From the Classroom to the Courtroom: A guide to interpreting in the U.S. justice system


Elena M. de Jongh


From the Classroom to the Courtroom: A guide to interpreting in the U.S. justice system offers a wealth of information that will assist aspiring court interpreters in providing linguistic minorities with access to fair and expeditious judicial proceedings. The guide will familiarize prospective court interpreters and students interested in court interpreting with the nature, purpose and language of pretrial, trial and post-trial proceedings. Documents, dialogues and monologues illustrate judicial procedures; the description of court hearings with transcripts creates a realistic model of the stages involved in live court proceedings.
The innovative organization of this guide mirrors the progression of criminal cases through the courts and provides readers with an accessible, easy-to-follow format. It explains and illustrates court procedure as well as provides interpreting exercises based on authentic materials from each successive stage. This novel organization of materials around the stages of the judicial process also facilitates quick reference without the need to review the entire volume — an additional advantage that makes this guide the ideal interpreters’ reference manual.
Supplementary instructional aids include recordings in English and Spanish and a glossary of selected legal terms in context.


Carmen King de Ramírez

From the Classroom to the Courtroom: A guide to interpreting in the U.S. justice system by Elena M. de Jongh is a valuable tool for teachers and students who wish to increase their understanding of the complexities of court interpreting. […] This book would be appropriate and beneficial for beginning/intermediate level students as it outlines building blocks for basic interpretation and offers a comprehensive introduction to the intricacies of US legal system. Although the glossary and two of the transcripts are in Spanish, the book could easily be adapted for students who aspire to interpret in other languages, given that the text itself and most of the authentic legal materials are written in English.

Yuri Yerastov

De Jongh is a valuable addition to the under-published field of court interpretation. […] its value consists in presenting a systematic, accessible digest of introductory level information on the US legal system, and legal court interpreting. In that light, particularly useful are numerous professional practice pointers, skillfully dispersed throughout the book. […] An appropriate audience for this book is language professionals wishing to enter the field of court interpretation. While all authentic materials are drawn from Spanish, much of the theoretical content is generalizable to other languages. It would serve as a helpful resource for prospective interpreters working toward certification as court interpreters in a formal course of study, as well as practicing interpreters wishing to acquire court certification independently.

Federico M. Federici

Elena M. de Jongh’s From the Classroom to the Courtroom: A Guide to Interpreting in the US Justice System, has the pragmatic objectives of introducing novices to court interpreting. Its objectives are clearly stated and rigorously pursued. […] The book follows a very didactic and systematic approach to the subject matter and represents a valuable textbook to introduce legal interpreting to newcomers to the specific legal system of the United States. Nevertheless, de Jongh’s work also allows researchers to identify areas in need of evidence-based research, when she moves her discussion to practical, professional, and ethical challenges in Part II.

Gabriel González Núñez

This book is an accessible, helpful resource, particularly for those looking to train court interpreters. It provides a good overview of what interpreters can expect in federal courts. It allows for some practice with real documents or transcripts. The style is clear and concise. The structure is orderly and generally logical. It is exactly what the subtitle promises: a guide to interpreting in the U.S. justice system.

Book Details

  • Series: American Translators Association Scholarly Monograph Series
  • Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 902723194X
  • ISBN-13: 978-9027231949



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