How Court Interpreting Sucks: Let me count the ways!

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Omar in Garden Grove, California

69 months ago

Do you have a strong sense of Justice? Do you believe in Morality & Fairness? Are you the type that abides by the Rule of Law?

If you've answered YES to any of these questions THEN COURT INTERPRETING IS DEFINITELY *NOT* FOR YOU!

Why? Because you'll see all of the aforementioned beliefs routinely VIOLATED in the course of your daily work. You will be firsthand witness to the fact that the entire American legal system is a farce and a sham. You will come to understand that it is a PAY-TO-PLAY system where the final determination of guilt or innocence will be ultimately determined by the quality of legal counsel you can afford to pay for ..or NOT.

Look around you. The United States is being driven into the ground -as we speak- by rampant corruption & cronyism. Corporate CEO's are getting away with TRILLIONS of YOUR taxpayer dollars UNSCATHED while some poor homeless man is being held on $20,000 bail in Santa Barbara RIGHT NOW for shoplifting $7.69 worth of soup & bread (www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/04/INR316Q4F5.DTL&ref=patrick.net).

This happens EVERY DAY, HUNDREDS even THOUSANDS of times. You'll get to interpret for the poor Mexican laborer in Santa Ana, CA who was arrested for NOT HAVING A BICYCLE LICENSE! "Bicycle license"?. Yes!. You see, in that city it appears your supposed to 'license' your bicycle by registering it with the city. Failure to do so is considered a misdemeanor. Curiously tho, you'll NEVER see a white person arrested for this 'crime'. Hell I didn't even KNOW such a law existed until I started getting those cases at work one after another.

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Omar in Garden Grove, California

69 months ago

(continued)

How about the time a few years ago when this female interpreter was working a trial in L.A.? A juror who spoke a little Spanish overheard the interpreter -who in this case possessed a PhD. in Spanish- translate a particular word and the juror had the effrontery to interrupt the proceeding in order to tell the judge that the interpreter had 'made a mistake'. Long story short, the juror won out: this female interpreter was ORDERED TO RETAKE THE STATE CERTIFICATION TEST! Oh. you thought YOU -the CERTIFIED interpreter- are the language expert within the courtroom? Think again bubba.

I won't even go into the numerous times I've seen cops & bailiffs physically abuse detainees.

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Omar in Garden Grove, California

69 months ago

(continued)

Would you prefer to work the private sector?

Then get ready to 'prep' the deponent for a deposition by translating his/her attorney's instructions to "remember you're in a LOT of back pain so keep fidgeting around in your chair and ask for frequent breaks" (usually the deponent was clearly in excellent physical condition up to this point). Then you get to continue with the depo itself and you watch the charade unfold as the deponent commits outright FRAUD & PERJURY before your very eyes.
Report it? TO WHO? Have you ever heard of Harry Marcopolos? He was a former securities industry executive turned independent financial fraud investigator for institutional investors and others seeking forensic accounting expertise. He had been trying to report Bernard Madoff FOR YEARS to the SEC to NO AVAIL. If HE couldn't get a response after reporting such a serious crime then what chances do you think YOU'LL have to do the right thing? NONE because the United States has become as corrupt and backward as Argentina. Minus the good soccer-playing of course.

Or alternately you'll watch all your assignments going to the UNCERTIFIED interpreters who will by passed-off as 'certified' by the language agency, enabling them to pocket the difference in pay for themselves. Who controls them? NO ONE. The Judicial Council of CA sure doesn't give a HOOT. Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa.

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Omar in Garden Grove, California

69 months ago

Have you ever been to Argentina? I lived there for twenty years. Beautful country. Alas it is neck deep in corruption, ineptitude and institutionalized FRAUD. They are TRULY MASTERS of deceit & theft. That is to say they WERE until GW Bush and then Osama came along.
Sorry Argentina but in THIS particular 'campeonato' you'll have to learn to accept SECOND place nowadays.

The argentines are so used to having corruption as an intrinsic part of their daily lives that the topic is extensively mentioned in all their literature. Their Martin Fierro, for example, gives us this pearl;

"Las leyes son como la tela araña, solo atrapa a los insectos menores ya que los insectos grandes la rompen facilmente y escapan"
(Laws are like spider webs, they only catch the small insects because the larger ones can easily break it and escape")

So it is here too.

