Why It’s Important to Use a Certified Interpreter When the Court Requires It

What happens when the Court requires the interpreter to be certified and you use one that’s not?  Great question! 


Unfortunately, this happens more times than it should. Why?


Because instead of verifying if the interpreter meets the needs of the client or the Court’s requirements, the provider simply sends out the first interpreter they have available. This can become problematic.


Just because someone speaks the language, that does not mean they are qualified to be a translator for that type of proceeding. A Court proceeding is a completely different setting than that of a meeting or a doctor’s appointment.


This is why it is critical to determine what type of interpreter is needed for a certain setting.  


How Do You Know if They Are Certified?

Qualifications for a certified interpreter vary by state, and court level. 


For example, in California only interpreters who pass the Bilingual Interpreter Exam or an exam for American Sign Language are certified as a Judicial Council-approved translator/interpreter. This means they have met all the necessary requirements including portions of English language grammar and vocabulary, knowledge of court-related terms and usage, and ethics and professional conduct. 


An interpreter’s job is not an easy one. They have to be able not only understand what people are saying but also make sure that their words are translating correctly for everyone else in the room.  Even if you’re talking about something as simple as your name!


Interpreting in a Court setting is even harder because they have to understand Court procedures and protocols, terminology and usage, ethics and professional conduct.


What does this mean for you if the interpreter is not certified? That all depends on the Judge. 


Not utilizing a certified interpreter could have dire consequences for you and your case. The last thing anybody wants is to have a case fall apart or their rights violated for not having the proper type of representation.

What Are Some Benefits of Using a Certified Interpreter?

There are several reasons why using a certified interpreter is beneficial:


    • They offer trustworthy interpretations because they’ve gone through detailed training and maintain a neutral standpoint as to not sway the outcome in any way.
    • By going through extensive testing in their language and field specialization, they have the ability to interpret complex vocabulary.
    • They are held to a strict code of conduct and offer security that confidential information will not be divulged.
  • Certified interpreters hold themselves to higher standards and levels of professionalism especially when conducting themselves on behalf of a client.


When you need an interpreter to communicate with someone, it’s important that they’re qualified and able. Make sure the person speaking is fluent in the language that needs to be translated and confident in their skills for that proceeding.This will ensure that there are no problems during translation or misunderstanding of what was said between the parties involved.


Need a certified interpreter? Contact us today!






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