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CERTIFIED SPANISH INTERPRETER: You're Only There To Interpret, Not Give Your Opinion

About this video 

Gregoria is a certified court interpreter. Her languages are English and Spanish. Gregoria shares her story about what it's like to be a court interpreter and goes into detail about her daily routine and the challenges she faces everyday. Gregoria also talks about how she got into interpreting. Her story is not an unusual one because immigrant children usually pick up languages much faster than their parents. Gregoria also talks about what she's learned as an interpreter -- it's a lesson all interpreters should take to heart.

Job Title: Certified Court Interpreter

Job Summary: Interpreters and Translators

Job Description

Interpreters and translators convert information from one language to another. Interpreters work in spoken or sign language, translators in written language.

On-the-Job Training

Moderate-term on-the-job training

Additional Info

Although degree of study may vary, interpreters and translators generally need specialized training, available at colleges and universities nationwide and through training programs, conferences, and courses.

Certification Requirement
Recommended by the American Translators Association.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$20,000 - $90,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
40 to 50 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Irregular, Varies Widely
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Office, Remote, Indoor
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Written communication skills, Verbal communication skills, People skills, Public speaking ability

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='0'>I</span> <span m='432'>am</span> <span m='864'>a</span> <span m='1296'>certified</span> <span m='2310'>court</span> <span m='2560'>interpreter.</span> <span m='3762'>I only</span> <span m='4160'>interpret</span> <span m='4465'>from</span> <span m='5230'>Spanish</span> <span m='5760'>to</span> <span m='5910'>English</span> <span m='6390'>or</span> <span m='6560'>English</span> <span m='6870'>to</span> <span m='7220'>Spanish.</span> <span m='7570'>A</span> <span m='7780'>typical</span> <span m='8119'>day</span> <span m='8290'>for</span> <span m='8450'>me</span> <span m='8810'>starts</span> <span m='9470'>at</span> <span m='9700'>8:00</span> <span m='9850'>o'clock</span> <span m='10330'>when</span> <span m='10640'>I</span> <span m='11020'>check</span> <span m='11260'>into</span> <span m='11520'>my</span> <span m='11860'>coordinator's</span> <span m='12180'>office.</span> <span m='13590'>We</span> <span m='13730'>call</span> <span m='13920'>them</span> <span m='14070'>coordinators,</span> <span m='15140'>because</span> <span m='15480'>they</span> <span m='15840'>coordinate,</span> <span m='17360'>not</span> <span m='17710'>supervisors.</span> <span m='19370'>I</span> <span m='19700'>receive</span> <span m='20840'>three</span> <span m='21100'>calendars</span> <span m='21740'>usually,</span> <span m='22250'>which</span> <span m='22500'>means</span> <span m='22720'>that</span> <span m='22830'>I</span> <span m='22900'>will</span> <span m='23040'>be</span> <span m='23200'>interpreting</span> <span m='23640'>in</span> <span m='24030'>three</span> <span m='24220'>different</span> <span m='24580'>court</span> <span m='24940'>rooms.</span> <span m='25840'>A</span> <span m='25960'>typical</span> <span m='26380'>day</span> <span m='26650'>would</span> <span m='26960'>be</span> <span m='27360'>starting</span> <span m='27780'>off</span> <span m='28060'>in</span> <span m='28340'>a</span> <span m='28440'>criminal</span> <span m='28860'>department,</span> <span m='29600'>and</span> <span m='30800'>you</span> <span m='31060'>could</span> <span m='31200'>have</span> <span m='31440'>anything</span> <span m='31900'>from</span> <span m='32280'>the</span> <span m='32390'>drug</span> <span m='32850'>department</span> <span m='33730'>or</span> <span m='34400'>domestic</span> <span m='34720'>violence</span> <span m='35120'>department.