ALS interpreter "too risky" for Worthing Magistrates'
I was booked by solicitors in a family court and they always book another interpreter - Court interpreter (waste of money, to my mind, but there you are - rules, apparently). The case had to start at 9:30, everyone, 7 people, not including the legal adviser, the Magistrates and the defendant, arrived at 9:00 sharp, as agreed. The court interpreter was nowhere to be seen. The legal adviser kept calling ALS and at first she was told that a male interpreter (his name was supplied too) was on his way already. In an hour's time they promised that a lady interpreter was about to get off the train in Worthing. The magistrates became quite restless at that point.
The "interpreter" arrived at 11:05. She started her quality interpreting by interpreting one sentence out of five, replacing words she didn't know with similar words, sometimes not that similar. She thought that Addaction was a person's name and made a mess of the whole thing. Apparently, my face was a picture, as during the lunch break the local authority's barrister asked me if I was shaking my head because I didn't agree with what was being said or because I thought there was something wrong with interpreting. My reply was that I had no idea I was making any movements with my head, but I would always be impartial to what is being said in Court, as my job is to interpret only. So they made an educated guess it was my reaction to interpreting. The defendant confirmed he was listening to what had been said in English, as interpretation made no sense... The "quality linguist" expressed her indignation and disagreement, but the Court decided it would be too risky to allow her to interpret for the defendant giving his evidence and adjourned the case and summoned me to the magistrates room where they listened to everything I had to say about the "interpreter " in case and about the whole situation with ALS. They made notes and were horrified when I wished them luck with getting a better interpreter, as all qualified Lithuanian interpreters but one are on the anti - ALS list. By the way, the girl said she negotiated her payment, was paid travel time and expenses and refused to say what her qualifications were