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Interpreters at court hearings deserve much better treatment

18 6 3

In a voice that carried well, former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn firmly professed his “love for Nissan” during his first appearance in the Tokyo District Court on Jan. 8.

In the courtroom where English and Japanese were heard, the person who spoke longer and uttered more words than anyone--Ghosn, his counsel or the judge--must have been the woman who served as the court interpreter.

Court interpreters are not employees of the courts. Most hold other jobs, such as teaching at language schools. There are 3,800 of them around Japan now, dealing in about 62 languages.

“Any interpreter assigned to Mr. Ghosn’s hearing must be thoroughly versed in accounting and law, and that........

© The Asahi Shimbun