Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Linguistic and paralinguistic aspects in legal interpretation: some strategies and programs

Carmen Valero Garcés



In Spain the increase in minorities who speak different languages and come from different cultures has, on a social level, given rise to a growing sense of concern with regard to their integration into society, and, at the judicial level, when it comes to regulating their stay in the country. However, in my opinion, there is one aspect that is being overlooked in official circles: the lack of attention to the immigrants' linguistic problems and the need for competent interpreters. First, I will analyze a few examples of legal translation and interpretation taken from court rooms; then, I will explain briefly some programs on community interpreting, and will analyze the role of the interpreter as well, the result of which could wind up causing a different or even the opposite social/psychological effect on the receiver. I will make references, primarily, to United States federal, state, and municipal court cases because it is there that a Spanish-English interpreter is most often needed, for the very fact that Spanish is the most widely spoken language after the official language. All of this is done with the idea of calling attention to the need for the creation of training programs for legal interpreters.


Interpretación; Lenguaje y cultura; Traducción simultánea; Proceso judicial; Inmigrantes


Copyright (c) 1996 Carmen Valero Garcés

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