How to Use an Interpreter during a Deposition

March 27, 2023

´╗┐Depositions are a crucial part of the legal process, and as a witness, it is important to be able to communicate effectively to ensure the accuracy of your testimony. An interpreter is necessary when the witness and the attorney do not share the same language. 

In this blog, we will discuss how to use an interpreter during a deposition in an effective manner.

1. Choose a Qualified Interpreter

Choosing a qualified interpreter is crucial to a deposition. The interpreter should be fluent in the required languages and must be able to accurately interpret the testimony in both directions. The interpreter should also have a solid understanding of legal terminology.

2. Establish Ground Rules

Before the deposition begins, the attorney should establish ground rules with the interpreter. This includes informing the interpreter that they are not there to provide legal advice, only to interpret the testimony accurately. The attorney must instruct the interpreter to interpret everything that is said, including any comments the witness makes.

3. Begin with an Oath

Once the interpreter has been chosen and ground rules have been established, the deposition can begin. Before the witness begins to testify, they will be sworn in, and the interpreter will be asked to interpret the oath.

4. Speak Slowly and Clearly

When testifying through an interpreter, it is important to speak slowly and clearly. This allows the interpreter to accurately translate the testimony without missing any important details. Witnesses should avoid using jargon, slang, or technical language that may be difficult for the interpreter to translate.

5. Avoid Interruptions

It is necessary to avoid interruptions when testifying through an interpreter. Witnesses should wait until the interpreter has finished translating before speaking again. Similarly, attorneys should avoid interrupting the witness or the interpreter during the deposition to ensure a smooth hearing.

6. Use Non-verbal Communication

Witnesses should use hand gestures, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues to convey their testimony. Attorneys should also pay attention to the witness’s body language and facial expressions, as that may indicate any misunderstanding during translation.

7. Clarify Misunderstandings

If the witness or the attorney suspects that the interpreter has misunderstood something, it is crucial to clarify the misunderstanding immediately. The witness or attorney should ask the interpreter to repeat or rephrase the translation until it accurately reflects the witness’s testimony.

Final Words

Language barriers can pose a significant challenge when it comes to litigation outside of one’s home country. The case’s success can hinge on finding a competent interpreter to help navigate these language differences. In fact, the choice of an interpreter can make all the difference between a successful outcome and a disastrous one. An experienced, professionally certified interpreter can play a vital role in ensuring that your international deposition runs smoothly without any undue stress or confusion.

Legal Media Experts is here to assist you in overcoming any obstacles you may encounter during the process. Our team of interpreters is well-versed in multiple languages, making us the perfect choice for you! We’ll guide you through the entire process, from start to finish, providing top-notch interpreting services to ensure that the deposition runs smoothly. Contact us now!