On 20 September 2023, students from the BA Translation and Interpretation Programme (BATI) and Graduate Diploma in Translation and Technology (BATT), embarked on their first field study trip after the pandemic.
A group photo of students at the entrance of the Supreme Court
The first stop was at a Criminal Court where students observed an open trial involving a Malay-English Interpreter interpreting for the accused who only spoke Malay. This was followed by a trial in a Civil Court, which was certainly an eye-opening experience for students to witness both criminal and civil court proceedings.
The highlight of the visit was the interaction between students and court interpreters. The sharing by court interpreters about their day-to-day tasks and challenges at work gave students greater insights into court interpreters’ role in the administration of justice.
Following the visit was a mock court session where students were tasked to play the roles of an interpreter, prosecutor and defendant, putting their note-taking skills learned in class to the test. In consecutive interpreting classes, students usually interpret a maximum of four sentences per segment, however, in the mock court, the “defendant” did not stop at the end of four sentences for them to interpret—what a challenge!
At the end of the mock court session, the team of court interpreters gave students some feedback, which allowed them to have a clearer understanding of the demands of judiciary interpreting. What came as a pleasant surprise at the end of their visit was the news that one of the group members had received a job offer and would join the Supreme Court as a court interpreter in November upon graduation!