Find a Court Interpreter | The Directory by AppearMe

Court interpretation is a process held by a certified court interpreter who interprets between English and one or more foreign languages. Interpreters provide a clear and understandable interpretation for people who don’t speak the same language.

A professional court interpreter possesses an educated, native-like mastery of both English and another language; displays wide general knowledge, and performs the three major types of court interpreting: sight translation, consecutive interpreting, and simultaneous interpreting. 

Sight translation is when a document in another language that the court doesn’t speak is given to the interpreter and after reading it he/she has to explain it translated in English to the judge. 

Simultaneous interpreting happens while speaking of the person. The interpreter immediately translates what the other party says without waiting for them to finish their speech. This rarely happens in court but sometimes you can witness it. 

Consecutive interpreting, on the other hand, starts when the person has finished their talk during which the interpreter can make some notes to not miss any important details.

If a person in a judicial environment is not so good at English then interpreters come to help. They can translate verbally everything that judge and others in the course say from English to native language and the opposite.

As we all know languages have layers of vocabulary for every profession and just simply speaking communicative English is not enough for the court. There are terms and special vocabulary for a legal field that interpreters know perfectly in the languages they interpret.

Our world hosts various kinds of people be they fully healthy to people having problems with hearing and speaking, accordingly, courts provide also sign language interpreters for people who are deaf or have a hearing impairment. 

How to Find a Court Interpreter?

Out of millions, it is hard to choose a competent and professional interpreter. In AppearMe you get an opportunity to enter a platform with a free directory to find certified interpreters that can accurately translate court proceedings from English to a designated language and vice versa.  

If you are a certified interpreter looking for a job in your local area then AppearMe can be your working platform to find clients, apply for the cases they posted.

The online database includes profiles of over 10,000 expert witnesses and litigation support professionals and allows you to browse, evaluate and choose the right expert to support your case. Since the directory is organized by areas of expertise it’s extremely easy for attorneys to find the specialist they are looking for. 

The expert witnesses listed on the directory are qualified in numerous fields, including medical, accident reconstruction & safety; agricultural & animals; construction & architecture; documents & handwriting; business, financial & marketing; computers & technology, and more. Here you can explore litigation support services available in our directory. 

For starting your journey with us you simply need to do 2 steps:

  1. Sign up for AppearMe either on Webpage or by downloading the application
  2. Get verified

After these simple steps, you can look for a certified court interpreter who meets your requirements and work together. 


How to Become a Court Interpreter?

If a person is planning to become one or currently studying then these steps can help to plan their career to drive in the right direction. 

Step 1: Become Bilingual 

One of the requirements for court interpreting is to be bilingual at least in two languages. After students choose the second language they would like to master in they have to start going to specialized classes. They can take the initiative to participate in voluntary or social services to get acquainted with the layers of the language. They can join community organizations such as hospitals, clinics, participate in competitions and programs that host international interpreters as volunteers. This will boost their learning effect and develop communication competence too. Moreover, they can learn about relative cultures by self-education as well. They can read books in both languages and familiarize themselves with the industry terminologies and develop vocabulary practice.

Step 2: Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree 

Interpreters undergo a long and strict education before they become certified professionals. They must have a bachelor’s or a college degree as the US Bureau of Labor Statistics states. Students can enroll in bachelor’s degree programs for translation choosing their desired language for their career. 

Students can choose to acquire specialized knowledge of a specified field or industry or just select a program particularly designed for interpreters. They can as well choose to study in the country of origin of their chosen language, hence, learning the slang, legal jargon, and colloquial vocabulary of it. You can also take additional courses in phonetics, translation, diction, composition, etc. 

Step  3: Pass a Court  Interpreter Certification Training

As you completed your bachelor’s degree in translation studies and are fluent in a foreign language, then your next step will be enrolling in a court interpreter certificate program from high ranking organizations such as the American Translators Association, National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators and Center for Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation. Certification is essential for an interpreter to work in court. How to get certified to become a court interpreter? For gaining a certificate an individual should pass both a bilingual interpreting oral exam and a written exam and register in the Judicial Council. 

If a person studies for American sign language interpreting then can pursue National Interpreter Certification. For obtaining this certificate they have to pass two exams – a hands-on performance test and a multiple-choice written test.

The Judicial Council has established specific categories of court interpreters as well as procedures for qualifying interpreters. The Judicial Council directly certifies and registers spoken-language interpreters:

  • A certified interpreter is a spoken-language interpreter who has passed the Bilingual Interpreting Exam.
  • A registered interpreter is a spoken-language interpreter of a non-designated language (in which no state certifying examination is offered) who has passed the Written Examination and the Oral Proficiency Exams (OPE) in both English and their non-English language.
  • A provisionally qualified interpreter is an interpreter who is not certified or registered by the Judicial Council in the target language and is appointed by a court to interpret after a finding of good cause and is qualified under the provisional qualification procedures adopted by the Judicial Council.


How Much Does Court Interpreter make?

The average US court interpreter earns approximately $68.000 per year. The average California court interpreter’s salary per year reaches around $74,000 with the last statistics updated in March 2022.