19 Sep The Wealthy Interpreter – Basking in the Wealth of Interpreting: A Different Point of View
* Maria Teresa Perez is a Spanish language interpreter. She has been a certified Spanish interpreter since 1996, previously applying her skills in California, and now as a Staff Interpreter with the Superior Court of New Jersey, Mercer County Vicinage. In her spare time, Maria Teresa loves to travel abroad, and enjoys music and the arts. This post began as a guest post, and I’m pleased to announce Maria is the now the newest member of the blog team. – Kevin
I was inspired by a quote that I recently saw from an article titled: “The Richness of Rituals,” which read as follows:
“When judges and lawyers see me walk into a courtroom, I want them to see a very strong, very self-assured interpreter. I have just realized that with my rituals I am strengthening my own sense of identity and connecting with the power within me to be exactly who I want to be.” (Janis Palma https://najit.org/blog/?p=2188)
I agree with the concept of the importance of the image projected to the judges and attorneys by a court interpreter, which demonstrates competence in the profession. Although the impression made on judges and lawyers by the court interpreter is very important and rewarding, those impressions should go deeper, in my opinion; they should extend to the witnesses, litigants, and the general public, as well.
As those involved in the judicial process see an interpreter walk into a courtroom, they too, should see in that person the strength, self-assurance, identity, and the ability that the interpreter possesses to facilitate the interpreting process. When judges and lawyers and those involved in the judicial system see a nervous witness end his testimony confident, knowing that he did what he came to do, that he said what he came to say– that is strengthening and important. When they see a battered wife leaving the courtroom under the court’s protection, confident that she will be alright– that is self-assuring and important. When a mother, whose baby has been taken from her, comes back before the court reporting great progress at home, joyful in the reunification of her family–that is rewarding and important. When we see the mother of a juvenile bragging to the court about how bright her child is, and how, even with an ankle bracelet, her child is loved, missed, and wanted back home– that is important.
The purpose of interpreting is not just to benefit those who speak a foreign language, and not just an opportunity for the interpreter to show off their skills. When I see judges, lawyers, mediators, probation officers, court clerks, law clerk and litigants, smiling with confidence because their message was understood, that is truly a gratifying experience. For me, that is when I connect with my inner self, and know that I am exactly the person I want to be; that is when I truly shine.
When I walk into a courtroom feeling strong, connected, and self-assured, I am “the wealthy interpreter,” indeed.