+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    decimon is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,315

    California's Tower of Babel court system

    Courts in the state are being asked to find translators for languages such as Mixtec, Malayalam, Telugu, Wu, Hakka, Xiang, Kannada, Tarasco, Uzbek, Maithili, Oromo, Cebuano, Bhojpuri, Pashto, Igbo, and other languages not spoken with any frequency inside the U.S. According to the Los Angeles Times:

    Blog: California's Tower of Babel court system

  2. #2
    nosborne48 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Las Cruces NM
    Posts
    4,112
    I have had hearings with Korean, Arabic, Cantonese, and American Sign Language interpreters. It's expensive but what choice is there? If you fail to provide an interpreter, you are effectively denying a fundamental constitutional right; access to the Courts. We do it whenever possible by speaker phone. My Korean interpreter was pulled off the road near Tacoma, Washington and handled the matter on her cell phone.

    I did a small claims civil trial last week where the entire proceeding was in Spanish with the interpreter for my benefit. (I speak the language but not well enough to conduct an evidentiary hearing without a Court certified interpreter and even if I did, it's against The Rules to do so.)

    I've also used Apache and Navajo interpreters in Children's Court cases when I was a practicing lawyer.

    We even allow non-English speaking jurors to serve, the first (only?) state to do so.
    Last edited by nosborne48; 09-12-2017 at 06:26 PM.
    Nosborne48
    J.D., LL.M. (Taxation)

  3. #3
    decimon is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,315
    Quote Originally Posted by nosborne48 View Post
    I have had hearings with Korean, Arabic, Cantonese, and American Sign Language interpreters. It's expensive but what choice is there?

    Require a working knowledge of English? It's that or the entire United States turns itself inside out to accommodate hundreds of languages in all venues, an impossible task.

  4. #4
    FTFaculty is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    620
    Like Nosborne48 says, you're looking at 14th or 5th Amendment due process issues plus others like 6th, 7th, what have you, if you don't provide this. Just the cost of doing business in you're going to ensure one's rights to a fair trial in a country that (generally) respects the rule of law. If we just could do something about the lowered burdens of proof in civil forfeitures arising out of many criminal matters, then maybe we might really get with the constitutional program.

  5. #5
    FTFaculty is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    620
    Quote Originally Posted by decimon View Post
    Require a working knowledge of English? It's that or the entire United States turns itself inside out to accommodate hundreds of languages in all venues, an impossible task.
    Not like I want to get all contentious, but there's no constitutional enshrinement of the English language as the only language that can be spoken. People's rights are more important than the English language. I don't think our Founding Fathers, many of whom spoke multiple languages other than English and would likely struggle with many modern words, thought that the Revolutionary struggle had been fought and the Constitutional Convention convened for the English language, I think they were more into the Bill of Rights. If I were arrested on charges I could not understand in a strange land, I sure would hope for a translator and sure wouldn't think I was getting anything like due process if they didn't provide one.

  6. #6
    decimon is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,315
    Quote Originally Posted by FTFaculty View Post
    Like Nosborne48 says, you're looking at 14th or 5th Amendment due process issues plus others like 6th, 7th, what have you, if you don't provide this. Just the cost of doing business in you're going to ensure one's rights to a fair trial in a country that (generally) respects the rule of law. If we just could do something about the lowered burdens of proof in civil forfeitures arising out of many criminal matters, then maybe we might really get with the constitutional program.

    Does that apply to non-citizens? Attaining citizenship should require a facility with English.

    The bottom line is that the impossible is just that, impossible.

  7. #7
    decimon is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,315
    Quote Originally Posted by FTFaculty View Post
    Not like I want to get all contentious, but there's no constitutional enshrinement of the English language as the only language that can be spoken. People's rights are more important than the English language. I don't think our Founding Fathers, many of whom spoke multiple languages other than English and would likely struggle with many modern words, thought that the Revolutionary struggle had been fought and the Constitutional Convention convened for the English language, I think they were more into the Bill of Rights. If I were arrested on charges I could not understand in a strange land, I sure would hope for a translator and sure wouldn't think I was getting anything like due process if they didn't provide one.

