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Once-a-year court interpreter training slated

By Staff | Jan 11, 2018

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Judiciary, through its Office on Equality and Access to the Courts, last week announced the schedule for 2018 court interpreter workshops offered by the Hawaii State Judiciary Court Interpreter Certification Program.

This opportunity for individuals who are proficient with English and a second language is the first step required to becoming qualified to interpret in the Hawaii State Courts.

The certification program was established to promote and ensure equal access to Hawaii’s courts for limited English proficient, deaf and hard-of-hearing parties by providing the most qualified interpreters available.

Further, the program sets standards in obtaining certified status for selected languages and alternate credentialing for other languages.

Court interpreters service the courts as independent contractors and receive compensation starting at $25/hour with potential rate increases up to $55/hour, round-trip mileage reimbursement at $.55 per mile, exemption from expired meter parking ticket while on assignment, and commuter time payment, if applicable.

Interpreters must be at least 18 years of age, be authorized to work in the United States and possess a Hawaii General Excise Tax License.

The certification program requires all interpreters to attend a two-day orientation workshop, pass a written English proficiency exam and basic ethics exam, and clear a criminal background check. Taking an oral skills exam is optional, but obtaining a passing score on the oral exam will lead to an increased compensation rate.

Offered only once a year statewide, the Basic Orientation Workshop (BOW) is the first mandatory event in the certification program. The Maui workshop is slated for Feb. 28 to March 1.

Topics covered include the role of interpreters in the state court system, court interpreting skills, interpreting practice techniques, court interpreter ethics and protocol, legal terms and resources, and next steps in the certification program.

Applicants must attend the BOW in order to become qualified to interpret in the Hawaii State Courts.

This year, through grant funding, the BOW is offered at a reduced rate of just $50, which covers the two-day workshop, course materials and a resource binder developed especially for Hawaii court interpreters.

The deadline to register for this once-a-year workshop is Wednesday, Jan. 31. Call (808) 539-4860, e-mail OEAC@courts.hawaii.gov or visit www.courts.state.hi.us/courtinterpreting.