Henry County Courthouse
Judicial Branch of Georgia

Administrative Office of the Courts
Jasper County Courthouse
 
Home | Agencies | Commission on Interpreters

 

     
Administrative Office of the Courts

GEORGIA COMMISSION ON INTERPRETERS

Court Interpreter Program

 

The Georgia Commission on Interpreters maintains a Registry of Registered and Certified Court Interpreters which can be found both online (at http://www.georgiacourts.org) and in print for distribution to judges, court administrators, and attorneys throughout the state. Bilingual individuals who are interested in providing interpretation in Georgia's court system should review the information below on the program to become a Registered or Certified Court Interpreter. Those interested in becoming a court interpreter should possess native-like fluency in their foreign language as well as English. Items posted on the website also include announcements for training and testing opportunities and all necessary applications.

The Georgia Commission on Interpreters' Court Interpreter Program provides interpreters with opportunities for skill development needed to provide professional services to the court system. The Commission assists members of the Bench and Bar in locating Certified and Registered Court Interpreters throughout the state. The Supreme Court of Georgia, through the Commission on Interpreters, sets guidelines for the use of interpreters in the courts. It also establishes the Code of Professional Responsibility for Court Interpreters. The Commission is not involved in hiring, job placement, or payment of interpreters.

1. Orientation Training Session


Interpreters are required to attend a two-day Orientation Training Session at the cost of $250.00 which includes the cost for the Written Exam. The session includes 16-hours of training on modes of interpreting, courtroom procedures, legal process and interpreter's ethics. Federal or State Certified interpreters serve as facilitators at each session and provide candidates with additional resources for study and professional development. Interpreters are also provided with detailed information on the content and composition of the language proficiency examinations during the Orientation Training Session. Interpreters must attend orientation prior to taking the Court Interpreter Written Exam which is offered by the Commission several times a year. Information regarding dates, location and registration for the exams is listed on the Schedule of Activities available on the website as described above.

2. Court Interpreter Written Exam

This Exam is multiple-choice and includes sections on ethics, legal process, terminology, English grammar, idioms, synonyms and antonyms. Interpreters must be well versed in the English language, and must score 80% or higher on each section in order to pass the exam. An orientation training session must be taken prior to taking the Court Interpreter Written Exam. The cost of re-taking the English written exam is $50, or $75 for out-of –state residents.

I. REGISTERED COURT INTERPRETER PROCESS

Registered Court Interpreters must take both the Orientation and Written Exam and the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). The license application fee is $100 and must be renewed annually. As of March 22, 2007 only applicants for languages in which there is no Oral Certification Exam may seek Registered status.

1. Eligibility

Registered Court Interpreters may work in the courts as licensed interpreters in the state of Georgia. However, as of January 2007, current Registered Interpreters who speak languages for which an Oral Certification Exam exists must take and pass such an exam within two years of becoming Registered, or must begin the process again. For example, Spanish speaking Court Interpreters who are Registered in January 2007 must take and pass the Spanish Oral Certification Exam by January 2009. Those who have taken and passed the English Written Exam prior to February 24, 2007 may seek Registered status for languages which have an Oral Certification Exam, however, they must take and pass the Oral Certification Exam prior to January 1, 2009. The languages for which an Oral Certification Exam exists includes the following: Arabic, Cantonese, French, Hatian-Creole, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Only applicants who speak languages for which there is no Oral Exam will remain licensed as a Registered Court Interpreter.

2. Oral Proficiency Interview - OPI

The Oral Proficiency Interview or OPI is a personal telephone interview given in both English and the language you wish to interpret. Each interview lasts approximately 25 minutes and is designed to evaluate the candidate's foreign language ability, level of knowledge and education. Candidates must meet the Superior classification in both languages to be eligible for Registered status. The cost of each OPI is $143. Some locations may charge an additional $5 fee to cover the cost of the long distance charges. For further information please contact ACTFL-OPI at (800) 486-8444, or http://www.languagetesting.com.

II. CERTIFIED COURT INTERPRETER PROCESS

This is the highest certification for a court interpreter on the state level. State Certified Court Interpreters are in high demand in all levels of the courts. The license application fee is $100 and must be renewed annually.

1. Eligibility


All Registered Court Interpreters are eligible to become certified by passing the Oral Certification Exam approved by the Consortium for State Court Interpreters as explained below. All current Registered Court Interpreters who speak a language for which an Oral Certification Exam exists must take and pass such exam and become Certified prior to January 1, 2009. Court Interpreters Certified in other Consortium states may be eligible for reciprocity. Bilingual persons who have taken and passed the English Written Exam prior to February 24, 2007 and wish to bypass Registered status must complete and pass the Oral Certification Exam within two years of the date of the orientation attended and pay a licensing fee in order to be licensed as a Certified Court Interpreter.

2. Oral Certification Exam

A three part Oral Certification Exam is administered in accordance with standards developed by the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification programs. Part one consists of sight translation from the foreign language into English and then English into the foreign language. Part two consists of consecutive interpreting that simulates a courtroom setting by utilizing court transcripts. Part three consists of simultaneous interpreting with passages presented in English for interpretation into the foreign language. The exam is graded anonymously by a team of experienced Federal and State Certified raters. Interpreter candidates must receive a score of 70% or higher on each part of the Oral Certification Exam. The exam is offered in the following languages: Arabic, Cantonese, French, Haitian-Creole, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Effective March 22, 2007, a candidate must pass all three parts of the exam in one setting in order to meet the requirements for Certified status. Candidates who have previously taken and passed parts of the exam must pass the exam within the next twelve months. The Commission offers reciprocity to interpreters who have received a passing grade on the Oral Certification Exam administered by states who are members of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification or Federally Certified Interpreters. Please check the website for test dates, locations, and an application form. The cost of the Oral Certification Exam is $250 ($400 for out-of-state residents).

3. Oath, Agreement & Background Check

Interpreters seeking Certification must take the Interpreter's Oath and agree to abide by the Code of Professional Responsibility for Court Interpreters prior to the Oral Certification Exam. Candidates are also required to submit to a criminal background check after passing the Oral Certification Exam. Upon completion of these requirements, candidates are designated as a Georgia State Certified Court Interpreter and will receive a certificate and an ID card in the mail.



The 2007 Schedule of Activities is available at this time.

 

Home | Courts | Forms | Agencies | Councils | AOC Services | Links | Contact | Disclaimer

This website best viewed in Internet Explorer 5 or later.