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By Suzanne Quinson

When taking the deposition of a witness who doesn’t speak English, the right interpreter will keep the proceedings moving at a reasonable pace.  Additionally, a qualified interpreter ensures that your questions are understood, as well as your witness’ answers are correctly relayed to you.  The right interpreter is one who speaks the witness’ language as fluently as they speak English, with experience in interpreting depositions and, ideally, knowledge of the subject matter in the case.  Finding the right interpreter can be time-consuming if you don’t have the right court reporting agency doing the legwork for you.

The qualified agency is able to determine availability of first-rate interpreters and send resumes for your consideration.  You don’t want to find yourself in a situation like former President Jimmy Carter, inadvertently propositioning (and insulting) Poland due to a less-than-qualified interpreter.  This is easily avoided through a thorough vetting processDetails such as education, experience, and fields of expertise must be ascertained.  The agency also has the advantage of prior feedback from its realtime court reporters.  Ease of understanding the interpretation on the part of the reporter is very important in ensuring the accuracy of the record. It is the reporter who has first-hand knowledge of the interpreter’s capabilities.

Another aspect to consider is whether or not the interpreter is local to the city where the deposition is being taken or if travel is required.  A local interpreter is ideal, so working with a firm with a vast network of interpreters worldwide is the best option to minimize travel costs.  A court reporting agency with resources living throughout Europe will be more likely to have a Swedish-to-English interpreter living in Malmö than an agency with no resources on the ground in Europe.  Likewise, an agency with teams throughout Asia will be more reliable in finding a local Japanese interpreter for your deposition or meeting in Tokyo.

Highly qualified interpreters tend to become booked months in advance — another reason to work with an agency which has its own established relationships, ensuring that an interpreter will be secured even with short notice.  Without experienced help, trying to find a quality interpreter on short notice can be a bit like looking for that proverbial “needle in a haystack.” In the event that there are documents that need to be interpreted for the depositions, the court reporting firm can arrange for the interpreter to meet with counsel at a time convenient to the team.

Planet Depos has strong relationships with some of the best interpreters throughout the U.S. and the world.  For more information on interpreters for your deposition or business meeting, etc., contact Planet Depos International Scheduling at 888.433.3767 or international@planetdepos.com.

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