catalog of
interpreting courses

These audio  presentations will transform the way you look at the interpreting profession. They are recorded in English to assist interpreters of all languages. They provide the “ultimate” way to make progress in your professional development.


All aspects of interpreting are addressed: advanced interpreting techniques, ethics, interpreter challenges, interpreter style, multicultural awareness, and psychological dynamics affecting interpreter matters.

All the practice exercises and formulas presented are taken from actual cases. Interpreters nationwide use them for their professional development. In addition, the Judicial Council of California has approved them as non-instructor led CIMCE courses.

Course Descriptions

Click on each individual course title for detailed information.

A Comparison of Civil and Criminal Law is designed to teach interpreters the fundamental differences between these two branches of the law.  This guide is clear and concise.  All concepts are presented in a contrasting fashion emphasizing key points and vocabulary. For example:

  • Statutory Law versus Common Law
  • The role of the plaintiff versus the prosecution
  • Torts and breach of contract versus crimes
  • The pay-off versus incarceration
  • Constitutional rights in civil versus criminal law
  • Alternative dispute resolution versus pre-trial conferences
  • The financial settlement versus the plea bargain
  • Preponderance of the evidence versus beyond a reasonable doubt
  • Jury dynamics in civil versus criminal law

Anatomy of a Deposition is a step-by-step analysis of the deposition process. It provides the interpreter with a solid foundation regarding interpreter style issues and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The most commonly used admonitions and closing stipulation are provided. Other pertinent areas covered are:

  • Techniques for prepping the case
  • Establishing a working relationship with the court reporter
  • Benefits of using a “word list”
  • Three-step method of handling challenges to the interpretation
  • Managing a fast-paced colloquy
  • Going off the record
  • Effectively seeking clarification
  • Pitfalls of videotaped depositions
  • Dealing with industry-specific terminology
  • Most commonly used objections

Arraignment to Sentencing illustrates the process a defendant is subjected to in the Criminal Justice System. This is a very thorough review for certified court interpreters, and an excellent study guide for those who are preparing for the oral component of the court, consortium or federal court interpreter exam.  Detailed explanations of the functions and psychological dynamics of the Grand Jury, the preliminary hearing, the pre-trial conference, and the trial stages are presented. The following simultaneous interpretation exercises taken from actual cases are provided:

  • Advisement of rights
  • Medley of matters handled at Arraignment Courts
  • Plea and sentencing
  • Police report
  • Defendant held to answer
  • Change of plea

Cars, Lemons & Justice teaches interpreters the fundamentals of automobile terminology within the context of civil and criminal law, with an emphasis on automobile accidents, the Lemon Law and wrongful death cases. Among the areas covered are as follows:

  • 43 typical questions posed at Depositions
  • Vocabulary Drill of automobile terminology divided by categories: electrical issues, internal issues, repair issues, and road descriptions
  • Main elements of Police Reports
  • Typical exhibits and vocabulary presented in Lemon Law cases
  • Main elements of the Vehicle Code with an emphasis on auto theft
  • Main elements of Examinations Under Oathtypical exhibits, and vocabulary
  • Vocabulary drill of funeral services industry-specific terminology

Check Interpreter examines the controversial issue regarding the use of “check” interpreters in the private sector.  It provides workable solutions so that both the plaintiff and defense side interpreters can work together effectively within the limited parameters set forth by the Interpreter Code of Ethics.  It compares how second interpreter errors are handled in court proceedings versus depositions. A step-by-step guide of how to brief the attorneys, the active interpreter, and the check interpreter is presented. Recommendations on how to address the following language expert issues are provided:

  • False cognates
  • Idiomatic expressions
  • Non-gender specific words
  • Interpreter’s memory capacity
  • Culturally bound terms
  • Sight translations
  • Lexical gestures

Discrimination teaches the key principles of age, pregnancy, and race discrimination cases.  It provides an extensive list of all the laws that are generally cited in Discrimination cases, along with the corresponding acronyms.  Other areas addressed are as follows:

