News

Court language interpreter seminar set for Feb. 28-March 1 in Jackson

January 25, 2018


The Mississippi Administrative Office of Courts will introduce bilingual speakers to the requirements for court interpreting during a seminar scheduled for Feb. 28-March 1 in Jackson.

The Ethics and Skill Building Seminar will be held at the Mississippi Supreme Court training room in the Gartin Justice Building, 450 High Street in Jackson.

The registration deadline is Feb. 2. A registration fee of $100 includes the seminar and lunch for both days. The registration form is at this link: https://courts.ms.gov/newsite2/aoc/courtinterpreter/forms/FEBRUARY%202018%20REGISTRATION%20FORM.pdf.

Participation in a court language interpreter seminar is the first step in the program which will train, certify, and test individuals who wish to serve as interpreters in Mississippi courtrooms. Candidates to become interpreters must already be fluent in English and a second language, and must develop an understanding of court proceedings. The seminar will provide an introduction to court proceedings. The program will introduce participants to the role of the court language interpreter, ethical requirements, modes of interpretation and credentialing requirements.

Participants should arrive by 8 a.m. Feb. 28 to sign in. Presentations are scheduled 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days.

A written examination will be given March 2 for participants who wish to pursue certification and be able to work in Mississippi court proceedings. The written exam will be given at the Gartin Justice Building from 9 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., with check-in beginning at 8:30 a.m. The deadline to register for the written exam is Feb. 2, 2018. The exam fee is $25.

The AOC developed the Mississippi Court Interpreter Credentialing Program to assist state courts in their endeavors to provide equal access to justice for limited English proficiency individuals.

AOC Deputy Director Lisa Counts said, “It is the responsibility of the courts to ensure meaningful access to justice for all people in the United States, whether the person speaks English or another language. Our Constitution and laws demand it, and we are making great strides in providing the people of Mississippi with true access to justice.”

The AOC program provides all state courts with a list of language interpreters who have demonstrated proficiency in oral and written interpretation of court proceedings. The credentialing program provides two levels of proficiency: registered and certified. Certified is the more advanced level. The registry is at this link: https://courts.ms.gov/Newsite2/aoc/courtinterpreter/registry.php.

Twenty-two interpreters currently are credentialed by AOC. Languages include Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Russian. Credentialed interpreters include 20 Spanish speakers, one Russian speaker, and one who speaks Mandarin Chinese. There is also a need for Vietnamese speakers, but none have been credentialed.

Ten interpreters are certified, and 12 are registered. Interpreters live in Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, Brandon, Clinton, French Camp, Gulfport, Hazlehurst, Meridian, Newton, Ocean Springs, Oxford, Tupelo and Vicksburg as well as Cordova, Goodlettsville, Memphis and Nashville, Tenn., and New Orleans.

AOC adopted Standards for Court Interpreters and a Code of Ethics for Court Interpreters on Oct. 17, 2011. The rules for court interpreters apply to municipal court, justice court, youth court, county court, circuit court, chancery court and grand jury proceedings. Rules regarding certification are at this link: http://courts.ms.gov/newsite2/aoc/courtinterpreter/rules_on_standards.pdf. Other information about the interpreter program may be found here: https://courts.ms.gov/newsite2/aoc/courtinterpreter/courtinterpreter.php.

For additional information, contact Administrative Office of Courts Deputy Director Lisa Counts at 601-359-3470.

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