</span> </p><p><span m='35830'>And</span> <span m='36780'>in</span> <span m='36900'>the</span> <span m='37020'>afternoon,</span> <span m='37460'>you</span> <span m='37590'>could</span> <span m='37770'>end</span> <span m='37970'>up</span> <span m='38200'>doing</span> <span m='39640'>a</span> <span m='39750'>murderer</span> <span m='40760'>preliminary</span> <span m='41590'>examination,</span> <span m='42540'>where</span> <span m='43470'>you</span> <span m='43690'>are</span> <span m='43990'>parachuted.</span> <span m='45900'>And</span> <span m='46100'>I</span> <span m='46170'>say</span> <span m='46420'>parachuted,</span> <span m='47020'>because</span> <span m='47280'>you</span> <span m='47380'>get</span> <span m='47680'>no</span> <span m='47830'>prior</span> <span m='48270'>information.</span> <span m='49050'>They</span> <span m='49260'>just</span> <span m='49650'>say,</span> <span m='50360'>go</span> <span m='50540'>to</span> <span m='50760'>court</span> <span m='51020'>room</span> <span m='51270'>one.</span> <span m='52150'>You</span> <span m='52415'>arrive,</span> <span m='53400'>and</span> <span m='53590'>they</span> <span m='53740'>say</span> <span m='53930'>we</span> <span m='54080'>have</span> <span m='54350'>this</span> <span m='54580'>witness</span> <span m='55210'>who's</span> <span m='55480'>going</span> <span m='55640'>to</span> <span m='55720'>take</span> <span m='55950'>the</span> <span m='56030'>stand</span> <span m='56680'>to</span> <span m='56980'>testify,</span> <span m='58410'>and</span> <span m='58610'>you</span> <span m='58720'>as</span> <span m='58920'>the</span> <span m='59020'>interpreter,</span> <span m='60430'>don't</span> <span m='60670'>even</span> <span m='61020'>get</span> <span m='61270'>the</span> <span m='61370'>courtesy</span> <span m='62010'>of</span> <span m='62240'>knowing</span> <span m='62770'>is</span> <span m='63020'>this</span> <span m='63210'>a</span> <span m='63270'>murder</span> <span m='63720'>charge,</span> <span m='64269'>is</span> <span m='64540'>this</span> <span m='64879'>a</span> <span m='65340'>rape,</span> <span m='65770'>is</span> <span m='65970'>this</span> <span m='66090'>a</span> <span m='66180'>burglary.</span> <span m='67030'>You</span> <span m='67180'>know</span> <span m='68010'>nothing,</span> <span m='68850'>except</span> <span m='69380'>that</span> <span m='69580'>you</span> <span m='69910'>have to go on</span> <span m='70250'>witness</span> <span m='70570'>stand</span> <span m='70970'>right</span> <span m='71300'>now.</span> </p><p><span m='72270'>So</span> <span m='72400'>you</span> <span m='72500'>have</span> <span m='72660'>to</span> <span m='72740'>be</span> <span m='72840'>very</span> <span m='73030'>good</span> <span m='73170'>at</span> <span m='73260'>public</span> <span m='73700'>speaking.</span> <span m='74330'>You</span> <span m='74500'>can't</span> <span m='74950'>be</span> <span m='75270'>intimidated</span> <span m='76360'>by</span> <span m='77040'>people</span> <span m='77310'>looking</span> <span m='77620'>at</span> <span m='77800'>you,</span> <span m='78700'>and</span> <span m='79230'>a</span> <span m='79620'>lot of</span> <span m='79690'>times,</span> <span m='80360'>the</span> <span m='81340'>witnesses</span> <span m='82010'>are</span> <span m='82110'>also</span> <span m='82350'>victims.</span> <span m='82850'>So</span> <span m='83290'>then</span> <span m='83480'>you</span> <span m='84180'>are</span> <span m='84270'>speaking</span> <span m='84740'>for</span> <span m='84890'>people</span> <span m='85360'>who</span> <span m='85490'>don't</span> <span m='85920'>even</span> <span m='86230'>want</span> <span m='86370'>to</span> <span m='86540'>be</span> <span m='86760'>there,</span> <span m='87670'>and</span> <span m='87960'>you</span> <span m='88080'>are</span> <span m='88280'>the</span> <span m='88350'>bridge,</span> <span m='89020'>the</span> <span m='89130'>conduit</span> <span m='90100'>of</span> <span m='90190'>communication.</span> <span m='91420'>So</span> <span m='91560'>that</span> <span m='91840'>is</span> <span m='92010'>what</span> <span m='92160'>a</span> <span m='92230'>typical</span> <span m='92630'>day</span> <span m='92880'>usually</span> <span m='93950'>looks</span> <span m='94250'>like</span> <span m='94440'>for</span> <span m='95140'>me</span> <span m='95410'>in</span> <span m='95590'>my</span> <span m='95740'>court.