Are Appeals Inevitable?
On 7th February, in the second week of Applied Language Solutions in action, I met a female Polish ALS interpreter at Huntingdon Crown Court. This lady didn’t hide the fact that she had no interpreting qualifications whatsoever and had never been on the NRPSI. She also said she had never interpreted at a Crown Court (or any court) before.
I listened to part of the consecutive interpreting during the cross-examination of the defendant and then to the simultaneous interpreting throughout the rest of the proceedings right to the end of the closing speeches.
I was very disappointed and concerned about the quality of the interpreting I heard. The consecutive interpreting was grammatically incorrect and very inaccurate. The simultaneous interpreting was very vague and incomplete. I would say that only a fifth of what was being said in court was interpreted to the defendant. I was sitting right behind the defendant and the interpreter and could hear quite well. At one point instead of interpreting what the Judge was saying, the interpreter was telling the defendant that she thought the Judge was nice and sympathetic towards the defendant's case.
Moreover, the interpreter did not interpret in the first person, she only spoke to the defendant by his first name and referred to the Judge as 'him' when interpreting the Judge's questions.
Could such bad interpreting substantiate grounds for an appeal?