Law Blog


How do you become a certified court interpreter?

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Are you interested in becoming a certified court interpreter? If you are highly proficient in sign language and want to start a lucrative career, this is good choice. This is a growing profession and if you become certified in the field, you will have many job opportunities from which to choose.

Below is the process that people follow to become certified court interpreters:

First, you need to complete a six-hour orientation course that is approved by the court system in the state in which you want to work. You could take a class that is not approved, but you take the chance of the course not being honored by the court system in which you want to work.

A typical course is called something like Court Interpreting 101. Prices vary but a look online shows a common price of $99. It is usually available online, on-demand, so you can view it at your convenience. After you complete the class, you can print out your certificate.

Next, you will go to the online certification and licensing system of the court system in which you want to work and turn in your certificate. You also will provide your online application so you can qualify for your written certification exam.

Second, you take your written certification examination. The exam has 135 questions. It is in English and is mainly intended to test your language proficiency. A small section of the exam includes court terminology, professional conduct and protocol.

To prepare for this examination, many companies offer a free class that includes a collection of resources to study as well as sample examinations from other states.

Third, you will take your oral examination. This exam tests your consecutive, simultaneous, and sight translation skills. The test will check your ability to transfer meaning faithfully from the source language to the target language. You also need to be able to interpret simultaneous and consecutive modes and also sight translating vital documents. The test also checks your ability to pronounce English and non-English in a way that in no way interferes with understanding and meaning.

If you do not have experience as a legal interpreter, it is vital to invest in education to get ready for this exam.

These are the steps you need to take to become a certified court interpreter. We wish you luck in your new career.