Convergence, Contact and Interaction
Edited By Eugenia Dal Fovo and Paola Gentile
5 Legal Interpreting and Translation in Belgium: A Crossover Profession (Emmanuelle Gallez / Franciska Vanoverberghe)
Emmanuelle Gallez and Franciska Vanoverberghe
5 Legal Interpreting and Translation in Belgium: A Crossover Profession
Legal interpreting is a multifaceted profession, which requires a wide range of skills. Legal interpreters must be able, among others, to translate legal monologues in the whispered mode, dialogues in the consecutive mode and to sight translate various types of written documents. They have to do this at different levels of jurisdiction and/or in different courts and tribunals (civil, penal). They are also called upon to work in different judicial settings, such as police stations, prisons, or to act as an intermediate between lawyers and clients. Moreover, they are often constrained, for economic reasons, to fulfill complementary interpreting or translation assignments. This article offers a detailed description of the different linguistic activities – such as translation – the legal interpreters undertake besides their core activities in the courtroom, within or outside the legal context. Data are gathered through a survey sent to members of a professional association for Belgian legal interpreters and translators, of both the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking part of the country. It was answered by 52 respondents. One of the main goals of the study is to show the variety of tasks legal interpreters (and translators) carry out. The second is to describe the varied skills needed to perform those tasks and the challenges and particularities they encounter at the workplace. The third is to assess their job satisfaction. The conclusion of this small-scale study is that legal...
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