra cost.  Ask the reporting agency.

You Snooze, You Lose

Keep in mind as well that local qualified interpreters are in high demand and tend to book weeks, even months in advance, particularly throughout Asia in highly technical IP matters. Last-minute schedulings are sometimes possible, but not very likely. To avoid the unpleasant and extravagant cost of traveling a good interpreter to the deposition, begin the interpreter search and book as early as possible. Just double check the cancellation period, as they are often quite rigid.

Planet Depos has been providing interpretation services for depositions throughout Asia and most everywhere for over a decade. For more information and tips regarding interpreters, contact the Planet Depos International Team!

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Suzanne Quinson
Content Marketing Strategist at

Suzanne Quinson is the Content Marketing Strategist with Planet Depos and former Production Case Manager. She lives in Beaufort, SC, with her jaunty Jack Russell Bocephus. Her free time is mostly spent beaching, reading, baking, gardening and sprucing up Banjolele Cottage, and touring the Low Country and beyond with the ever-faithful pup.


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