SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - On Monday, February 19, Dr. Linda Richardson officially presented her book “Trilingual Terminology in Criminal Proceedings” to the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, Honourable Silveria Jacobs.
This book is a reference tool, ideal for those within the justice system and connected to it to ensure that the standard of translation and interpretation is raised. With more than 50 years as an interpreter/ translator and more than 40 years of experience within the justice chain – from interrogations to appeal, Dr. Richardson has unique experience and insights on how human rights are being infringed upon because of language rights not being fully respected. In fact, at the official launch of her book in October of 2023, Dr. Richardson stated: “Language rights are human rights”.
In a multilingual society, this reference book, serves to ensure that language standards are maintained, and language rights upheld. This book provides accurate translation of Dutch terminology used, from the time one is detained by the police to the appeal, in criminal proceedings. Dr. Richardson as a sworn translator in various languages, translated the Dutch terminology into both English and Spanish. This reference book was also revised and supported by Caribbean Court of Justice, through Justice Bob Wit, until his recent passing.
As former Minister of the Netherlands Antilles, Dr. Richardson fought for mother tongue education in schools and has seen her predictions come to pass with English being the language of instruction in St. Eustatius and Saba, and that St. Maarten has most students being educated in English.
A trained linguist, Dr. Richardson studied the impact of mother tongue education on the cognitive skill development and based on her research and thought leadership was appointed to be Minister of Education, Culture and Sports at the time. Years later, she continues to fight for mother tongue language in the legal system.
As the need for court interpreters have increased, Richardson designed and facilitated an intensive program for court interpreters in the summer if 2021. The first of its kind, this program has supported the Court in gaining two additional interpreters in its first cohort. This year, another cohort will launch as the demand continues to grow and there is increased interest from potential trainees.
In celebration of Mother Tongue Day (February 20), it was imperative for Dr. Linda Richardson to present Prime Minister Jacobs with her book. The Prime Minister wrote the foreword in the book underscoring the importance for this type of literature in our society and for the systems that govern the land to be in the language that is widely used among its people. Both the Honorable Prime Minister Jacobs and the Honorable Minister of Justice Richardson spoke at the soft launch and the official launch of this book in March 2023 and October 2023. respectively.
Trilingual Terminology for Criminal Proceedings is now available at Van Dorp Bookstore in both branches and at Adolphus Richardson Office Supplies on the Walter Nisbeth Road.