The client was a female Vietnamese Chinese refugee with 3 years of primary school education and a gambling addiction. She was charged with murder of another Vietnamese woman who did not speak Cantonese, who wanted her money lent to the accused back.
The accused chose a Cantonese speaking interpreter instead of a Vietnamese interpreter, hoping the interpreter will be on her side, not the victim’s. Our accredited Cantonese interpreter sat next to the accused in the next 30 days of the trial.
She asked for earphones to be able to interpret the court proceeding simultaneously. She also asked for the court book at the very beginning so she could understand every piece of evidence herself. She lowered her speech register and explained legal concepts such as murder, manslaughter and defensive homicide as plainly as she could, to adapt to the education level of the accused. During court breaks, she even chatted with the accused about her current day-to-day prison life and how she got her Chinese food and hair cut, so that she could have a better insight into the accused’s Cantonese vocabulary and cognitive level, which could guide her to further tailor her interpreting to the accused’s level.
This is impartiality and perfectionism in practice.
[More about our Court Interpreting Service]