Guns and Knives: Weapons Terminology and Concepts for the Court Interpreter (3 hr)

Categories of firearm, basic firearm terms, handguns, long guns, action, ammunition, brands and calibers used as nicknames, ballistics testimony from experts, knives, and practice in the consecutive and simultaneous modes

Translators and interpreters working in court must deal with specialized terminology in many disciplines: law, finance, medicine, engineering, psychology, etc. In criminal court, one of the more challenging topics is weapons terminology, especially as used in testimony by law enforcement officers and expert witnesses. Most court interpreters have never fired a gun, and are unsure of what to do with sentences like, "The murder weapon was a double-barreled, over-and-under Mossberg, chambered for 12 gauge and loaded with buckshot."

This three-hour training, first presented at a conference of TAJIT (the Texas Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators) and then as a webinar, is self-paced and interactive. Each module begins with a video, showing diagrams and animations of various weapon functions, and then quizzes the student over details. The interpretation practice module includes shadowing, consecutive and simultaneous interpretation, using an actual expert witness examination from a trial for the greatest realism possible. (Unlike a carefully scripted dialogue, it includes all of the fragments, run-ons, illogical sentences and false starts of a real conversation, along with specialized terminology in context.)

Upon completion, the system will issue you a certificate that can be submitted to some certification authorites for continuing education credit. This course has so far been approved by the Texas JBCC through 8/31/2024 (program #: LCI20220624), and by the Missouri Office of State Courts Administrator.

Your Instructor

Marco Hanson
Marco Hanson

Marco is a federally certified and state licensed Spanish court interpreter, and is one of the authors of the book Firearms and Other Handheld Weapons. He has twenty-three years of experience in translation and interpretation, a Master of Arts degree in Spanish, and is a frequent conference speaker on language access topics at legal conferences. He is also an American Translators Association certified Spanish to English translator. He sometimes teaches court interpreting at the University of Texas and legal translation at Austin Community College. Marco is past president of the Austin Area Translators and Interpreters Association and the Texas Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, and was the state's first Language Access Coordinator.

Course Curriculum

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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced, online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
Will this course count for continuing education with my state certifying authority?
It depends on the state. This course has so far been preapproved by Texas and Missouri, and more applications are in the works.
Is there a glossary I can download in my language?
There is a 118-term glossary of the words covered in the videos, currently in English and Spanish. We're working on other languages as requested.

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