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Omar in Garden Grove, California

69 months ago

(continued)

So WHAT exactly are the QUALITIES necessary for a successful career as a certified court interpreter? Well for one thing you do need to be CERTIFIED.

Beyond that the job definitely requires an extremely low level of self-esteem. An ability to suffer verbal & physical abuse at the hands of criminals on a daily basis. And I'm just talking about the judges & DA's so far. Then there are the defendants to deal with. You will also need to possess the ability to grovel shamelessly and pretend that that fat slob of an attorney wearing the cheap black robe is actually a descendant of King Wilhelm of Prussia and thus worthy of all flattery & adulation amen.

Physical requirements include the ability to stoop very low while curtsying.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

69 months ago

I wasn't going to say anything, but Displaced did first.

Omar, you're scary. Are you going to be one of those people who goes on a rampage and kills everyone you can?

Life sucks in general. Please don't contribute to the problem.

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Omar in Garden Grove, California

69 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: So....would you recommend court interpreting as a career worth considering?

YES! Then again I also recommend buying GM shares and investing in Bear Stearns.

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Omar in Garden Grove, California

69 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: You need help, my friend.

I would need help if indeed I were your friend.

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Ada in Los Angeles, California

64 months ago

Omar in Garden Grove, California said: (continued)

So WHAT exactly are the QUALITIES necessary for a successful career as a certified court interpreter? Well for one thing you do need to be CERTIFIED.

Beyond that the job definitely requires an extremely low level of self-esteem. An ability to suffer verbal & physical abuse at the hands of criminals on a daily basis. And I'm just talking about the judges & DA's so far. Then there are the defendants to deal with. You will also need to possess the ability to grovel shamelessly and pretend that that fat slob of an attorney wearing the cheap black robe is actually a descendant of King Wilhelm of Prussia and thus worthy of all flattery & adulation amen.

Physical requirements include the ability to stoop very low while curtsying.

Omar, I like your style because I feel you are telling the truth. I had an inkling that it would be a little like but I needed to hear from someone who has actually been there. It's pretty scary. I heard horror stories about attorneys and jurors arguing with interpreters and being shamed in front of people. I can see why you're frustrated with the system, after so much bs to get certified and then end up like that. What a shame.

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skipurr in Glendale, California

63 months ago

many of you may not like the tone of Omar's comments, but unfortunately, it's more accurate than not. i have years of experience working with individuals who have been royally mistreated and abused by the "criminal justice system". in fact, one individual named it the "criminal just chance system". money can certainly buy you more justice.

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funny bunny in Toronto, Ontario

62 months ago

Omar, I'd like to say you are right in many ways... There is nothing wrong with having a strong back bone. Way To Go! However, It's what you bring to the table what counts. Business is Business, as cold as it sounds. Hang in there my friend.

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Omar in San Diego, California

62 months ago

Court interpreting is a KIZZ AZZ JOB and very similar to being a food-server in many ways. Working with ego-centric attorneys, judges and other self-important azzholes is DEMEANING AND SUBSERVIENT. You CANNOT have self respect AND work for the courts at the same time.

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Gabra in Salinas, California

61 months ago

Thanx for the info. I'm a customer service interpreter, I had thought about taking the court interpreting exam but it sounds like it's not the job for me. It's kind of what I had imagined anyway.. The best job ever (in my experience) is medical interpreting, I'm sure it can suck if u get a rude dr. or nurse, but it never happened to me. U really feel like u're helping someone on crucial stuff, person to person; it's more chilled and more rewarding. I miss it. Sadly, they don't have on-site medical interpreters here in Cali, it's all done over the phone, now (which is unfortunate).

Have a good day...

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anonymous in Los Angeles, California

61 months ago

Interpreting is a job where you have zero, none, nada de control over your environment, which causes a lot of stress, which Omar seems to be suffering from, causing him to attack his external environment and everyone involved in it. All you can control, Omar, is your professionalism, which requires daily continuing education in vocabulary, memory enhancement, problem solving for when you are challenged, and ethics; if you concentrate on that and detach from all external problems, you will be much happier and better at your job and probably influence those around you to be more positive and respectful towards you, and even others around you, which seems to be what you want. Good luck....

