We talked about how sometimes simple phrases are hard to remember after interpreting legal vocabulary all day. It is also important to remember using not only the right words, but also the right grammar. I had to interpret these Spanish phrases and they made me think about the importance of context and meaning. Below are some or the phrases we discussed at the meeting:
1. Me fui a escondidas (secretly; without telling anyone)
2. Quiero que mi hija esté tranquila (security)
3. Nunca nos faltó nada (all needs met)
4. Mi madre puede estar bien tranquila que nunca le va a faltar nada
5. Siempre estuvo presente como padre (may not mean physical presence)
6. De repente levanté la vista y estaba allí parada (may be a stopped car or a person standing!)
7. Me lo llevé por delante (run over is too strong; bump into is too light)
8. El ultimo orejón del tarro (last one chosen)
9. My shoes are too tight (me aprietan)
10. You won’t get another bite of the apple
Title 11, Chapter 5, Sub-chapter III
Arson- incendio intencional
Reckless Burning- incendio por negligencia temeraria
Criminal Mischief- daño de propiedad o bienes
Tresspassing with intent to peer or peep- entrada no autorizada [a propiedad privada] con el propósito de atisbar lascivamente
Criminal Trespass- entrada no autorizada
Burglary- violación de propiedad/ v. de domicilio
Home Invasion- invasión de domicilio/violación de domicilio con propósito de cometer crimen o crímenes violentos
Possession of burglar’s tools or instruments facilitating theft- tenencia de herramientas para penetrar propiedad privada o de elementos para cometer fraude
Carjacking- asalto de vehículo automotor
Shoplifting- hurto en tienda/llevarse mercadería sin pagar/ratería
Use of illegimate retail sales receipt or Universal Product Code Label- uso fraudulento de recibo o etiqueta codificada
Theft of a motor vehicle- hurto de vehiculo automotor
Theft: Organized retail crime- hurto organizado en tienda [al por menor/minorista]
Possession or theft of a prescription form or a pad- posesion/hurto de receta o talonario de recetas medicas (en blanco)
Theft; lost or mislaid property; mistaken delivery- hurto de mercancia olvidada/abandonada; recibida por error/ entrega a destinatario equivocado
Memory: Ways to Keep it Strong
First: How to Read The Code
At out meeting we translated the names and descriptions of the offenses included in this section. The glossary is included below. We decided to consult with the courthouse librarian to understand the numbers, names, and symbols included in the code.
First, the librarian pointed out the distinction between The Laws of Delaware and the Delaware Code. The Laws of Delaware are a compilation of the official acts of each session of the Delaware General Assembly. They are presented in multiple volumes and include annotations. The Delaware Code is what we were reading. There are 31 titles in the Delaware Code.
Crimes and Criminal Procedure Delaware Criminal Code
CHAPTER 5. SPECIFIC OFFENSES
Subchapter III. Offenses Involving Property
§ 802. Arson in the second degree; affirmative defense; class D felony.
(a) A person is guilty of arson in the second degree when the person intentionally damages a building by starting a fire or causing an explosion.
(b) In any prosecution under this section it is an affirmative defense that:
(1) No person other than the accused had a possessory or proprietary interest in the building, or if other persons had such interests, all of them consented to the accused's conduct; and
(2) The accused's sole intent was to destroy or damage the building for a lawful purpose; and
(3) The accused had no reasonable ground to believe that the conduct might endanger the life or safety of another person or damage another building.
This entire paragraph above should be referred to as
Title 11, Chapter 5, Sub-chapter 3, Sub-part A, Section 802-b-3 (§ means section, not sub-section)
Read anything after the section as a letter, or letter and number if present.
The above is usually displayed on court papers as:
11 Del. Laws, c.5 § 802 b-3
If you were to search for section 801 of the Delaware Code you would arrive at this same paragraph. Sections have unique numbering.
The State Codes of Spanish-speaking countries are written in a completely different way. For example, in Argentina, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Ley 7425 is the CÓDIGO PROCESAL CIVIL Y COMERCIAL DE LA PROVINCIA DE BUENOS AIRES, Libro 1, etc.
