Court system to begin certifying interpreters | NevadaAppeal.com

Court system to begin certifying interpreters

by Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capital Bureau

In recognition of Nevada’s increasingly diverse population and tourism base, the state’s judiciary is setting up a system designed to make sure courtroom interpreters are fully qualified to protect the rights of those who don’t speak English.

The 2001 Legislature ordered the judiciary to create a certification process for interpreters saying there has been no statewide mechanism to make sure interpreters now doing the job are all fully qualified.

Carson District Judge Bill Maddox said the capital has had safeguards in place for some time to ensure that interpreters are checked but that the new state system will formalize and standardize the process.

“This is a major step in the process to ensure that foreign language interpreters in Nevada are measurably competent and certified to perform translation services in our courts,” said Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Maupin.

The coordinator of the program Edwin Canizalez said the system will begin with orientation workshops for those who want to become certified in Las Vegas, Reno and Elko over the next two months. He said to qualify, candidates will have to pass a written exam including English vocabulary, court terminology and ethical and professional conduct. They will spend at least 40 hours in courtrooms learning procedures.

And they must pass the oral and written exams proving their ability to accurately translate in the language they are certifying in.

Canizalez said Nevada has joined the National Center for state court interpreter certifications which has standard tests available in 10 different languages.

Maddox said in Nevada, the primary need is for Spanish interpreters.

More information for those interested in the workshops is available from Canizalez at 684-1734.