Utah State Certified Court Interepreter: What are the steps?

The first step in the interpreter certification process is to submit an application. The application will be used to conduct a criminal background check.

St George Court House

Written English/Foreign Language Diagnostic Test

All interpreters are required to pass a written English/Foreign Language Diagnostic Test prior to attending the workshops (Note: candidates interested in Spanish certification must pass both parts of the test to be eligible to participate in the certification workshops in 2011). Pre-registration is required. Upon registration and paid fee, a test overview will be emailed.

The tests will be administered in several locations throughout the state of Utah. The exam will test English skills in sentence completion and the understanding of English synonyms, antonyms, and idioms. Spanish speaking candidates will also take a short translation test that consists of 10 English passages. Based on the results of the English part, other language candidates will be scheduled for a short oral foreign language assessment test. The cost for the test is $25.00 and is non-refundable.

Interpreter Workshops (Non-Language Specific)

Workshops are scheduled for interpreters who want to complete requirements to be placed on the APPROVED court interpreter list. These are non-language-specific workshops and provide a general introduction to the profession of court interpreting and the Court Interpreters’ Code of Ethics (this workshop is not required for certification).

There is no cost for these workshops. Enrollment is limited and pre-registration is required.

Court Interpreter Certification Program (Offered once a year)

Language-neutral training format and language-specific testing in the following languages:

  • Arabic (Modern & Egyptian Colloquial)
  • Bosnian/Serbo-Croatian
  • Cantonese
  • French
  • Korean
  • Laotian
  • Mandarin
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

After submitting the interpreter application:

Step 1: English/Foreign Language Diagnostic Test:

Interpreters wishing to take the two-day certification orientation workshop must first pass the written English Language Diagnostic Test. A passing score on the test is 70% or higher.

Note: You are only eligible to go to step 2 if you have passed the English Diagnostic Test prior to the orientation workshop dates.

Step 2: Language-neutral Certification Orientation Workshop:

The next step is to complete the two-day certification orientation workshop.  Pre-registration is required – fees are $100.

Step 3: Language-neutral Skills-Building/Test Preparation Workshops:

After completing the certification orientation workshop, interpreters must register for the skills-building & workshops. Candidates must attend all five days of the skills-building workshops, as the content of each successive workshop builds upon the previous ones. Pre-registration is required – fees for the entire 5 days are $150. The workshops are held in Salt Lake City)

The cost for the package of the Skill Building Workshops must be paid at the time of registration. Enrollment is limited to those who have passed the English Diagnostic Test, and have completed the certification orientation workshop.

Step 4: Language-Specific Oral Certification Exam:

An interpreter must have completed steps 1 – 3 above in order to take the Court Interpreter Certification exams. A passing score on the certification exam is 70% on each part of the exam (simultaneous interpreting, consecutive interpreting and sight translation). This is perhaps the most critical part in the interpreter certification process. The cost for the entire certification exam for Utah residents is $200. Out-of-state interpreters who wish to take the test in Utah must pay the out-of-state rate of $400 to take the exam. Pre-registration is required. The entire three-part exam will be given in one sitting.  Please e-mail Rosa P. Oakes at rosao@email.utcourts.gov for registration.

Those who are interested in becoming state certified before 2011 may pursue certification in one of the neighboring consortium states offering consortium exams. Utah will grant certification testing reciprocity to anyone who successfully passes the state consortium exam in another consortium member state. A list of member states can be found at the website of The National Center for State Courts www.ncsc.org

Source:  http://www.utcourts.gov/resources/interp/training.htm

Is the Interpreter Certification Process Worth It?

We say, yes, the interpreter certification process is worth the struggle. There is not a thing in this task list that you can not do. Following these steps will get you where you want to be to interpret for people in court. You will earn a significantly larger amount of money even though it takes a long time to get certified. Your bilingual skills will be a great advantage for you. But in order for those skills to be of help to you and others, getting certified is essential.

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