Hi. I have an interpreter who spent a lot of the depo answering in the third person such as instead of "I work at Sams Club," he says, "He works at Sams Club." Because he cleans up his act in the second half, on the answers in the third person, I've been using collequey. Any advice about this?

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I think you have to write it as he says it, e.g., in colloquy, just as you have it. This is how I do it in that circumstance:

Q. What time did you arrive at the seminar?

INTERPRETER: He says he arrived at 8:45 a.m.

Q. And what was the first thing you did?

A. I had to go to the registration table.

Q. How long was the line at the table?

INTERPRETER: He said there was hardly any line at all, just one or two people ahead of him.

And so on.
Thank you so much. That's exactly what I'm doing. The attorney was getting so frustrated and I warned him I'd have to do it that way and he didn't say anything, but I just wanted to make sure.
You're welcome. I also think it was a good idea for you to have told the attorney what to expect when he got the transcript since it's potentially controversial. Some attorneys might feel the transcript was padded when they saw that. So it was very good to head that off by bringing it out in the open -- and to have set up an atmosphere in the depo where such communication came naturally.
I agree with the way you have this. I also for the interpreter I have A. (I), and a blurb at the beginning to let them know that it means answered through the interpreter. That way when the witness pipes up in English, there's no confusion. I write it with the answer and long I, and it works great. We have so many non-English speaking witnesses here, and they always know a little English, so it gets a little crazy. But, at least when you look at the transcript, it may not be pretty, but you know what's going on1!

i had an attorney correct a new interpreter and say that he has to speak in first person.
Katiana --

Did the attorney correct the interpreter on the record?
Exactly the advice I would have given. And I've done it before too. What a pain. I've talked to interpreters on breaks and explained the correct procedure, usually brand-new, noncertified ones.
Ditto with Deborah and Cathryn. :-)
I've never had an interpeter do this, but some attorneys are really bad about it. "Ask him how long he worked at such and such?"

The worst is when the witness knows enough English to make everything confusing, either answering before the witness interprets the whole question or answering partly in English.

It seems like interpreter depos would be so easy and they are from a writing standpoint, but figuring out how to make the transcript clear and readable can be a nightmare.

Before you even start, when you ask the interpreter for his/her name also ask for the certification number.

At least in CA, only a certified interpreter can interpret at a deposition.

If the interpreter is not certified raise the issue with the hiring party.

I'm not sure this is true.  I've had plenty of interpreters who aren't certifying translating depositions in California.


And the other thing when they use third person, it sounds more like they're paraphrasing and not interpreting exactly what the witness is saying, so it definitely belongs in the colloquy format.

I agree with Kyung.  In California I'm pretty sure they can stipulate to use whoever they want as an interpreter.  Unfortunately for us, it makes it much hard when it is a relative with a very heavy accent.   And for some languages and dialects you can't always find an interpeter.   I absolutely love simultaneous translation. 

I still remember a highly technical string of depos I had years ago where there was one interpreter, then each side had their "check interpreter" to make sure everything got translated right.   Luckily they were all very cordial and professional.  At breaks all three interpreters would discuss what were the best words to use.   The worst part was I was lucky to get 100 pages per day with all the off the record discussions. 


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