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Sept. 27 is deadline to apply to be a court interpreter

Sept. 27 is deadline to apply to be a court interpreter

September 19th, 2018 by News Tribune in Local News

Missouri's courts are looking for people who speak English and another language, and want to be certified as court interpreters.

Sept. 27 is the deadline to register for the first step in the certification process — an orientation program scheduled Oct. 20-21 at Webster University in Webster Groves.

To register for the October orientation program, candidates must submit a completed application, signed authorization for a background check, and payment of the $260 program fee no later than Sept. 27.

The court interpreter certification program is provided by the Supreme Court's Office of State Courts Administrator for people who have a "native-like mastery of English and a second language who are interested in interpreting in the courts," according to a news release. "Other skills necessary to be successful are the ability to display a wide general knowledge — typical of what a minimum of two years of a college or university would provide — and proficiency in the three major types of court interpreting: sight, consecutive and simultaneous."

The first step in reaching certification involves a 16-hour orientation open to anyone who is at least 18 and has that native-like mastery of English and another language.

The orientation includes instruction about the interpreter's role and professional ethics, the modes of interpreting used in court, legal terminology and court protocol.

After completing the orientation, candidates may register to take the written exam, which tests the candidate's knowledge of English proficiency, legal terms, court protocol and ethical situations, and includes translation from English to a second language.

Candidates who pass the written examination — which requires a score of 80 percent or greater — may register to take the oral exam, which tests their skill in sight translation as well as consecutive and simultaneous interpreting.

A candidate must pass each portion of this three-part exam with a score of 70 percent or greater to receive certification.

Once an interpreter is certified, he or she becomes an independent contractor.

Contractors' contact information is provided to the courts for use on an as-needed basis.

Additional information about the court interpreter program is available from the Missouri Courts website at courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=180.

For more information or to obtain the registration materials, contact Access to Justice Program Analyst Lynette Ricks at 573-526-8356 or by email at lynette.ricks@courts.mo.gov.