Foreign Language Interpreters
The State Court Administrative Office certifies foreign language interpreters. Courts may use provisionally or fully certified interpreters to comply with the court rule requirement to use a certified interpreter. Courts may use interpreters who have passed similar certification exams in other states; however, this website will only contain information on those who have passed certification in Michigan.
Persons who want to be certified as foreign language interpreters in Michigan’s courts must pass two tests demonstrating their abilities to interpret. The two tests are:
- a written examination demonstrating English proficiency and knowledge of general courtroom procedures. A person must pass the written examination to be eligible to take the oral examination.
- an oral examination consisting of:
- sight translation of a document from English to another language and from another language to English;
- consecutive interpretation from English to another language ("target" language) and from the target language to English; and
- simultaneous interpretation from English to a target language and from the target language to English.
A person who has passed all three portions of the oral exam is fully certified. A person who has passed the sight translation and either the consecutive or simultaneous interpretation portions of the oral examination is considered provisionally certified.