    Tourists can get that service from their embassies. That is possible and reasonable.

  8. Advertisement

  9. #8
    FTFaculty is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    620
    Quote Originally Posted by decimon View Post
    Tourists can get that service from their embassies. That is possible and reasonable.
    Hadn't thought of that, it may be true. But even if a country doesn't provide these things or you have a country not on diplomatic terms with the U.S., you still want to provide basic constitutional rights. With most constitutional rights, non-citizens have the same basic protections, so long as they're here (not including the 15th, 24th, 26th amendments, of course, all that voting rights stuff).

  10. #9
    heirophant is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    647
    Quote Originally Posted by decimon View Post
    Courts in the state are being asked to find translators for languages such as Mixtec, Malayalam, Telugu, Wu, Hakka, Xiang, Kannada, Tarasco, Uzbek, Maithili, Oromo, Cebuano, Bhojpuri, Pashto, Igbo, and other languages not spoken with any frequency inside the U.S.
    Actually, a few of those like Hakka, might be widespread in the US. (It's a Chinese dialect, spoken in Taiwan and in the Chinese provinces opposite. It's also very widespread in Singapore.) Here in California, I don't think that there would be a big problem finding Hakka speakers. Finding Hakka speakers who qualify as court interpreters might be harder. Wouldn't they have to have familiarity with the legal terminology in both languages? How many people would satisfy that? And what about obscure tribal languages that not only have almost no speakers in the US but no equivalents for English technical legal vocabulary?

    I agree very emphatically with your basic point, Decimon. The whole idea that if foreigners enter the US, the US is somehow obligated to cater to them on their terms rather than expecting them to adjust to the norms and procedures of the United States, just looks like an additional argument for limitations on entry of foreigners whose presence threatens to be a burden.

    Here's a question: How do other countries handle this problem? It probably arises to a greater or less degree worldwide. The US just represents a worst-case, since it's such a desirable destination. Europe is obviously seeing huge influxes too. What does France or Slovakia do in the case of somebody who speaks an obscure regional dialect from Mali or Chad and claims not to understand French or Slovak?

    (I suspect that many of these people do understand the language if they are successfully living in the country, but don't like being in court and are just trying to jerk the system around.)
    Last edited by heirophant; 09-13-2017 at 07:44 AM.

  11. #10
    me again is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,743
    Quote Originally Posted by decimon View Post
    Courts in the state are being asked to find translators for languages such as Mixtec, Malayalam, Telugu, Wu, Hakka, Xiang, Kannada, Tarasco, Uzbek, Maithili, Oromo, Cebuano, Bhojpuri, Pashto, Igbo, and other languages not spoken with any frequency inside the U.S. According to the Los Angeles Times:

    Blog: California's Tower of Babel court system
    There is a national phone service that law enforcement agencies use for the translation of any language. However, it's really expensive (per hour) -- and with as slow as court proceedings are, it would become incredibly expensive. But it's an available option for just about any language on the planet.
    MA, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Theology: in-progress online
    Info: http://www.franciscan.edu/academics/graduate-programs/
    Favorite scriptures: Rev. 11:15 & Luke 24:45

    LET'S DO THIS! https://www.facebook.com/TrumpForPresident2020/

  12. #11
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    between the devil and the deep blue sea
    Posts
    15,150
    Quote Originally Posted by decimon View Post
    The bottom line is that the impossible is just that, impossible.
    American College of Sports Medicine

Similar Threads

  1. The Supreme Court
    By Kizmet in forum Political Discussions
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: 10-04-2017, 09:40 AM
  2. University of California System's Secret Budget
    By heirophant in forum General Distance Learning Discussions
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-29-2017, 11:30 PM
  3. Honor (UK system) vs 4.0 (US system)
    By kozen in forum Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approval, and unaccredited schools)
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 07-26-2012, 08:20 PM
  4. The court determined - BJU
    By Lerner in forum Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approval, and unaccredited schools)
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-12-2006, 09:50 AM
  5. Babel, Taft, FLET, and the DETC
    By John Bear in forum General Distance Learning Discussions
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-01-2001, 10:24 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178