Spanish Interpreter Series: The Court Interpreter

In the courts of law, there is no room for miscommunication.

This is why the presence of a highly competent legal or court interpreter is invaluable in the conduct of a judicial process.

What exactly does a legal interpreter do?

According to, a court interpreter is one who works at courts and with authorities.

The Administrative Office of the United States Courts classifies court interpreters into three types: the certified interpreter, the professionally qualified interpreter, and the language skilled interpreter.

A certified interpreter is one who has passed the Administrative Office certification examination. Currently, certification programs are available for Spanish, Navajo and Haitian Creole.

A professionally qualified interpreter is one who interprets all other languages except for those certified by the Administrative Office. This category requires sufficient documentation and authentication, in addition to passing certain examinations.

Finally, a language skilled interpreter is one who “can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court the ability to interpret court proceedings from English to a designated language and from that language into English.” Certified and professionally qualified interpreters are paid higher than language skilled interpreters because of the stricter qualifications for the former two.

In general though, the job of a court interpreter is highly complex. Like the medical interpreter, it involves a deep and thorough understanding of specialized terminologies and legal jargon, in addition to complete mastery of the nuances of another language.

Here are additional information on the nature of work of a court interpreter, according to

·      A court interpreter has to constantly deal with language made incoherent by fear or uncertainty which are common in a court room setting.

·      A court interpreter often works long hours. Fatigue and vocal health are among major and common job hazards.

·      A court interpreter is involved in every stage of the legal process, not just in actual litigation. For example, he/she may be expected to go to a police station to interpret for a suspect following arrest.

·      A court interpreter must always remain impartial even if a client considers them an “ally.”

Legal Interpreting Service in Orange County

California-based The Spanish Group is a Spanish learning center that provides Spanish lessons, tutorials, translations, interpretations and other Spanish language services.

According to Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group general manager, relevant experience and certification are major qualifications to become a legal Spanish interpreter for The Spanish Group. “Fluency and native proficiency of Spanish is just half of it,” he added. “Legal interpreting is a highly specialized skill which is why all our interpreters are current and former industry practitioners with the necessary training and certification required to handle sensitive and complex legal information.”

The Spanish Group’s interpreting service in Orange County and San Diego includes on-site interpreting, telephonic interpreting and transcriptions.

To get a quote for their legal interpreting service in Orange County or San Diego, call (800) 460-1536 or visit Interested clients can also follow The Spanish Group on Twitter ( or on Facebook (

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