We will spotlight legal language services on our blog in a series called “CETRA Legal Series”. In this series, we will feature the expertise needed to provide quality language services for the legal field.
In today’s inaugural edition of the series, we are spotlighting one of our preferred legal interpreters. Jola Bronstein is a Polish interpreter, who has significant experience as a freelance interpreter in the legal field. Jola was kind enough to participate in a Q&A with our web editor.
Q. How did you learn Polish?
A. I was born and raised in Poland. I’m a native speaker.
Q. Why focus on legal interpretation?
A. Until I ran out of money, I hoped to become an attorney.
Q. How does legal interpretation differ from interpretation for other industries, such as market research, medical or environmental science, or conferences/events?
A. The only other experience I have is medical and my dislike for it is palpable. I believe it’s part interest (none for the medical field) and part my unwillingness to watch patients struggle with health issues, especially children.
Q. How has being certified impacted your role as a legal interpreter?
A. I’m not certified yet, however, I am a qualified interpreter on the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) roster. To that end, I am the only Pennsylvania resident who appears on the roster for Polish. I do more work directly for counties.
Q. What are the main challenges with providing legal interpretation?
A. It’s always challenging when more than one person speaks. It’s prevalent during depositions and, sometimes, in courts when a judge loses control of it. Whereas I find the majority of judges kind and caring about interpreters, attorneys sometimes need to establish their dominance and have a jerky behavior. Since I’m confident in my ability to get things done quickly and accurately, I push back.
Q. What do you find most interesting or meaningful in your work as a legal interpreter?
A. Every case is different. Every case has its own challenges. Aside from interpreting, I thoroughly enjoy observing proceedings. It makes me tick.
A key take-away from our discussion with Jola is to stress the importance of engaging interpreters who specialize in the legal field and have an in-depth understanding of the needed terminology and the legal system in general. Jola, with her legal interest and specialization, checks these boxes. Plus, she has a genuine interest in the field and passion for interpreting. All of these add up to increased accuracy and a positive interpretation experience for clients.