For Better or Verse – Get An Interpreter. Now!

By Hal Sillers

Get An Interpreter. Now!

We need an interpreter. Yes. Right away!
Spanish, Russian, Somali or maybe K’iche’
Which language is needed? Does it matter?
Get someone here to translate the chatter.

Call up the guy who interpreted with ease
Hearings this morning. Was he Chuukese?
Why are you sure that he can’t do Karén?
It’s a foreign language. Just get him again!

Judge is impatient and calendar’s slowing.
You better get someone to keep it flowing.
And, by the way, the attorney’s quite cool,
He is bilingual; took French in high school.

We could not request this sometime ago,
As it came up just now, so we didn’t know.
Interpret by phone? Yes. I guess he could.
Our old speakerphone ought to be good.

Now. how do we get the paperwork done?
Also by phone? Oh, geeez! That’ll be fun!
We have to be there? Can’t he do it alone?
Why did we get this interpreter by phone?

We are not too sure when we’ll call this file.
The interpreter can wait. We’ll call in a while.
We have lots of cases; courtroom is pulsating.
What? There’ll be a charge, even for waiting?

We need an interpreter dispensing machine.
Just like the one where we get our caffeine.
This interpreter stuff puts the court in a bind.
Wait! He’s speaking English…So, never mind.

[Hal Sillers is a MN state and federally certified interpreter of Spanish and frequent contributor to this column. Hal is also the Staff Interpreter for the MN 8th Judicial District.]

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