Family Court Terminology

Anyone who has worked as a court interpreter knows that Family Court can be one of the most emotionally draining and upsetting settings in which to work. But apart from the often rancorous and emotionally charged proceedings, occasionally we also have to deal with dense legal jargon.

Here is a list of terms that came up in a hearing today that I haven’t used in quite some time. Fortunately, since I’m preparing for a certification exam, I’ve been reviewing and organizing my term bases so I wasn’t completely hung out to dry.

Without looking it up, do you know the expression in your working language(s) for these terms?

  • warning order attorney (In Kentucky, attorneys are appointed solely to attempt to contact the party and inform them of a pending lawsuit)
  • constructive service
  • memorandum of law
  • ex parte
  • express remedy
  • statutory construction
  • statutory criteria
  • waive statutory process

Here are a few other common(ly misused) terms. My working languages are English and Spanish. If you have other working languages, are these words equally tricky?

  • finding (decision, fallo, determinación but not hallazgo)
  • file (a petition) (presentar, entablar, interponer, but, in this instance, not archivar)
  • brief (escrito or escrito de conclusiones, not breve, and documento is too vague)
  • proof (pruebas, not evidencias)
  • argument (argumento if it’s oral, alegato if it’s written)

What are some other situations or settings where you’ve had to scramble to remember the right terminology or expression?

The Shallowness of Google Translate – The Atlantic

“The practical utility of Google Translate and similar technologies is undeniable, and probably a good thing overall, but there is still something deeply lacking in the approach, which is conveyed by a single word: understanding. Machine translation has never focused on understanding language.

The Shallowness of Google Translate – The Atlantic
— Read on

A Pivotal Time of Year – NAJIT

Autumn is pivotal because it has a “central role, function, or effect” on the rest of the calendar year. Summer has just ended, the winter months are coming, and squirrels everywhere are going crazy making preparations. For squirrels, the pivot is signaled by cooler temperatures, shorter days, and a rich harvest of acorns falling to the ground like manna from heaven. For translation and interpretation (T&I) professionals, the pivot is signaled by burgeoning investment in machine translation (MT) technology, striking advances in natural language processing (NLP), and the explosion of remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI) platforms. So… are you going crazy?
— Read on