Do You Want a Legal Translator Certificate or a Legal Interpreter Certificate?
Nowhere is the wording you choose more important than in a court of law. A person’s innocence can hang on the interpretation of a single word or phrase, and how the jury understands it. This need of complete accuracy in the courtroom shows that, as a legal or court interpreter; you should know exactly what you’re saying and its meaning at all times. That even applies to whether or not you’re searching to acquire a legal translator certificate or a legal interpreter certificate – because, there is quite a difference in meaning between the two, and what a court may understand of your job roles.
What are The Differences between a Legal Translator Certificate and a Legal Interpreter Certificate?
The main difference between looking to acquire a legal translator certificate and someone looking for a legal interpreter certificate, is the type of job either one certifies you to perform.
A legal translator certificate, or being a certified legal translator, will refer to your ability to convey written legal information from one language to another. It can also refer to your being a “certified translator” meaning you have gone through a series of exams that test your skill level as a translator. For example, if you were to say you have a Spanish translator certification, you would be referring to your tested ability to convey written Spanish into other languages – so your ability to translate Spanish legal documents.
A legal interpreter certificate will refer to your ability to convey spoken legal information (conversations) from one language to another. Legal interpreter certificates show that you have passed one of the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examinations. Successful completion of one of these exams, which has been created for multiple languages, but is currently only offered for Spanish court interpreters, are required by the United States courts in order to be considered a “Certified Interpreter”. Having this certification will assist in your credibility as a court interpreter in the workplace.
So to sum it up:
- A legal translator certificate means you are certified to convey written legal information between multiple languages.
- A legal interpreter certificate means you are certified by the Federal Court to convey spoken legal information between multiple languages.
How Do You Prepare for a Legal Translator Certificate and a Legal Interpreter Certificate?
Regardless of whether or not you’re pursuing a legal translator certificate or a legal interpreter certificate, there is a certain amount of training and practice that is involved. Experience is key if you would like to gain a legal translator certificate – you can gain this by training your bilingual (or multilingual) abilities through a translation degree at a university or by getting accredited by the American Translator’s Associate (ATA). There are many other options as well, but these could be good places to begin.
When training for a court interpreter certification it is good to look for specific interpreter training programs that will teach you necessary skills you will use as a court interpreter. Court interpreter training programs, taught by experienced and professional legal interpreters, will not only cover the knowledge you will need about the American judicial system, but they will also cover:
- Common legal terminology
- Best practices as an interpreter
- Oral practice between English and your target language in mock court settings
Completing a court interpreter program will prepare you for taking the Spanish interpreter certification exam offered by the Federal Court, or in the event that you are studying for a language other than Spanish, will prepare you for success as a Professionally Qualified Interpreter (as recognized by the Federal Court).
When justice hangs on your every word, it’s important to know what you’re talking about and to have the necessary training to ensure you’re prepared to interpret for any legal situation.
Get the necessary, in person training in order to pass interpreter qualification exams with our Medical Interpreter Training, Business and Community Interpreter Training, and Legal Interpreter Training Programs.
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