Or are they getting increasingly lazy? Based upon my experience in the past few years, it seems to me that interpreters are no longer bringing pen and notepad with which to take notes to aid in their interpretation. And, if they do bring them, they don't seem to want to use them. Instead, they sit VEEERRRY closely to me, which drives me just freakin' bat-shit crazy! Sometimes so closely that I feel like inviting them to take a seat in my lap. Some of them could use a fresh shower and/or should brush their teeth.  Yes, they sit THAT closely! And they don't sit so closely to me because I'm just so darned cute and loveable; it's so that they can read the free real-time. Some even specifically ask to do so.

Yeah, yeah, I know. There are reporters who will say, well, it speeds things along. Well, for one, I don't want them reading my real-time if I'm not on a real-time job; it's not a free service--for anyone. Two, why should I do half of the interpreter's job for them and make their job easier for them when no one is making my job easier for me or paying me additional fees to do the interpreter's job? How did interpreters do their job before there were computers and real-time?

Also, the fact that the interpreters rely on my real-time to do their job interferes with my ability to do my job. In an ongoing case that I was working on, the attorney spit out the questions that were five to ten lines long like an AK-47. I had to hang on for dear life and write as fast as I could. The attorney liked to have his questions read back. The interpreter would look at my screen in order to interpret. I edit on the fly all day long. I will go back several paragraphs or even to parts much earlier in the day (transcript) or to wherever to edit. Whenever I moved my screen elsewhere, the interpreters couldn't interpret because they couldn't remember the question. So I had to go back to the question so that they can read from the screen. This creates more homework for me and is frustrating beyond belief. I told one interpreter that she was interfering with my ability to do my job. She told me to just go ahead as normal and to ignore her, so I did. Of course, when I moved to a different spot in the transcript, she couldn't interpret, so I had to go back. Aaarrrggh!

Another thing, sometimes I just want to be lazy and not have to write perfectly simply because I don't feel like it and if I don't have to. On one occasion, a word came up incorrectly, and the interpreter interpreted the wrong word. I knew it was wrong; she didn't. I had to correct her (and the transcript). I don't feel I should have to correct it or write real-time for the interpreters simply because I don't feel like it. Why should I?  There are other times where I don't want them to read my screen, especially the ones who practically sit in my lap to do so. Sometimes I actually don't mind. I reserve the right to PMS whenever I please, right?

In another case, the attorney actually asked me to move my coffee mug so the interpreter could read my screen. Well, she (the attorney) should pay for the real-time, then, no? That's what they do in the IP/tech/patent cases, where one or both parties will pay for the real-time for their interpreter(s). 

So . . . a couple questions.  Has any of you ever refused to let an interpreter read your screen?  Would I be a big you-know-what to just flat out refuse to let them read from my screen? I find myself getting more and more frustrated with interpreters. :/

Just one last comment:  It takes skill/concentration (and SLEEP) to provide excellent real-time.  It is not a service that should be provided for free to anyone--EVER.

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Also FYI there is a new state law in California regarding interpreters at depositions.  I attached the file.  I had an interpreter depo a couple weeks ago and she didn't know about this.


Some interpreters are aware (some are not) and have discussed this with me before we go on the record. When the interpreter does not bring it up, I don't bother to remind them. I have enough to take care of on my end. Like my post about the 7-hour rule, it's their job to state their qualifications.

I have had the side needing the interpreter order realtime ahead of time so the interpreter could use an extra screen, not my screen.  No, I have not had this happen.  Yes, they should pay for it.  No, I don't think you should be giving this away.  Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Thanks for the support, Janiece. I've decided that, going forward, when the interpreters ask if they can read from my screen, I will tell them that it's a premium service available for a fee, and if they'd like to pay for the real-time, I'd be happy to set up a session for them. Problem solved. :)

Hey, Quyen, I think that's a great idea.  Also, there are screens you can attach to your laptop monitor so people viewing from the side cannot read the screen.  I don't think they cost much.  It might be worth it.  I would hate having them sit so close.  Blah.....

I have Never had an interpreter ask to read from my screen.  I have allowed them to look at it to move things along at times but it's never been consistent. 

Slightly off topic.  What parentheticals do you use in this situation?

Attorney asks question.  No translation of question.  Witness answers in English.

Attorney asks question.  Translation.  Witness answers in English.

Attorney asks question.  Translation.  Witness starts answering in English; then interpreter takes over

Attorney asks question. No translation of question.  Interpreter translates answer for witness.

I am struggling with this horrible transcript.  It was videotaped so I feel like I should be as specific as possible with the parentheticals.  But would really appreciate and guidance.

I just make things up as I go. I would probably do something like this:


MR. ATTORNEY:  Q  Blah, blah, blah?

(Question not translated)

THE WITNESS:  [In English.] Blah, blah, blah.

MR. ATTORNEY:  Q  How annoying is this depo?

(Question translated)

THE WITNESS:  [In English.]  The depo is not annoying; I am. Because I'm making it harder for the reporter by answering in English and not giving the interpreter a chance to interpret.

MR. ATTORNEY:  Q  I agree. But this will give the reporter more pages because she has to do all this ridiculous formatting, correct?

(Question translated)

THE WITNESS:  [In English.]  Yes, she will get more pages, but I doubt it's worth it.

[Through the interpreter.]  Yes, she will get more pages, but I doubt it's worth it.

MR. ATTORNEY:  Q  Do you think she wishes she had never taken this job?

(Question not translated)

THE WITNESS:  [Through the interpreter.]  I'm sure. This job sucks beyond belief.

You are hilarious!  And soooo right.

When we have a "bad day at the office," only another reporter would truly understand. :)

I'm just going to do [In English.] or [Through the interpreter.]  I'm not going to make any other notations.  If they want to know what was translated, they can watch the video.  That's what happens when you let the witness do half and half.  Much faster editing now.

I do:

A   Yes, I went to the store (in English).


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