Are you interested in a career as a court interpreter? This is a growing career field and you can use your language skills to earn a good income.
Below is more information about how to become a court interpreter.
Court interpreters are highly trained professionals who are skilled in the three major areas of court interpreting. They also must be familiar with legal terminology, courtroom protocol, and professional conduct guidelines for court interpreters in the state in which they work.
The requirements to become a court reporter vary somewhat by state, but below are general requirements for Maryland:
- Have prior professional experience as an interpreter, such as in a job.
- Pass a criminal background check and have no criminal cases pending against you.
- Attend a workshop on court interpreting that is offered several times per year. This workshop introduces you to the code of professional conduct for court interpreters, the overview of the court interpreter profession, and to ready you for the court interpreter written examination.
- Pass an exam on legal terminology, English, courtroom procedures and the professional code of conduct for court interpreters.
- Pass a language proficiency interview in English and your foreign language. This is a standardized procedure used to test your functional speaking ability in both languages. It measures how well you speak a language by comparing your performance of various language tasks.
- You also need to attend a court interpreter orientation workshop. In this state, you are considered a qualified interpreter once you finish the workshop.
- Next, you need to pass an oral exam on the three major modes of interpreting in your target language. You are then considered a certified court interpreter after you complete this stage.
To become a court interpreter in any state, you need to be skilled in these interpretation areas:
- Simultaneous interpretation: Being able to listen to English and at the same time, translate it into the target language. You will use wireless technology equipment when engaging in this form of interpretation.
- Consecutive interpretation: Being able to translate what is said in the target language by mouth without changing anything.
- Sight translation: Oral translation of a document from the original language into a target language. You must read this document, process it, and translate it accurately by mouth.
By following these steps, you can become a court interpreter. We wish you luck in your new career!