</span> </p><p><span m='96430'>I've</span> <span m='96730'>always</span> <span m='97070'>been</span> <span m='97380'>an</span> <span m='97480'>interpreter</span> <span m='98040'>really.</span> <span m='98560'>I</span> <span m='99000'>have</span> <span m='99360'>always</span> <span m='99700'>interpreted</span> <span m='100130'>for</span> <span m='100270'>my</span> <span m='100390'>parents.</span> <span m='102240'>I</span> <span m='102350'>was</span> <span m='102590'>born</span> <span m='102780'>in</span> <span m='102870'>Mexico.</span> <span m='103380'>I</span> <span m='103470'>grew</span> <span m='103620'>up</span> <span m='103760'>in</span> <span m='103840'>Mexico.</span> <span m='104370'>Since</span> <span m='105000'>I</span> <span m='105140'>was</span> <span m='105310'>10</span> <span m='105500'>years</span> <span m='105730'>old,</span> <span m='105940'>I</span> <span m='105980'>have</span> <span m='106180'>lived</span> <span m='106610'>in</span> <span m='107000'>Northern</span> <span m='107480'>California,</span> <span m='108800'>and</span> <span m='109720'>I</span> <span m='109880'>always</span> <span m='110070'>had</span> <span m='110180'>to</span> <span m='110270'>interpret</span> <span m='110650'>for</span> <span m='110770'>my</span> <span m='110910'>mom</span> <span m='111490'>at</span> <span m='111700'>the</span> <span m='111790'>DMV.</span> <span m='112550'>I always</span> <span m='112810'>had</span> <span m='112980'>to</span> <span m='113090'>interpret</span> <span m='113670'>at</span> <span m='113830'>JC</span> <span m='114130'>Penney.</span> <span m='114590'>I</span> <span m='114710'>always</span> <span m='114930'>had</span> <span m='115090'>to</span> <span m='115180'>interpret</span> <span m='115670'>at the</span> <span m='115860'>doctor's</span> <span m='116340'>office.</span> </p><p><span m='117230'>So</span> <span m='117540'>it</span> <span m='117650'>was</span> <span m='117880'>very</span> <span m='118630'>natural.</span> <span m='119590'>It</span> <span m='119800'>was</span> <span m='120440'>innate,</span> <span m='121420'>and</span> <span m='121620'>it</span> <span m='121760'>was</span> <span m='121930'>unavoidable.</span> <span m='123150'>So</span> <span m='123960'>it</span> <span m='124010'>turns</span> <span m='124310'>out</span> <span m='124660'>that</span> <span m='124800'>I</span> <span m='124930'>really</span> <span m='125320'>like</span> <span m='125560'>doing</span> <span m='125910'>it.</span> <span m='126290'>And</span> <span m='126740'>when</span> <span m='127180'>people</span> <span m='127500'>would</span> <span m='127640'>ask</span> <span m='127900'>you</span> <span m='128100'>at</span> <span m='128280'>the</span> <span m='128360'>store,</span> <span m='129680'>[SPEAKING SPANISH].</span> <span m='130880'>And</span> <span m='131313'>you'd</span> <span m='131746'>say,</span> <span m='132180'>si.</span> <span m='132570'>And</span> <span m='132820'>then</span> <span m='133210'>you</span> <span m='133400'>get</span> <span m='133720'>such</span> <span m='133960'>an</span> <span m='134640'>awesome</span> <span m='135110'>feeling,</span> <span m='135720'>like</span> <span m='135970'>you</span> <span m='136070'>really</span> <span m='136490'>are</span> <span m='136660'>helping</span> <span m='137020'>somebody</span> <span m='137440'>when</span> <span m='137630'>you</span> <span m='137720'>help</span> <span m='139410'>bridge</span> <span m='140680'>the</span> <span m='141050'>gap</span> <span m='141570'>of</span> <span m='141700'>communication.</span> <span m='142840'>So</span> <span m='143400'>that's</span> <span m='143800'>when</span> <span m='143970'>I</span> <span m='144040'>knew,</span> <span m='144410'>I</span> <span m='144510'>think</span> <span m='144810'>I</span> <span m='144840'>must</span> <span m='145070'>have</span> <span m='145130'>been</span> <span m='145290'>around</span> <span m='145730'>11</span> <span m='146450'>when</span> <span m='146610'>I</span> <span m='146740'>said,</span> <span m='146980'>I</span> <span m='147140'>want</span> <span m='147420'>to</span> <span m='147500'>do</span> <span m='147740'>this,</span> <span m='148280'>but</span> <span m='148690'>who's</span> <span m='148850'>going</span> <span m='148960'>to</span> <span m='149030'>pay</span> <span m='149220'>me</span> <span m='149370'>for</span> <span m='149500'>doing</span> <span m='149880'>this?