Sight translation is one of the three modes of interpretation. Each one is used in particular circumstances.
This mode is used when a document that is in a source language must be read out loud into a different language (called the target language). Imagine a letter or a phrase from a document that needs to be read to a group of people. The interpreter will read the letter to him/herself and then convey it, out loud, to the audience in the target language.
In legal proceedings, it is the least common of the modes. Why? Because most likely you will have translated any documentary exhibits to be filed before any hearing. Or even before a deposition.
In some cases, you may want the witness to answer questions based on some untranslated exhibits. In those cases, you would use the interpreter to “sight translate” the portions of text for the benefit of those present. Alternatively, you may read portions of English documents into the record and have the interpreter translate the content of the document for the witness.
Please understand that sight translation is probably the most difficult mode of interpretation as it may entail complex terminology and concepts sometimes written with poor grammar and double or vague meanings. Being so challenging, it is recommended that you obtain a certified translation for any long portions of text you intend on using in depositions.
Jose Vega is not an attorney. All comments here are for the benefit of licensed attorneys only and do not constitute legal advice.