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angelica in Palm Desert, California

61 months ago

OMAR U ARE HILARIOUS. WHATS UR E-MAIL

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Omar in Jamaica, New York

61 months ago

"Interpreting is a job where you have zero, none, nada de control over your environment, which causes a lot of stress, which Omar seems to be suffering from, causing him to attack his external environment and everyone involved in it. All you can control, Omar, is your professionalism, which requires daily continuing education in vocabulary, memory enhancement, problem solving for when you are challenged, and ethics; if you concentrate on that and detach from all external problems, you will be much happier and better at your job and probably influence those around you to be more positive and respectful towards you, and even others around you, which seems to be what you want. Good luck...."

Wow. You really hit the nail on the head with your comment. You're absolutely RIGHT, interpreting IS a job wherein one has absolutely NO control over the work environment. I LOVE the way you synthesized that fact into one simple, clear sentence.

However your 'solution' on the other hand isn't that great. Basically you're suggesting I lose myself in 'continuing education', 'memory enhancement' drills and other wastes of time. You equate 'professionalism' with voluntarily being a powerless stooge who's always willing to be the absolute lowest rung on the ladder, the patsy who always has to bend over and take it up the azz from everyone else at work. That simply won't work for me. I need a working environment where I'm respected and well-considered. I need to know I have at least a minimal control over what I do. I guess what I'm saying is that I need a working environment wherein I can expect & receive at LEAST a modicum of self-respect.

Which is why I DON'T WORK AS A COURT INTERPRETER ANYMORE. Santo remedio!

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Omar in Jamaica, New York

61 months ago

An anecdote: I was interpreting for the day at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Manhattan once. I was in the cafeteria with another interpreter whom I had just recently met when some obviously self-important & pompous azzhole strolled by. My friend quickly smiled at him (quite obsequiously, I might add) and said, "Good afternoon your honor". Would you believe the douchebag DIDN'T EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE HIM AT ALL ?!?! Yet when I commented to my colleague in a rather subdued voice, "What an azzhole!" the judge suddenly DID turn to give us a murderous stare ...which at least proves the POS wasn't deaf, just a rude self-centered MF.

I got away with it because the judge didn't know I was an interpreter given that I'm always confused with a cop because of how I look & dress. Otherwise I'm sure that judge would have had me banned from working there ever again. Although quite frankly -after seeing that attitude- I never went back anyway.

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Dignity please in Los Angeles, California

61 months ago

[QUOTE who="Omar in Garden Grove, California"
How about the time a few years ago when this female interpreter was working a trial in L.A.? A juror who spoke a little Spanish overheard the interpreter -who in this case possessed a PhD. in Spanish- translate a particular word and the juror had the effrontery to interrupt the proceeding in order to tell the judge that the interpreter had 'made a mistake'. Long story short, the juror won out: this female interpreter was ORDERED TO RETAKE THE STATE CERTIFICATION TEST! Oh. you thought YOU -the CERTIFIED interpreter- are the language expert within the courtroom? Think again bubba.
Actually, the juror did not interrupt the proceeding, he went to the judge after the conviction and the Judge had an ex parte, in chambers hearing with the DA and the juror, no pd. I found out about it when the interpreter was summarily removed from the court house she had worked in for over 20 years.
I told the defense attorney who by then had an even better ground to appeal than judicial misconduct, someone else had confessed to the crime.
As it turned out the interpreter, as transcripts would show had not made a mistake, but in a obscene twist of logic, the appeal was granted and the case was overturned, not because they had the real perp's confession, since according to the Supreme Court, "innocence is not ground for reversal", the conviction was overturned because of "questions" about the interpretation. The DA filed no response, they were happy to get under the civil liability, but they did get the interpreter ban from all District Att. covered courtrooms.
The fact a that an innocent man was convicted, that I judge violated every rule in the book (she actually told me she just could not stand the nasal voice of the interpreter) where lost in the shuffle.
The interpreter did eventually re-certified. The judge and DA got away scot free.

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Justmoved

60 months ago

Wow. You really hit the nail on the head with your comment. You're absolutely RIGHT, interpreting IS a job wherein one has absolutely NO control over the work environment.

I don't understand this comment. I've been a certified interpreter for five years in both Federal and State Courts and have never had a problem. You just state over and over the interpreter code of ethics, role of the interpreter, and hand over case law if asked. Do your job.

Problem solved.

