How to Become a Court Interpreter in the UK

Court interpreting is a serious business; you need to be able to think on your feet and be able to interpret across a wide range of specific legal matters. You will also need an in-depth understanding of the specific country legal system interprete. Court interpreters help defendants, witnesses, victims and litigants who have limited or nonexistent English. It’s a responsibility that local and national authorities take seriously to make sure everyone is treated fairly.

Personal Requirements

· Court interpreters must feel confident about speaking in public; performing in Court can be extremely intimidating. You have to be able to speak loud and clear.

· Must have a flexible approach to language since speech is usually less predictable than the written word.

· You must have a high standard of education and total mastery of your mother tongue in a style appropriate to the subject.

· Mastery of one but preferably more foreign languages; you must have a thorough knowledge of the institutions, culture, attitudes and practices in the countries where that language is spoken.

Interpretation Studies

The first step is to study Translation and interpretation. The following universities and colleges offer Translation & Interpretation Studies:

· University of East Anglia

· Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

· Hull College

· New College Nottingham

· The University of Salford

· University of Wolverhampton

You can also find postgraduate diplomas and Masters in interpreting, some combining it with translation. Universities to look at include Bath, Leeds, Manchester, Westminster and the University of Central Lancashire.

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