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.

Views: 1431

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I agree totally.  Have not had this situation but I will watch for it.  I wouldn't stand for it.  It's outrageous. 

If necessary, maybe I'd say "Let me clean it up" and then I'd take my time and when I was totally done, I'd maybe say, "Do you still need to read my screen to interpret the question?"   Something like that?   Your experience sounds so WRONG.  Will watch for replies.

Unfortunately, I don't need to do much cleaning on interpreted depos, so they could very easily read from the screen as I'm writing and don't really have to "wait for it."

I have never ever!!!! ever had this situation in interpreter depos.  All the ones I have do simultaneous interpreting.  It seems it would make the depo 3x longer if they had to wait to read the screen...I'm really shocked.

I'm actually shocked that more reporters have not experienced this. Or maybe if they have, they're not speaking out about it. I'll tell you this for sure: I'm not letting it happen again. Is it petty? Maybe. Then so be it. But it's a skill I work hard at every day so that my transcript is perfect as it comes up, just as they should work at their skill every day to either slow the attorney down as appropriate and/or take notes.

I agree, Quyen.  Unless paid for (or the reporter just wants to), then no look-see by the interpreter--and even paid, I'm not particularly comfortable with it.  I don't like the idea of my real-time being relied upon for translation.  Like you mentioned when the wrong word was translated, my real-time will not be perfect.  Interpreters need to be self-reliant.  I don't like the pressure of perfection so they can kick back.  

Then there's the matter of the attorney asking very long questions in the IP/tech/patent case.  Be no way I'd allow anyone to look at my screen in that type of case without being paid.  If there's any case that can afford it, several times over, it's IP/tech/patent.  

What I do during depo to stop wandering eyes is I bring up another page--Google, email, whatever--and I alt-tab between the two.  If I didn't want an interpreter looking at my real-time, I wouldn't have it available for them to view.

I only had that happen to me once, which was annoying.  I used to do a lot of worker comp depos with interpreters and had the best interpreters.  Once the law changed a few years ago where all interpreters had to be certified, it was horrible.  Their English was about as good as the witness, did not take notes, acted like I should know the spellings and would say they would try their best, would speak Spanish on the record, on and on.

"Their English was about as good as the witness" -- I agree and have noticed this lately, too, which is really odd to me. Some of the interpreters have accents that I could barely understand myself. I would have thought that court-certified interpreters would have higher qualifications/skills than noncertified. There are a select few I've worked with who are excellent, and they are always a pleasure to work with.

When I worked in the Bay Area I loved all the interpreters I worked with, which were not certified.  Even when I moved out to the Valley I loved all the interpreters.  It wasn't until the law changed where they had to be certified that all the interpreters that only worked in court (most of them) were doing depositions, and in my opinion, do not know how to do depos, and all have strong accents.


Well, what irked me was that one interpreter asked me: "Is it okay if I read from your screen? It's easier for me."


As a scopist who's never watched a reporter in action, excuse my ignorance on this question.

Can you shut your laptop and read back from the screen on your steno machine?  I have my laptop set to do nothing when I close the lid.  That would prevent anybody from following along for free.  If anybody has the nerve to ask you to open it, ask them to cut you a check for realtime services on the spot and you'll be happy to oblige.

See, this is one reason (of many) why I could never be a CR.  I don't like doing things requiring great skill at no cost.  I don't like dealing with lazy people.  I don't keep a straight face well and my eyes roll back in my head far too easily.  I love scoping.  My reporters appreciate my skill and passion for their transcripts, they aren't the least bit lazy in their work, and I can roll my eyes and make snarky comments to my heart's content in hidden notes. ;)

Shutting the screen on my laptop would not allow me to edit the transcript, which is my main gripe about interpreters interfering with my work when they have to read from my computer. I would also have to constantly upload new dictionaries onto my writer for me to be able to read from it, which is a pain to upload to the Diamante.

Well, there goes that idea. ;)

It's a real shame that some people don't have any pride in their work and want to mooch off of yours.


© 2024   Created by Kelli Combs (admin).   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service