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Lainterprete

60 months ago

If you feel so strongly that the justice system is a farce, then I would think that as a conscientious objector, you would not participate in any way in the justice system.

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lainterprete

60 months ago

You don't get a legal summons to work as an inrterpreter.

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kaiser employee in Lakewood, California

58 months ago

I was taking court interpreting classes at southern california school of interpreting and have 2 cd's from the proffesor there and 2 text books that i paid 575.00 for each course by Mr, Wagner. Im no longer interested in this field do to failed oral state exams. Im willing to sell these at a reasonable price. They prepare you for the oral state exam in california. I have 2 books that i paid 200 each for that prepare you for the written state exam. I can almost be sure they will help you pass. (i did) willing to sell them also. I dont believe the average spanish speaker will understand the terms they brain wash us with to interpret with, so im selling it. :O) ANY TAKERS??? P.S> Much props to Omar in garden grove. I agree COMPLETELY. I was an intern at a few court houses.

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kaiser employee in Lakewood, California

58 months ago

Gabra in Salinas, California said: Thanx for the info. I'm a customer service interpreter, I had thought about taking the court interpreting exam but it sounds like it's not the job for me. It's kind of what I had imagined anyway.. The best job ever (in my experience) is medical interpreting, I'm sure it can suck if u get a rude dr. or nurse, but it never happened to me. U really feel like u're helping someone on crucial stuff, person to person; it's more chilled and more rewarding. I miss it. Sadly, they don't have on-site medical interpreters here in Cali, it's all done over the phone, now (which is unfortunate).

Have a good day...

Thats because we have too much staff who are bilingual. we hardly ever use the phone service. :O) Medical interpreting is not in high demand at all. nor do they pay well.

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anonymous in Los Angeles, California

56 months ago

Justmoved said: Wow. You really hit the nail on the head with your comment. You're absolutely RIGHT, interpreting IS a job wherein one has absolutely NO control over the work environment.

I don't understand this comment. I've been a certified interpreter for five years in both Federal and State Courts and have never had a problem. You just state over and over the interpreter code of ethics, role of the interpreter, and hand over case law if asked. Do your job.

Problem solved.

What do you mean hand over case law? Are you an attorney? Now interpreters have to know case law? See, that's the problem, that interpreters are challenged, usually for non-mistakes (like using an equivalent in English that does not "sound" like what was said in Spanish)and we have to take time to defend ourselves instead of just being able to do our jobs. We actually work hard to make the transcript sound as natural as possible in English, without sacrificing accuracy, but then are usually derisively challenged for it when somebody, anybody, doesn't like the "sound" of what we said, though it is usually 100% accurate. And that is wearing, especially when you know much more about what was just interpreted than anyone in the courtroom. I mean, we are hired to interpret, not to take the time to educate anyone on the nuances of millions of words of two languages, and certainly not to educate them on case law.

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Anonymous

56 months ago

"and hand over case law if asked."

I think I used the wrong term. What I meant was that each State (especially those that are part of the Consortium) have state statutes regarding the appointing of judicial interpreters, and therefore, have written codes regarding the use of the interpreter.

If I remember the original context of the conversation, another interpreter was saying that he/she never got any respect and was abused by the other members of the court.

What I meant was, if you do educate court officials about your proper role, and refer them to State statutes (which, if we are required to uphold them in order to work in court, we better know which ones those are) to be treated as professionals.

For example, I've been voir dired on my qualifications. Discussions regarding what is a certified vs. non-certified interpreter, etc. I know what the State statutes are governing interpreter certification/conduct/use/appointment and have them printed out.

Especially when I started working as a professional interpreter, I was coming into a region where the previous interpreters were clearly unethical and used by court officials to do unethical things (like solicit clients, get clients to plead guilty to speed up court, etc.); when I was asked to do the same things, I educated them on the role of the interpreter.

After a few months, they were all trained, and my job is that much easier :)

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MD in Sacramento, California

56 months ago

kaiser employee in Lakewood, California said: I was taking court interpreting classes at southern california school of interpreting and have 2 cd's from the proffesor there and 2 text books that i paid 575.00 for each course by Mr, Wagner. Im no longer interested in this field do to failed oral state exams. Im willing to sell these at a reasonable price. They prepare you for the oral state exam in california. I have 2 books that i paid 200 each for that prepare you for the written state exam. I can almost be sure they will help you pass. (i did) willing to sell them also. I dont believe the average spanish speaker will understand the terms they brain wash us with to interpret with, so im selling it. :O) ANY TAKERS??? P.S> Much props to Omar in garden grove. I agree COMPLETELY. I was an intern at a few court houses.

