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An Initial Study of the Spanish Miranda Warnings in the State of Nevada
World Languages and Literatures
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Since the passage of the Bill of Rights, every person in the United States is entitled to know and understand their rights to legal counsel and protection against self-incrimination. The Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona codified these entitlements in 1966, but the adequacy of the Miranda translations into Spanish has been questioned for decades. The present study is an initial review of the Spanish-language forms of the Miranda rights from six Nevada law enforcement agencies to determine whether content, grammar, or translation problems exist. Each sample was examined to determine whether the translation contains all the necessary cautions, whether it has grammar problems, and whether the Spanish translation is accurate. Upon review of the data, factors that would affect the comprehensibility and accuracy of the Spanish translations demonstrated significant variation when compared to corresponding English versions, and in some instances, linguistic errors were found that would likely inhibit listener comprehension. The results of this study indicate a need for broader research on the Miranda rights in Nevada.