Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Court language interpreter seminar set for June 15-16 in Long Beach

May 17, 2016

The Mississippi Administrative Office of Courts is seeking to recruit language interpreters for court proceedings. AOC will conduct a seminar to introduce bilingual speakers to the requirements for court interpreting on June 15-16 at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach.

The Mississippi Court Interpreter Credentialing Program’s Ethics and Skill Building Seminar will be held in Lloyd Hall Room 103 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 15. Participants should arrive by 8 a.m. June 15 to sign in. The June 16 presentation will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Lloyd Hall. The afternoon session will be held at the Harrison County Courthouse, where Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson will talk to participants about court proceedings at 1:30 p.m.

An agenda is at this link:

A registration form is at this link:

A written examination will be given June 17 for participants who wish to pursue certification. The written exam will be given at Lloyd Hall from 9 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., with check-in beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Advance registration is required for the seminar and the exam. The registration deadline for both is June 5. The fee to attend the seminar is $100. The exam fee is $25.

Three seminars are conducted each year in the northern, central and southern regions of the state. The fall seminar is scheduled for Oct. 12-13 in Tupelo at the Community Development Foundation Center.

Dates for the oral examinations will be posted later on the Mississippi Judiciary web site Click Here.

The seminars will introduce prospective foreign language interpreters to interpreting in legal settings including the courtroom, depositions and other legal proceedings. Court interpreters must understand court proceedings as well as be fluent in English and a second language. Interpreters must be highly skilled in all modes of interpreting.

Administrative Office of Courts Deputy Director Ta’Shia Gordon will give an overview of Mississippi’s Court Interpreter Credentialing Program. The seminar presenter is Certified Spanish Court Interpreter Georgina Barvie’ of Gulfport.

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

Language interpreters may be included on the list after having completed the AOC’s credentialing program. The searchable registry is at this link, Click Here.

Attendance at the seminar is the first step in the program which will train, certify, and test individuals who wish to serve as interpreters in the courtrooms of Mississippi. The seminar will outline the requirements to achieve credentialing as a registered or certified courtroom interpreter.

AOC officials hope to train and issue credentials to interpreters in many languages. The biggest need is for those who speak Spanish or Vietnamese.

Eighteen interpreters currently are credentialed by AOC. Eight interpreters are certified, and 10 are registered. Languages include Spanish, Russian and Mandarin Chinese. Credentialed interpreters are located in Brandon, Clinton, French Camp, Gulfport, Hazlehurst, Jackson, Meridian, Newton, Ocean Springs and Tupelo as well as Memphis, Nashville, Cordova and Goodlettsville, Tenn., and North Augusta, S.C.

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: Click Here. Other information about the interpreter program may be found Click Here.

The AOC standards and code of ethics are modeled on standards for language interpretation adopted by the National Center for State Courts’ Consortium for Language Access in the Courts. The Mississippi AOC is a member of the Consortium. Court interpreters who are certified in other Consortium member states may seek reciprocity.

For additional information, contact Ta’Shia Gordon at 601-576-4632.