I'm studying to take the written examination. I already have a book and some tapes, but I don't think it's enough material to practice. How much would you charge for the two books to prepare for the written test?

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MRClueuin in Brooklyn, New York

56 months ago

Gabra in Salinas, California said: Thanx for the info. I'm a customer service interpreter, I had thought about taking the court interpreting exam but it sounds like it's not the job for me. It's kind of what I had imagined anyway.. The best job ever (in my experience) is medical interpreting, I'm sure it can suck if u get a rude dr. or nurse, but it never happened to me. U really feel like u're helping someone on crucial stuff, person to person; it's more chilled and more rewarding. I miss it. Sadly, they don't have on-site medical interpreters here in Cali, it's all done over the phone, now (which is unfortunate).

Have a good day...

Three words hon and for Omar too. Customer Service Representative (Inbound/Outbound Phone)
You take the same condesending crap but you also get the bonus of not seeing the little stinkers. Pays well but if your used to the idea of paying bills on time and eating in resturants and bars to easy your pain of working at Court all day, well ya, no, not going happen.
Your bi-ligual (and if you were at a thread I was on a couple of days ago, you should have heard how many people can't get jobs because they don't know Spanish.) and so they'll snacth your bouquta yapping tushes so fast it will make your head spin.
So buck up people, yes it could be worse, you could be getting paid anything from 9.00 to 13.50 an hour listening to clueless people ask you one more time to give them a bill breakdown, or tech advice, or some such whatever Customer Service Firm or Telcomm Company Customer Service Dept is pushing!
Viva la Worker!
(And that's my best Spanish folks.)

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Carly/Certified Medical Interpreters in Salinas, California

54 months ago

Gabra in Salinas, California said: Thanx for the info. I'm a customer service interpreter, I had thought about taking the court interpreting exam but it sounds like it's not the job for me. It's kind of what I had imagined anyway.. The best job ever (in my experience) is medical interpreting, I'm sure it can suck if u get a rude dr. or nurse, but it never happened to me. U really feel like u're helping someone on crucial stuff, person to person; it's more chilled and more rewarding. I miss it. Sadly, they don't have on-site medical interpreters here in Cali, it's all done over the phone, now (which is unfortunate).

Have a good day...

Dear Gabra and all in Salinas - Unfortunately, this is a dead profession/career. In Salinas as well as in California the medical community is refusing to abide by the new Calif Law SB853 which requires that ALL interpreters be QUALIFIED/TRAINED and continue to hire "bi-lingual"! I will tell you that bi-lingual does not make a Dr/Lawyer but the community has hung their hat here. I am an instructor/trainer in this field and yet I have had physicians tell me that ALL interpreters are UNEDUCATED ! Because of the myths that are out there we will never be respected for our skill - and as long as all these NEWBE's come into this career accepting $8.00 an hr or 35 cents a minute you can forget being an interpreter, medical or court! This is very big business but for Language Lines only ! What we need is an association and or union that will support us. If interpreters are really upset the agency to contact is the Dept of Managed Healthcare/California who oversees the LAW for medical interpreters. Omar, YOU are ever so right! You would make a wonderful Advocate for our people ! We need you in Sacramento!

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Taking Cert. Test this year in Cerritos, California

52 months ago

Has anyone taken the new state exam for Certified Interpreting in CA this year? Any input?

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Erika Penaloza in Hemet, California

