Solo and Small Firm

The Practitioner Winter 2020, Volume 26, Issue 1

The Legal Ramifications of Interpreting and Translating

By Barry Schreiber, Esq.

Barry Schreiber is the California based partner of the Israel law firm, https://www.ogblaw.co.il/home. Barry is also the Marketing and Networking Director for Allied interpreting and translating services. www.alliedinterpreting.com Barry has practiced law for over 49 years, licensed in Florida-1971, Israel-1997.

In this article, we’ll bring to light the awareness of an area in the practice of law that we, as lawyers, may have overlooked or taken for granted. Upon reading this article, you will obtain a greater understanding of those who speak languages other than English and how culture expresses in language, the uniqueness of the speaker and their knowledge of the world, as it relates to the practice of law. The information can be used in various ways: from the office to meetings and sharing life with others, whose mother tongue is not English.

Imagine yourself waking up one day, stepping out of your home, eager to start the day. You walk to the corner cafe to grab your morning cup of Joe, and not one word you say is understood. Flustered, you try your best to order, your hands gesturing, even animating an invisible cup to your lips. There in front of you stands the server with an expression of confusion. Then suddenly you realize, you’re in another country on a business trip and you’re ordering in your mother tongue. You shake your head embarrassed at your mistake, wishing you had an interpreter so that you can have that cup of Joe you so desperately wanted.

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