When I signed my contract with the translation company, they told me, that I could maybe do some German interpreting jobs at a later stage. But as there had always been other German interns and not many German interpreting jobs, I never had had the chance to do it. I also didn’t feel ready to do it as my English had not been good enough at the beginning.
But last Thursday, an employee from the interpreting department asked me if I wanted to go to court on Monday.
From my colleague Guoda I had heard that interpreting in court was quite heavy and very stressful that is why I hesitated. They offered me a training day on Friday in court together with Guoda so that I could see how it works and that I would know what to do. I agreed and there we went.
The court to which we went is called CCJ in Dublin. It is located next to Pheonix Park and it is a big and modern building. Most of the hearings are open to the public, so everyone can go there. But before you can enter the court you have to go through a security check. It is the same as at the airport. You have to take off every metal things and give them your bag. Then you have to walk through a metal detector and that’s it.
The building is very high and round and it has 6 floors. The individual courtrooms are not very big. When you enter the room there are wooden benches to sit on for the defendants, visitors and interpreter. Then there are desks for the solicitors and in front of them is a higher desk for the judge.
The hearings always start at 10.30. Then they start calling the names of the defendants and everything goes very fast. As soon as the defendant and the solicitor are in front of the room, the case is being called and the judge makes the sentence and then it’s the next ones turn. Most of the time the courtroom is very crowded and the people can go in and out whenever they want which is a bit confusing.
When I had the training, I was a little bit shocked because I couldn’t understand anything and I couldn’t imagine that I could translate something like that. But Guoda encouraged me to do it and she told me that the solicitor would explain the sentence after the hearing again to the defendant. So I decided to try it.
On Monday, I was very nervous and afraid, that I would miss it when they would call the name and I was afraid that I would not be able to understand the case. The defendant didn’t speak any English so it was even harder and he trusted me so I felt a lot of pressure. When we were in front of the judge, I just translated the sentence and then we went out of the court room and the solicitor explained everything again so that I could translated it to the defendant. Guoda made a wordlist with important words for me and I learned them which made it easier for me to translate everything.
When everything was over I felt very relieved and I was a little bit proud of me =)
Even if it was a cool and interesting experience, it was very stressful and I was happy when I came back to the office where it was a bit calmer.
Thank you very much dear Guoda for your unbelievable support and help, I really appreciate that!