52 months ago

Hello Omar, first of all I would like to commend you for sharing your feelings because most people might not have the courage too. I use to feel the same way when I worked for banks particularly the Forclosure and I ABSOLUTELY HATED IT...It was a first hand look at how corporations run our country and are able to basically financially rape homeowners. Getting cussed out and yelled at 24/7 no matter how nice I tried to be about it didnot work. And worse I had managers basically telling me I was not agressive enough when dealing with these poor people. Well to make a long story short I FINALLY made my move and began to look for a new career so my journey began in mid 2008. I did some volunteer work at my local courts and was told by numerous individuals I should pursue Interpreting because I spoke fluent spanish. I then found a class that prepared interpreters for the state exam. After my class was over I still continued to study and apply or an entry level interpreting job. I know I was basically letting go of a decent salary at the bank, but I could not morally live with myself if I had to work there one more day. I would have gone crazy. Ifinally found and entry level job and now read your story and you seem to be going through the same feelings within yourself. I have mainly experienced customer service interpreting but I find if I detach myself and concentrate on my words, 95% of my sessions go smooth. I really like interpreting and as much as I understand what you are saying I think if you might deal directly with people and thier problems you would see that it could be much worse than it really is. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to do this kind of work because to me its alot less stressful and I know it could be much worse. I hope that you find a solution to your problem as I did. My solution was changing career fields. I read on a blog that Medical Interpreting is alot less stressful and many find it rewarding..mabe you should look into that.

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el chambelan

52 months ago

customer interpreting, and court is completly different sweety./ Allow me to introduce my self, I used to be a court interpreter and hated it. All that study at southern california school of interpreting for nothing. I now work in the medical field, kaiser permanente, and we do not use interpreters. :O) so dont be recommending such a job which is not in demand,. We, the employees get trained by the hospital to interpret, in order not to hire medical interpreters. Court interpreting, is a demeaning, and degrading job. You need to have no self respect in order to do it. It makes me laugh when people say im helping people. LOL You are not helping anybody, First of all. You are there to soley interpret, Nobody cares about your opinions, or your feelings, or experiences. lol. You are just the interpreter, and nothing more. Remember that,

I agree with Omar 100% doesnt seem like he has a problem with me, like you applied he has., just seems like he seen how the court interpreter, is just a job for the patsy of the court. What a shame, Im glad I left the field. You need to be ignorant and obtuse to do such a job.

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Erika Penaloza in Hemet, California

52 months ago

Well I know I am just interpreting "sweety"...and that im not actually doing something for someone other than being a bridge...so keep your comments to yourself BECAUSE I WASN'T TALKING TO YOU !!!! And for your information I like what i do..because I am just a "lil birdy"...i dont have to deal with no ones problems ..BEEN THERE DONE THAT AND ITS NOT FOR ME...I am only 1 person,,I cant save the world..so I am content with what I do..I LOVE IT...and its a good thing you left our field..we dont need people who spoil the whole barrel. Oh and one more thing..since you are a seasoned Interpreter THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that your oppinion does not count and no one cares..thats why i love this field..i dont wanna give my opinion..i have my own life to deal with and own problems to resolve without having to deal with other peoples problems. (You must have feel asleep in class when your instructor advised you of that). And finally, I didnot recommend he "listen" to me and become and medical interpreter, what I said is mabe he should look into it. I cannot make him do anything, I am sure he is smart enough to research something before he makes his decision.

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El Chambelan in Cerritos, California

52 months ago

LOL.... Like I said, you have to have low self respect ( be a little birdy/patsy of the court) to do this job. Been there, done that,. "Im better than this". and Im sure he is also. All that studiying for the state exam for dumb words we dont even use in court,. Hahahahaha. Man,. what a shame. I wish a never became a court interpreter. and Im glad Im out of that field. No appreciation by others, and when they do its all FAKE. haha

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Justmoved in Summerville, South Carolina

52 months ago

If you don't like a job, then it's good that you leave it, because you tend to make everyone around you miserable, and tend not to do a good job.

Court interpreting can suck when you have to work with difficult people. And most people are difficult. But it comes with the territory.

Also..what is that about studying for words that you will never use in court? Well yeah, if you only do local traffic court, almost any dummy can do it. When you need your skills is during trials...

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Viv in Lake Elsinore, California

50 months ago

I may be a little late in posting but I cannot help agreeing with all of you. I have worked for the courts for over ten years and feel that I have reached my limit. Everything that Omar and Chambelan said is true. I am saddened that the interpreting position, so prestigious in other parts of the world, carries such little respect in the U.S. I've reached the point that I'm looking into switching careers. I'm looking into the medical field because I believe that there is more education as to the cultural aspect of interpreting. At least there are more written translations which I truly enjoy doing. To top it all off, the AOC is now revamping the testing and continuing education requirements. Will this upgrade the profession or will it only allow for a tremendous wave of new interpreters that are not truly qualified to flood the market and begin charging very little for services? Only time will tell what the true reasons are for these changes.