</span> </p><p><span m='150450'>What</span> <span m='150710'>I</span> <span m='150830'>certainly</span> <span m='151440'>did</span> <span m='151630'>not</span> <span m='151870'>know</span> <span m='152500'>was</span> <span m='153000'>that</span> <span m='153720'>there</span> <span m='153930'>are</span> <span m='154110'>ethical</span> <span m='154610'>requirements</span> <span m='155680'>that</span> <span m='155960'>limit</span> <span m='156400'>what</span> <span m='156600'>you</span> <span m='156710'>can</span> <span m='156890'>do</span> <span m='157060'>as</span> <span m='157200'>an</span> <span m='157290'>interpreter.</span> <span m='158760'>The</span> <span m='159140'>ethics</span> <span m='159780'>manual</span> <span m='161130'>in</span> <span m='161310'>a</span> <span m='161390'>nutshell</span> <span m='161890'>tells</span> <span m='162160'>you</span> <span m='162310'>that</span> <span m='162590'>you</span> <span m='162780'>are</span> <span m='163060'>only</span> <span m='163520'>a</span> <span m='163670'>machine</span> <span m='164280'>that</span> <span m='164550'>plays</span> <span m='164840'>in</span> <span m='165050'>the</span> <span m='165240'>other</span> <span m='165640'>language,</span> <span m='166890'>and</span> <span m='167120'>that</span> <span m='167320'>the</span> <span m='167480'>other</span> <span m='167740'>language</span> <span m='168460'>goes</span> <span m='168750'>through</span> <span m='168890'>you</span> <span m='169130'>to</span> <span m='169330'>come</span> <span m='169650'>out</span> <span m='170180'>the</span> <span m='170440'>other</span> <span m='170850'>end</span> <span m='171580'>in</span> <span m='171840'>the</span> <span m='172130'>target</span> <span m='172550'>language.</span> <span m='173890'>And</span> <span m='174200'>the</span> <span m='174380'>ethics</span> <span m='175350'>has</span> <span m='176930'>limited</span> <span m='178090'>me</span> <span m='178320'>what</span> <span m='178470'>I</span> <span m='178540'>can</span> <span m='178760'>do.</span> <span m='179000'>I</span> <span m='179130'>thought</span> <span m='179430'>that</span> <span m='179580'>as an</span> <span m='179710'>interpreter</span> <span m='180170'>I</span> <span m='180370'>could</span> <span m='180970'>just</span> <span m='181890'>counsel</span> <span m='182260'>people,</span> <span m='182740'>and</span> <span m='183040'>that</span> <span m='183180'>I</span> <span m='183290'>could</span> <span m='184390'>give</span> <span m='184750'>them</span> <span m='184940'>remedies,</span> <span m='185710'>and</span> <span m='185820'>that</span> <span m='185960'>I</span> <span m='186150'>could</span> <span m='187320'>come</span> <span m='187520'>up</span> <span m='187620'>with</span> <span m='187760'>solutions,</span> <span m='188430'>but</span> <span m='188590'>you</span> <span m='188670'>can't.</span> <span m='189400'>You're</span> <span m='189590'>only</span> <span m='189890'>there</span> <span m='190370'>to</span> <span m='191200'>interpret</span> <span m='192100'>what</span> <span m='192320'>one</span> <span m='192580'>person</span> <span m='192860'>says</span> <span m='193280'>to</span> <span m='193430'>the</span> <span m='193580'>other</span> <span m='194380'>and</span> <span m='194620'>not</span> <span m='195770'>give</span> <span m='196060'>your</span> <span m='196240'>opinion</span> <span m='196760'>or</span> <span m='196820'>roll</span> <span m='197060'>your</span> <span m='197300'>eyes,</span> <span m='198240'>or</span> <span m='198480'>laugh</span> <span m='198820'>if</span> <span m='199160'>it's</span> <span m='199360'>funny.</span> <span m='199820'>You</span> <span m='199970'>are</span> <span m='200070'>simply</span> <span m='201080'>the</span> <span m='201260'>bridge.</span> <span m='201860'>That's</span> <span m='202160'>all.</span> </p>","file":{"id":305203,"video_id":"2785933391001","name":"1364-Gregoria-p-CertifiedInterpreter-Spanish","duration":202827,"thumbnail_url":null}});