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Becoming an Interpreter

There is a great demand for certified court interpreters in Colorado. Court interpreting is a very demanding job that requires complete fluency in both English and a second language. The level of expertise required for this profession is far greater than that required for everyday bilingual conversation. The interpreter must be able to handle the widest range of language terms that might be presented in court, everything from specialized legal and technical terminology to street slang. Most people do not have full command of all registers of both English and a second language and, therefore, require special training to acquire it. Interpreters must proficiently perform the three major types of court interpreting to include: sight interpreting; consecutive interpreting, and simultaneous interpreting.

To become a certified interpreter in Colorado, you must successfully complete five things in the following order:

  1. Attend a 2-day court interpreter orientation that covers interpreter ethics, protocol and the three types of interpretation used in the courtroom;
  2. Pass a written exam covering vocabulary, criminal procedure and court interpreter ethics with a score of 80% or better;
  3. Pass all three portions of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification oral exam with a score of 70% or better on each section;
  4. Undergo a background check investigation;
  5. Sign oaths promising to comply with the Colorado Judicial Department’s Code of Professional Responsibility for Court Interpreters, and with the Colorado Continuing Education Requirements, when applicable. Several other documents will need to be completed and signed before you may work for Denver County Court or the Colorado Judicial Department.

Learn more about Colorado’s court interpreter certification process and how to become an interpreter.