In any case, I am also disgusted with the atrocities that occur in the so-called justice system and really want to make the switch to something that can satisfy me more on a personal level. If anyone can provide me with feedback on making the switch from court to medical, please, I'd love to hear from you. To be honest, the only thing holding me back at this point is the money factor.

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Roger in Santa Ana, California

50 months ago

Omar, I'd like to talk to you about court interpreting. Maybe there is a personal grudge that you may hold against the court system itself or another entity. That's interesting enough alone. WHat could have happened to you? i'm sure at one point you were excited about the career itself, maybe court interpreting. I am a young adult seeking a career that involves Spanish interpreting skills. Perhaps you can shed some light into this notion of mine when you have some time?

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129bpm in Whittier, California

44 months ago

All,
I just passed the written and oral exams to be a court certified interpreter in California.
I'd like to hear from others that have had similar experiences.
I'd like to help people, but I don't want to dedicate my time and energy (and dignity) to a pointless career.
Any input would helpful, before I quit my ok-paying job.
Thanks, in advance.

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David W in San Francisco, California

44 months ago

To all who hate court interpreting because you get so little respect, may I suggest you become a defense attorney? Then you will not only get to endure the vile scapegoating and disrespect of the judges, attorneys, defendants and bailiffs, but you will also be expected to know all the answers and guarantee the outcomes. Take it from a legal professional who knows and loves the interpreters he works with and loves the idea of speaking someone else's words for a living and being able to forget it all at 5pm, interpreting ain't such a bad gig. All that reading in court between cases is also not a bad perk.

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Ms. A in Cerritos, California

44 months ago

Interpreting isnt for everyone. plain and simple. Just as working at Mcdonalds isnt for everyone. You have to love what you do. I love interpreting and hence im in this field. So for those of you that are new in this field, my advice is just b/c others hate it doesnt mean we all do or that you will. So, try it out and then you can say wether you hate it or not.

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129bpm in Whittier, California

44 months ago

Ms. A,
I'm very happy to hear that you enjoy interpreting, I'm looking forward to this new career.
Do you have any tips about where I could start looking for work? What do you think about agencies? What is the standard/typical day rate for a beginner? Is this a good time go as an independent contractor/consultant or just full-time in the courts? Any info would be helpful?

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Ms.A in Placentia, California

44 months ago

129bpm,

If you are certified you can really work anywhere. From what i have heard from other interpreters is that they prefer to work for agencies because you can make more money that way, also you have the ability to decide what assignments you take and what days and times you want to work. so flexibility is really what most interpreters like. From what I hear working for agencies you can make about 300 for a full day. There was an interpreter that I know that got hired by a law firm and she makes 800 a day! but she also will be working long hours.
Its really up to you, and what you like. If you have just received your certification, usually you will start getting calls, from agencies offering you work.

Good luck! and congrats with your certification!

ps: maybe someone should open a forum that is more positive. Its not for everyone but it sure can be rewarding.

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129bpm in Whittier, California

43 months ago

Ms. A.,
Thank you for the info. I know this is above and beyond, but would you be able to recommend any specific agencies in LA or the OC. What has worked best for you? Actually, if it is okay with you, I have a lot of questions, can I contact you privately? I really need to start taking advantage of my certification.

Thanks!

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Ms. A in Cerritos, California

43 months ago

Mixer Mike 2 in Baghdad, Iraq said: It's crazy how the government allows illegal immigrants to take American jobs...and also give them our tax dollars...

you dont even know what ur talking about. first of all ...interpreters are certified and cannot work without being citizens or residents....but if youd done some research then maybe you wouldnt post such ridiculous posts

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Alekz in Los Angeles, California

42 months ago

129bpm in Whittier, California said: Ms. A.,
Thank you for the info. I know this is above and beyond, but would you be able to recommend any specific agencies in LA or the OC. What has worked best for you? Actually, if it is okay with you, I have a lot of questions, can I contact you privately? I really need to start taking advantage of my certification.

Thanks!

Hi 129bpm, here's a couple of agencies in the SoCal area.

www.greattranslators.com/

www.worldlanguagecommunications.com/

www.mariposainterpretingservices.com/

You should also make sure your information on the AOC website www.courts.ca.gov/3796.htm
is up to date so that people/agencies/courts looking for interpreters in your area can get a hold of you. I usually get a call every few months or so from someone who says they got my information from there.

