thebigword has created a training programme to help legal professionals work more effectively with interpreters and support the delivery of justice in courts and tribunals.

The company commissioned the International School of Linguists (ISL) to produce a series of short educational videos for legal professionals so they can get the best out of interpreters.

The ISL already delivers an acclaimed training programme for those linguists who play a vital role in the smooth running of cases involving limited English speakers.

Larry Gould, Executive Chairman of thebigword, said: “Interpreters are highly skilled and trained and carry out complex and challenging work to a very high standard in the justice system.

“But they cannot do this alone and sometimes support and understanding is needed from barristers, solicitors and other professionals involved in the cases.

“We hope our new training programme will provide invaluable practical advice for legal professionals to get the best out of the interpreters they are working with, whether it is face to face, on video or by telephone.

“We are making this investment to ensure that justice is supported in the most effective way.”

The training programme will introduce and explain the main types of interpreting: consecutive, simultaneous and sight translation and how they differ in need and delivery.

It will suggest some helpful steps to take before court and tribunal hearings, such as providing as much information as possible in booking notes to help interpreters make the necessary preparations, and making sure interpreters can clearly hear all parties in court.

For example, during proceedings, legal professionals are encouraged to maintain eye contact with the person in question rather than the interpreter.

They are also advised against using acronyms, complex terminology (where avoidable) and presenting large amounts of information without allowing for interpretation.

Legal professionals are also encouraged to allow time for interpreters to explain what they are doing or ask questions. They should also try to be aware of cultural differences.

Importantly, interpreters should not be asked for opinions, such as if they think a defendant is telling the truth.

The training videos created by the International School of Linguists use actors in real courtroom settings to illustrate its messages. They are short in duration given the demanding schedules of most legal professionals.

The School was founded in 2010 to raise the standards of linguists through training and testing and provides a range of innovative and bespoke programmes.

You can access your free training “here”:https://en-gb.thebigword.com/knowledge-base/how-to-work-with-interpreters-in-court