From the tweets of @NFrancoR I learn that courts in Dallas county in the US intend to lower their minimum period of payment from 2 hours minimum and in half an hour increments to 1 hour minimum in 15 minute increments.
In Sweden court interpreters are paid per hour with a decreasing fee; 75 euro for the first hour and then an additonal 20 euro per half hour, for a certified court interpreter; 58 euro for a generally certified interpeter with an additional 17 euro per half hour; and 43 euro for a non-certified interpreter with an additional 10 euro per half hour. Needless to say most proceedings are only an hour and most interpreters working in court rarely work full days.
It’s not a bad pay though, compared to Spain (12 euro/hour) or Canada (18 euro/hour).
When it comes to quality in court interpreting I would like to quote Franz Pöchhacker (interpreting researcher at the University of Vienna) at a round table at the Quality in interpreting Conference who said; “You get the quality you pay for.”
The problem is that court interpreting is a trade that requires highly skilled interpreters. Here I will share a secret of one of my professional failures. I hold a diploma in conference interpreting (supposedly the most difficult type of interpreting), I am accredited to the European institutions (supposedly one of the most difficult types of accreditation tests). And I have failed the Swedish court interpreting certification exam – twice.
I have passed the general certification exam, I have interpreted quite successfully in court, but I have not so far been able to pass the special exam for court interpreting. The exam is both written and oral, you answer general questions about legislation and court proceedings and there are a large glossary test both to and from you own language. The oral test is a role play in a court interpreting situation. You have to have 85 % correct answers in the written test to sit the oral and in the oral you have to hav
But what is the incentive for