You can also go to the court's website and I believe LA county is currently accepting applications for an as-needed spanish interpreter position.

Visit certifiedcourtinterpreters.net/forum/showthread.php?tid=15 there you can find links to a few county websites that are accepting applications at this time.

Also, remember to search the yellow pages for agencies in your area and contact them directly. Don't forget that agencies don't have to be in your geographical area to provide services there, so searching for agencies in a larger radius is helpful.

Good Luck!
Alekz
www.certifiedcourtinterpreters.net

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Alekz in Los Angeles, California

42 months ago

129bpm in Whittier, California said: All,
I just passed the written and oral exams to be a court certified interpreter in California.
I'd like to hear from others that have had similar experiences.
I'd like to help people, but I don't want to dedicate my time and energy (and dignity) to a pointless career.
Any input would helpful, before I quit my ok-paying job.
Thanks, in advance.

Ooops, I forgot to mention this...Congratulations on passing!

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Angie in Los Angeles, California

37 months ago

Well, it sounds like someone has not been able to pass the exam and now is very sore about it and not taking responsibility. Interpreting is a job like any other. Nobody is forcing you to do it, as a matter of fact, they pay you very well to perform your job. You do see a lot of unfair things happen, but that's life in general. Just get over it, all you can do is do your job the best you can.

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Pablo in Corona, California

36 months ago

Ms.A in Placentia, California said: 129bpm,

If you are certified you can really work anywhere. From what i have heard from other interpreters is that they prefer to work for agencies because you can make more money that way, also you have the ability to decide what assignments you take and what days and times you want to work. so flexibility is really what most interpreters like. From what I hear working for agencies you can make about 300 for a full day. There was an interpreter that I know that got hired by a law firm and she makes 800 a day! but she also will be working long hours.
Its really up to you, and what you like. If you have just received your certification, usually you will start getting calls, from agencies offering you work.

Good luck! and congrats with your certification!

ps: maybe someone should open a forum that is more positive. Its not for everyone but it sure can be rewarding.

Hello friend. can you email with more info about that law firm? I am about to finish my first trimester of interpreting at scsi. my email is paabs2000@gmail.com

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Lil in Sun City West, Arizona

35 months ago

kaiser employee in Lakewood, California said: I was taking court interpreting classes at southern california school of interpreting and have 2 cd's from the proffesor there and 2 text books that i paid 575.00 for each course by Mr, Wagner. Im no longer interested in this field do to failed oral state exams. Im willing to sell these at a reasonable price. They prepare you for the oral state exam in california. I have 2 books that i paid 200 each for that prepare you for the written state exam. I can almost be sure they will help you pass. (i did) willing to sell them also. I dont believe the average spanish speaker will understand the terms they brain wash us with to interpret with, so im selling it. :O) ANY TAKERS??? P.S> Much props to Omar in garden grove. I agree COMPLETELY. I was an intern at a few court houses.
Would love to buy the books what is selling price.

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Doc Holliday in Glendale, California

35 months ago

California treats illegal aliens better than it does its own certified court interpreters.

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sally in Jacksonville, North Carolina

35 months ago

el chambelan said: customer interpreting, and court is completly different sweety./ Allow me to introduce my self, I used to be a court interpreter and hated it. All that study at southern california school of interpreting for nothing. I now work in the medical field, kaiser permanente, and we do not use interpreters. :O) so dont be recommending such a job which is not in demand,. We, the employees get trained by the hospital to interpret, in order not to hire medical interpreters. Court interpreting, is a demeaning, and degrading job. You need to have no self respect in order to do it. It makes me laugh when people say im helping people. LOL You are not helping anybody, First of all. You are there to soley interpret, Nobody cares about your opinions, or your feelings, or experiences. lol. You are just the interpreter, and nothing more. Remember that,

I agree with Omar 100% doesnt seem like he has a problem with me, like you applied he has., just seems like he seen how the court interpreter, is just a job for the patsy of the court. What a shame, Im glad I left the field. You need to be ignorant and obtuse to do such a job.

No wonder you hated the interpreting job. you have no people skills, nor respect for them and their opinions at all!

INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION COURSE IS RECOMMENDED!!!

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