Book Review by Dr. Gladys Matthews with Proteus Newsletter
INVESTIGATIVE SURVEILLANCE: Procedures for Transcription
and Translation of Foreign Language Communication Intercepts Rojas Elena G., with Deborah Aguilar Escalante and Briana Smith Leonard | Protrans Press. 2009.
This comprehensive manual was developed as a guide for language professionals who transcribe and translate investigative surveillance communication intercepts. It came into being as a response to the lack of standardization within the Drug Enforcement Administration for contracting or subcontracting transcribers, translators, and monitors (called linguists).
The absence of standardized protocols amongst linguists became a source of frustration for DEA agents who could not obtain relevant details to further their surveillance or investigation. The author points to the increase in surveillance since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, refers to the importance of translation experts, and briefly describes the surveillance process.
In seven chapters and ten appendices, Rojas analyzes the roles and responsibilities of agents and language professionals. She describes the transcription and translation processes, highlighting the important role of grammatical, syntactical and stylistic elements. She also addresses ethical issues and the screening process for employment in this activity.
This manual is an excellent training tool for those interested in entering the quick-paced field of transcribing and translating communication intercepts.