News

September 11, 2019 at 1:25 pm

Career Corner | Students Pioneer Court Interpreting, Translation Internship

From left, Dr. María Postigo with students Erika Hidalgo and Sarah Busken during their internship at the Franklin County Municipal Court.

From left, Dr. María Postigo with students Erika Hidalgo and Sarah Busken during their internship at the Franklin County Municipal Court.

Students Erika Hidalgo, a senior studying criminology, and Sarah Busken, a senior studying communication, successfully pioneered the OHIO-Franklin County Municipal Court Interpreting/Translation Internship during the summer of 2019.

Over the summer, Hidalgo and Busken wrote journals about the court cases with interpreters, worked on a legal terminology project and wrote a reflection. Even though the court is busy, the students also got to meet some of the judges, attorneys and interpreters.

The Franklin County Municipal Court is one of the largest and busiest municipal courts in the state of Ohio. More than 125,000 criminal, traffic and environmental cases can be filed in a year. Due process is important, which is why the court provides interpreting services in 45 languages for criminal and civil hearings, trials, motions and court functions. During the internship, Hidalgo “quickly realized that judges normally go through 70 to 80 cases per day.” Busken noticed that interpreters were scheduled to about 10 cases in one hour.

“Good interpreters are in high demand,” Busken says. “They interpret simultaneously everything that the judge, bailiff and all the attorneys say. They have knowledge of the court proceedings and know a lot of terminology. They not only bridge the language gap between the defendant and the judge, but they must be able to provide explanations in a lower register.”

Both students praised how impartial interpreters are. Interpreters are only present when there is a third party; they faithfully interpret what is being said, respecting the tone and register; and, they do not intervene or help the defendant, which can be very emotional. The students also pointed out how difficult interpreting can be when someone speaks too quickly or if there are side conversations.

Dr. María Postigo visits her students during the first OHIO-Franklin County Municipal Court Interpreting/Translation Internship this summer. From left: Dr. Postigo, two court interpreters, OHIO student interns Sarah Busken and Erika Hidalgo, one court interpreter, and the Lead Interpreter and Internship Supervisor Adriana Fonseca.

Dr. María Postigo visits her students during the first OHIO-Franklin County Municipal Court Interpreting/Translation Internship this summer. From left: Dr. Postigo, two court interpreters, OHIO student interns Sarah Busken and Erika Hidalgo, one court interpreter, and the Lead Interpreter and Internship Supervisor Adriana Fonseca.

Dr. María Postigo, Lecturer of Translation-Spanish in the Modern Languages Department, who is also a professional interpreter and translator, is very excited about the internship, which can open up new employment opportunities for OHIO graduate students. Busken and Hidalgo worked with Spanish, but the internship is open to all languages. Both students learned a lot during the first run of the internship and are eager to share their experiences with translation students. For more information, interested students should contact Postigo.

The OHIO-Franklin County Municipal Court Interpreting/Translation Internship is made possible thanks to the support from the OHIO Modern Languages Department and the Internship Committee, the Franklin County Municipal Court Interpreting Services and the Legal Research Department, and the Language Services Program Manager at the Supreme Court of Ohio.

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