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After I wrote that, I realized that “how not to ask for repetitions” could be taken two ways, so I’d like to address both of them.

Part I: How Not to Need Repetitions.

1. Practice your active listening skills. 2. Train yourself to understand different accents (in both your working languages). 3. Buy sound-enhancing equipment for yourself, so you can hear better. 4. Understand the law, case law, and court processes so you can make a good educated guess at something you aren’t sure if you heard or not. (For example, memorizing possible sentences associated with certain crimes.) 5. Learn to talk faster. I suggest tongue twisters and shadowing the news. 6. Work on the Stare of Death you can give the chatterbox who’s standing behind you (not a party to the case). 7. Practice gestures and body language that will help you control the flow of witness testimony so you don’t forget long segments … 8. … but also strengthen your short-term memory and note-taking skills so you can remember longer segments.

I’ve been working as a staff interpreter for a long time in various jurisdictions, so I’ve hired freelance interpreters (of languages from Achi to Zuni) hundreds of times—probably thousands. And let’s face it: every court has its favorites. For any language for which a court has multiple options, certain freelancers (or agencies, but that’s another subject) will be the go-to when there’s a big assignment, or a last-minute one, or a vacation to be covered. Well-meaning administrative offices try to encourage or enforce a fair rotation, but there will always be someone who has an extra edge. A question asked by prospective and working freelance interpreters alike is often: how can I get more work? Or the flip side: is there really enough work for me? So here’s the answer: There may not be enough work for everyone, but there will always be enough work for those who go the extra mile to make working with them a pleasure. So how do you become one of those people? Let’s see:

- By Armando Ezquerra Hasbun © 2016 Professional interpreters are aware that the scope of their rendition starts and ends with the source message. Accuracy and completeness are the primary considerations. But what about the standards of practice for intervening?  Our ongoing efforts to elevate our...