In LEY 7425, Articulos have unique, consecutve numbering like the Sections in our Delaware Code. This is a complicated issue for me because in my interpreting and translating, I make it a mission to enable people to look things up based on the terms I chose. That's why I leave all agency names in their original language.
I once encountered a foreign professor of law that told me she had many times seen translations where the terms used made no sense in her country.
After taking into account my pet peeve, this brief research, and the wise words of the professor, for Title 11, Section 802 Delaware Code, I would now probably say: Articulo 802 de la ley 11 del Codigo de Delaware. For 11 Del. Laws, c.5 § 802, I would translate it almost literally:
11 Delaware Code, capitulo 5, seccion 802. (I purposely left the word Code in English)
I will try this. Try it yourself and see what works for you, then let me know at our December meeting!
Burglary Third Degree: A person is guilty of burglary in the third degree when the person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building with intent to commit a crime therein.- (Violación de propiedad)
Burglary Second Degree: A person is guilty of burglary in the second degree when the person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully: (1) In a dwelling with intent to commit a crime therein; or
(2) In a building and when, in effecting entry or while in the building or in immediate flight therefrom, the person or another participant in the crime:
a. Is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon; or
b. Causes physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime.- (Violación de domicilio)
Burglary First Degree: A person is guilty of burglary in the first degree when the person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling at night with intent to commit a crime therein, and when, in effecting entry or when in the dwelling or in immediate flight therefrom, the person or another participant in the crime:
(1) Is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon; or
(2) Causes physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime.- (violación nocturna de domicilio)
All degrees of Burglary are felonies (different categories)
Avoid using the term ALLANAMIENTO for Burglary since ALLANAMIENTO is a judicial procedure executed by officers of the court or police.
When interpreting misdemeanor avoid using the Spanish term DELITO MENOR since it does mean the same thing. DELITO MENOR implies something minor such as an infraction or a code-violation. Use DELITO MENOS GRAVE or simply DELITO. For infractions or code-violations use FALTA.
Some warning signs are better left untranslated:
"Interpreting is interpreting"...
Is it really
all the same?
As an interpreter I provided services in many places and had the opportunity to work and chat with dozens of spoken-language professionals. Some loved court interpreting's criminal matters, others preferred working with medical material or in hospitals, and some would never change conference interpreting for any other type of interpreting no matter how daring or prestigious. My first interpreting work was in the medical field. I loved it. I had grown up reading about diseases, studying anatomy, and watching Quincy; I loved everything from physiology to forensics... in any language. One day in court, a colleague was preparing for a lecture on medical interpreting. "Why? I asked. You're a court interpreter and don't even like medical work." "Interpreting is interpreting," the court interpreter responded. I was quiet, thinking: Hmm...The code of ethics extends to all types of interpreters. Canons such as confidentiality and accuracy must be upheld, as well as professional demeanor. “I guess you’re right,” I responded.
Now that I have somewhat more experience i think that i would respond differently to that comment. Obviously, there are differences in terminology and procedure, but the spirit of the interpretation is not exactly the same in the medical and court interpreting fields. The difference is ]much more than Medical interpreters allowing themselves to act as cultural brokers or convey a need for clarification if they perceive the message isn't understood; misunderstandings in the medical field could affect a patients' health and well-being. When interpreting in court, it is the LEP's duty to request a lower register if he or she does not understand. The LEP, in court, must be diligent, aware, and ensure his or her own understanding. I was aware of these similarities and distinctions but hadn't really questioned if they were merely distinctions in the practice of the professions, while the essence of the remained one, the same. The mind set in court and medical interpreting are not the same and the interpreter must prepare before a session to ensure he or she does not violate the code of ethics of each profession. Working and training strictly in one field and expecting to organically merge or expand into another with minimal training would be unwise. Observation and shadowing are helpful in understanding the role of the interpreter in each field of work, as well as learning to recognize stress and secondary trauma sometimes suffered by interpreters involved in cases of abuse and violence.
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