  • Industry specific terminology
  • The Doctrine of Employment at Will
  • Typical exhibits
  • English-only rules
  • Racial discrimination versus institutional racism
  • Epithets

Elder Abuse is a comprehensive study of the factors surrounding this difficult subject matter. Not only does it educate the interpreter about the sad reality of the exploitation of vulnerable older adults, but it also gives the interpreter a solid foundation of the wide spectrum of vocabulary covered in these proceedings. In addition, the following areas are addressed:

  • The dynamics of physical, sexual, financial, and neglectful abuse
  • The main perpetrators
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Nursing home industry specific terminology
  • Typical line of questioning
  • Trust and estate terminology
  • Cultural Interference

Intellectual Property (IP) teaches the fundamentals of Intellectual Property Law with an emphasis on cases dealing with musical groups. In addition, it explores interpreter style techniques recommended for cases dealing with subject-matter the interpreter is unfamiliar with. Included in this lesson are:

  • IP industry specific terminology: copyright, patent, trademark
  • Vocabulary drill of IP music cases
  • Dynamics and challenges IP music cases
  • Sample exhibits
  • Interpreter style techniques for artist’s contracts
  • Negotiating tips for translation contracts
  • Typcial defense arguments

Jail Interviews explores the dynamics of interviews conducted in jail facilities connected to cases where the defendants are facing life in prison without the possibility of parole, as well as interpreter style techniques, confession tapes, DNA cases, and evaluations performed by forensic psychologists. Other areas covered are:

  • Sample court orders for the use of interpreters
  • Sample interpreter instructions for psychological evaluations
  • Discussion of mental fatigue and cognitive overload
  • Interpreter techniques for confession tapes
  • Handling mistakes on translated confession tapes
  • Sample Declaration of Interpreter/Translator
  • Sample DNA report
  • Sample Probation Officer report
  • Typical scheduling pitfalls

Juvenile Court teaches the fundamental differences between juvenile courts and criminal courts, the role and challenges of the interpreter, and the psychological dynamics at hand. In addition, the following areas are covered:

  • Vocabulary used in juvenile courts
  • Sample gang terminology
  • Provisions set forth by the Welfare and Institutions Code
  • Fundamentals of Informal Juvenile and Traffic Court, Delinquency Court, and Dependency Court
  • Simultaneous interpretation practice drills

Medical Proceedings provides a solid foundation about medical malpractice, personal injury and wrongful death cases.  Although all three fall under the umbrella of Personal Injury Law, each case type has distinct characteristics and challenges. The following areas are presented:

  • Handling emotionally charged testimony
  • Interpreting for a physically disabled person
  • Interpreting while pictures of the deceased are presented
  • Courtroom props and physical evidence
  • The informed consent form
  • Sample closing argument
  • Medical specialists terminology
  • Pain descriptors terminology
  • Common medical conditions terminology
  • Anatomy word list

Off the Record teaches how to manage challenging situations where the interpreter’s work is done partially or totally off the record.  Specific interpreter style techniques are provided for the management of potentially difficult situations, with an emphasis on how to properly address language expert issues. Among the areas covered are:

  • Debtor’s Examination
  • Family Law mediations
  • Arbitration
  • Small claims court hearings
  • Negotiating fees with private parties
  • Tips for off the record discussions with attorneys

Paralanguage / Body Language teaches how these two aspects of communication directly impact the interpreter’s work. It shows how the interpreter’s use of illustrators, directional gestures, spatial gestures and self-touching negatively affect the interpretation. In addition, it explores the following areas:

  • Specifications set forth in the Interpreter Code of Ethics
  • Sample instructions to be given to the non-English speaker at depositions
  • Sample instructions to be included in the attorney’s admonitions
  • Key factors of body language: social simulation, intensification demonstrations, expression inhibitions and emotional masking
  • Typical body language displayed in sexual harassment cases and descriptors used by attorneys
  • Fourteen specific interpreter do’s and don’ts

