Camille T. Wiggins
What are the dates for the next certification session?
The next orientation class will be in July 2013, but registration is open for the written exam to candidates who have completed orientation. Candidates must pass each step of the program before registering for and progressing to the next step (with the exception of the Simultaneous Interpretation session, which is optional). Registration forms are available at the bottom of this page.
I'm bilingual, is that sufficient to become a certified court interpreter?
No. Professional court interpreting requires more than being bilingual. Court interpreting is a highly skilled profession that requires training, education, experience and knowledge of legal terminology in both languages.
We encourage those individuals interested in this program to read over the self-assessment guide (PDF) provided by the Consortium at the National Center for State Courts website. The Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination Program also has a self-assessment test you can review online.
I'm already certified by another state or the federal government, can I obtain certification by reciprocity in Indiana?
Yes. You may be eligible for certification by reciprocity as long as the certifying state or federal government maintains the same (or higher) scoring standards as Indiana. Learn more about certification by reciprocity.
I want to become a certified court interpreter, what do I need to do?
What is the written exam like?
The written test contains 135 multiple-choice questions and measures a candidate's knowledge of the following areas central to the work of a court interpreter:
For any candidate testing in Spanish, the candidate also must complete a ten-sentence translation component in which the candidate must translate ten English sentences to Spanish. In order to pass this component, the candidate must receive a score of borderline or better.
What is the oral certification exam like?
The oral certification exam tests proficiency in the three modes of interpretation used in the courts: sight translation, consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation. A candidate must achieve a score of 70% or better on each portion of the test to pass. Tests are given individually, are tape recorded, and are scored by two federally certified interpreters who are trained as raters.
I am a Spanish language interpreter. Do I have to pass all three portions of the oral exam at once?
No. The State of Indiana currently does not require all three portions of the oral exam to be passed in one sitting. You may retake the sections you did not pass, when the next oral exam is offered, for a fee of $25 per section tested. Please note that you have two years from the date that you attended Skills Building to pass the oral exam. Failure to pass the oral examination within this time frame will result in you having to retake Skills Building before sitting for the oral exam again.
I interpret in a language that is not Spanish. Do you offer a certification exam in my language?
On a case-by-case basis. If you are proficient in another foreign language and have completed the self-assessment guide, contact Camille Wiggins, the Program Manager, at email@example.com, to find out if there is a Consortium-approved certification exam in your language. Additionally, the State of Indiana does accept reciprocity from other states if you have been certified from another state that belongs to the Consortium. Learn more about reciprocity.
Do I have to be certified to work as an interpreter in the Indiana courts?
Currently, you do not have to be certified to work in Indiana courts. However, courts are strongly encouraged to use certified interpreters, and many trial courts in Indiana only will hire certified interpreters.
How can I get hired to work as a court interpreter and what would I get paid?
Please be aware that certification does not constitute a guarantee of employment. At this time, some Indiana courts employ independent contractors for court interpretation while other Indiana courts utilize the services of staff court interpreters. Therefore, the possible income for a court interpreter can vary. Factors affecting the availability of work for independent contractors include the volume of cases requiring interpretation in a specific language, the employment policies of the applicable court, and the availability of certified interpreters in each locality. Contact your local courthouse to find out how interpreters are hired in each county.
How do I find out about program changes, test dates, and training opportunities?
Whenever you have questions about the court interpreter program, please visit this website. We endeavor to post any changes to the program promptly. If the answer to your question is not found at any of these previously listed sources, you may contact the Program Assistant, Krystal Grimes at 317-234-3824 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or the Program Manager, Camille Wiggins at 317-232-2542 or via email at: email@example.com.
I'm ready to register for the program, what should I do now?
If you are ready to register for the certification exam, click on the link below to download a registration form for the next session. In the meantime, you are encouraged to obtain study guides and practice, practice, practice! You can find a list of study materials in the Online Resources section of this website. You also should study the Indiana Supreme Court Interpreter Code of Conduct and Procedure.