The Language Access Office is responsible for providing meaningful access to the courts and court-sponsored services for individuals who may not be English proficient, or are deaf or hard of hearing. To meet this need, the office employs the services of highly skilled linguistic professionals, commonly referred to as certified court interpreters.
One of the primary responsibilities of this office is to contract with court interpreters. Idaho is experiencing an increase of linguistic diversity, and each year our courts provide linguistic assistance for thousands of interpreting instances involving more than 40 languages.
What is a court interpreter?
A certified court interpreter is an individual who has a native-like fluency in at least two languages. These highly skilled professionals must undergo extensive training and rigorous assessment of their linguistic and interpreting skills.
In court, interpreters are responsible for allowing non-English speaking, deaf, or hard of hearing persons to be legally present and to participate effectively in all judicial proceedings. This responsibility is set forth in Idaho Code Section 9-205 which states, “In any civil or criminal action in which any witness or party does not understand or speak the English language, or who has a physical disability which prevents him from fully hearing or speaking the English language, then the court shall appoint a qualified interpreter to interpret the proceedings to and the testimony of such witness or party.”
Interpreters use three modes of interpretation in their work (i.e., simultaneous, consecutive, and sight translation of written documents). Everything that is stated or written in one language is interpreted or translated to another. Interpretation is done without adding, editing, or deleting anything from the original statement. Additionally, interpreters must comply with a set of ethical rules delineated in the Idaho Code of Professional Responsibilities for Interpreters in the Judiciary.
How do I become a certified court interpreter?
Because of the responsibility that court interpreters have, courts are mandated to contract with trained professional interpreters. If you would like to become a court interpreter, you must undergo training and testing. The Fourth Judicial District Court partners with the Idaho Supreme Court’s Administrative Office of the Courts to provide this training and testing. Please visit the Idaho Supreme Court’s Language Access Office website to access information, testing schedule , and registration forms.
How do I request an interpreter for a court proceeding?
To request a court interpreter for a non-English speaker, deaf, or hard of hearing person, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because of the limited number of certified court interpreters, we ask that you submit a request immediately upon being notified of the hearing date and time. Doing so will avoid unnecessary delays or continuances due to interpreter unavailability.
In accordance with federal and state law, the Language Access Office provides interpreters free of charge in all criminal and civil in-court proceedings and court-sponsored events.
Comments or concerns
The Fourth Judicial District Court Language Access Office strives to provide excellent service to all individuals who require a court interpreter. As such, all comments or complaints are carefully reviewed. Comments, concerns, or complaints relating to an interpreter should be submitted in writing to the following address:
Language Access Office
Fourth Judicial District Court
Trial Court Administration
200 W. Front St., Room #4171
Boise, ID 83702