Court Translator Jobs

Court translators (sometimes called judiciary translators) typically prepare legal documents for those who cannot read English.

Likewise, court or judiciary interpreters facilitate verbal communication for people with limited English skills within a legal setting. As one would expect, legal translators and interpreters must be very familiar with both legal and judicial terminology as well as the U.S. court system. To facilitate intercultural understanding, it is also preferable that court translators and interpreters are familiar with legal systems of other countries (those of their clients, for example).

While court translators usually perform document translation remotely (freelance) or work in a government office, court interpreters work face-to-face with clients, lawyers and judges in the courtroom, during client-attorney meetings, depositions, etc. Sometimes court interpreters are called on to perform “sight translation” – on the spot verbal translation of documents written in another language. There are many trained lawyers who also work as legal translators or interpreters.

Both local and federal government offices use translators and interpreters for a variety of documents and events. While working for the government, translators often translate contracts, legal forms, press releases, websites, campaign materials, politician’s bios, interview transcripts or speeches. Interpreters are used at conferences, speeches, or on conference calls. Conference interpreters work at conferences in the fields of international business or diplomacy.

Potential employers give preference to experienced interpreters who can interpret in and out of 3 or more languages.

The United Nations has many opportunities for both translators and interpreters (document translation, interpreting at international conferences and meetings, etc.). Those interested in working for the UN should possess superior language skills, hold a university degree (from a U.S. or international institution) and be ready to prove their proficiency through a series of rigorous standardized translation and interpreting exams given at specific locations in the U.S. (mostly New York) and abroad. Click here for more information on working for the United Nations as a translator or interpreter.

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