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Become a Federal Court Interpreter

Court Interpreters work to translate information from another language into English for the court systems. This 100% online course will fully prepare you to pass a State or Federal Spanish Court Interpreter examination.

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Job Outlook for Court Interpreters

    • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that demand for professional interpreters will grow 20% over the next decade due to an increase in foreign language speakers living in the country.
    • The BLS found that professional interpreters make over $51,000 a year on average. However, court interpreters make substantially more due to the complex nature of their work. On average, court reporters earn around $75,000 a year, according to Indeed.com data.

Court Interpreters FAQs

WHAT DO FEDERAL COURT INTERPRETERS DO?
Court interpreters interpret and translate spoken or written passages from source language into target language (primarily English) for the judiciary. The typical duties of a court interpreter include interpreting proceedings such as first appearances, arraignments, preliminary hearings, pretrial motions and trials.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STATE COURT INTERPRETERS AND FEDERAL COURT INTEPRETERS?
State courts oversee cases involving the laws and citizens of their state or city, while federal courts decide, cases against the United States and cases involving specific federal laws. For this reason, it is significantly harder to pass the federal court interpreter exam. 

HOW DO I BECOME A FEDERAL COURT INTERPRETER?
To become a federal court interpreter, you must pass the qualification exams administered by or meet other eligibility requirements set by the U.S. Court System Administrative Office. The Court designates three categories of interpreter: “certified interpreter” for Spanish, Haitian Creole and Navajo speakers; “professionally qualified interpreter” for all other major foreign language speakers; and “language skilled interpreter” for less-commonly taught or spoken language speakers.

Course Objectives

    • Understand interpreting techniques - simultaneous, consecutive, and sight translation
    • Learn criminal and civil terminology in both Spanish and English and the corresponding transfer into the opposite language
    • Master drug, firearm, fingerprint, gang terminology
    • Study juvenile court and children's court terminology
    • Explore the necessary material to sit in either a State or Federal Spanish Court Interpreter examination
    • Understand courtroom protocol and the ethics of the court interpreter

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Prerequisites and Requirements

You must speak English and Spanish fluently to enroll in this course. 

Curriculum

INTERPRETING CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS I
Learn about arraignments, pre-trial hearings, preliminary hearings, criminal terminology, trials, sentencing, and progress reports.

INTERPRETING CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS II
Master an understanding of probation violation hearings, colloquialisms, simultaneous techniques, consecutive techniques, criminal offenses in the state jurisdiction, and interpreting laboratory practices.

ADVANCED INTERPRETING TECHNIQUES IN CRIMINAL AND CIVIL MATTERS
Understand misdemeanors and felonies in state court, waivers and plea forms, DUI/DWIs, domestic violence, drug terminology, drug possession cases, and firearms terminology.

INTERPRETING LABORATORY PRACTICES
Learn about advanced consecutive techniques, expert witness testimony, differences in the transfer or criminal and civil legal terminology, and drug trafficking.

Instructor

Nestor Wagner is a certified Court and Medical Interpreter who has been teaching interpreting courses since 1990. He has the highest pass rate of certified court interpreters in the nation. He has published several books in the interpreting community. Mr. Wagner is involved in the examination process for Immigration Interpreters and Analytical Linguists. He participates as speakers in national and international conferences on Criminal, Civil and Immigration Court terminology, advanced interpreting skills, and localization in the transfer of legal and non-legal terminology. Mr. Wagner holds a master’s degree from the University of Washington.

Registration and Enrollment

This course is 100% online with our curriculum partner ed2go. Start anytime.

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