Legal interpreters are not required to meet the same standards as court interpreters. A college degree, completion of a legal interpretation training program, and passing a certification exam are all requirements for court interpreters. There are various exams that satisfy regional or governmental requirements. Massachusetts state court interpreters are required to pass a test administered by the Office of Court Interpreter Services (OCIS). Each state has its own criteria for employment in a State Court. After passing additional certification exams, a legal interpreter training program must be successfully completed in order to function as a Court interpreting school. There are now three classifications for interpreters used by American courts:
Language-skilled interpreters: Although the legal interpreter’s training is not regarded as professionally competent and he or she is not eligible to apply for Court interpreting school , certification as a legal interpreter can lead to various work options in the legal field. The interpreter may be employed as a language-skilled interpreter or on-demand if he or she can meet the requirements of the Court interpreting school. At this level, interpreting services for interviews, depositions, witness preparation sessions, and attorney-client meetings are provided by a legal interpreter.
Certified Interpreters: The United States Courts currently only provide the FCICE, or Spanish-English Court Interpreter Certification exam (Federal Court Interpreting Exam). The exam is divided into two sections: written and oral. The oral portion of the test, which gauges the interpreter’s proficiency in simultaneous and consecutive interpretation as well as sight translation, can only be taken after the interpreter has passed the written portion. Every two years, this exam component is. A customized certificate that is issued by the Secretary of State is simply known by the word “apostille.“
Professional Qualifications: For language combinations like Mandarin, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese, among others, the municipal and federal court will take into consideration individuals who offer sufficient authentication and proof.
A college degree is not necessary to apply for the majority of legal interpreter training programs. However, a degree in translation studies, legal studies, or a foreign language is required if one wants to function as a court interpreter.