Polygraph Tests teaches interpreters the fundamentals of polygraph testing used in criminal matters, the pitfalls of using an interpreter in this type of setting, and recommended interpreter style techniques. In addition, the following areas are covered:

  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988
  • Industry specific terminology
  • Sample pre-test sight translation consent forms
  • Sample sensor attachments instructions
  • Directed Lie Test
  • Probable Lie questions
  • Guilty Knowledge Test
  • Post Examination Report

Premises Liability / Loss of Consortium examines the dynamics of Premises Liability lawsuits filed in conjunction with Loss of Consortium claims.  Emphasis is placed on the following areas:

  • Case types
  • Industry-specific terminology
  • Sample demand for production of documents
  • Sample loss of consortium line of questioning
  • Differences between civil cases and worker’s compensation cases
  • Simultaneous interpretation exercise of sample language used in medical findings
  • Footwear terminology used in slip and fall cases

Psychological Evaluations teaches the fundamentals of criminal court ordered psychological evaluations.  Emphasis is placed on the role of the interpreter as the language expert.  Interpreting techniques to deal with cultural and language interferences are provided.  Among the areas covered are:

  • Competency to stand trial
  • Miranda rights
  • Psychological profiling
  • Research on how personal bias affects findings made
  • Basic line of questioning
  • Tests used
  • Evaluating sex offenders
  • Plethysmographic assessments
  • Typical scenarios

Real Estate Essentials teaches the fundamentals of Real Estate and Eminent Domain Law.  It provides interpreter style techniques to tackle the contract-intensive aspect of Real Estate Law. Other areas covered are:

  • Industry specific terminology
  • Methods of acquiring property
  • Methods of title holding
  • Vocabulary word drill
  • Foreclosures
  • Unlawful detainer
  • Trial Briefs

Sexual Harassment provides an overview of sexual harassment labor laws.  It addresses specific interpreter challenges that come up on a regular basis, as well as the following areas:

  • The landmark case of Hill versus Thomas
  • Quid Pro Quo and hostile work environment cases
  • Commonly used sexually charged words
  • The EEOC and the FEP
  • Sample exhibits
  • Basic line of questioning
  • Sample closing argument
  • Cost of litigation
  • Industry specific terminology

State of Mind is a powerful presentation addressing the psychological dynamics involved in interpreter-assisted matters.  It examines the state of mind of the main players:  the attorneys, the non-English speakers and the jury.  It examines the following areas:

  • Evolution of the professional interpreter
  • The Court Interpreter Act
  • Overcoming self-esteem issues that affect your work
  • Differences in the working dynamics between attorneys that work for the courts versus privately retained attorneys
  • Consequences of stepping out of the role of the interpreter
  • The interpreter should be invisible: myth or fact

Toxic Torts addresses the complexities involved in this type of litigation.  You will learn interpreter style techniques for “Preservation of Testimony” proceedings dealing with terminally ill patients.  Among the areas covered are:

  • Typical line of questioning
  • Industry specific terminology
  • The subject of most toxic torts
  • Common exhibits and acronyms used
  • Landmark cases
  • Sample expert witness testimony

Trial Interpreter teaches interpreters how to perfect their trial interpreter style. It includes techniques on how to effectively work with court reporters, how to prepare for challenging interpreter foundational voir dires, and how to professionally handle challenges that come up specifically in trials. In addition, the following valuable forms are included:

  • A trial interpreter checklist to be used by the attorney and interpreter
  • Sample Declaration of Sight Translation
  • Sample errata sheet
  • Sample trial interpreter “stand-by” contract

Working with Children teaches interpreter style techniques to be used when working with children involved in dog bite cases, sexual abuse cases, and court proceedings filed through civil, criminal, and dependency court. It addresses how cultural interference affects the dynamics of proceedings with minors. In addition, the following areas are explored:

  • The role of a guardian ad litem
  • Minors’ Compromises
  • Child Labor Laws
  • Sample child psychologist testimony
  • Immigration cases
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