The Supreme Court of Missouri will host an orientation program for becoming a certified court interpreters August 3 and 4 at Missouri State University in Springfield.

Qualified individuals must have native-like mastery of English and a second language and be interested in interpreting in the courts. Other skills necessary to be successful are the ability to display a wide general knowledge, typical of what a minimum of two years of a college or university would provide, and proficiency in the three major types of court interpreting: sight, consecutive and simultaneous.

The first step in reaching certification involves a 16-hour orientation open to any person at least 18 years of age with a native-like mastery of English and a second language.

After completing orientation, candidates may register to take the written examination, which tests the candidate’s knowledge of English proficiency, legal terms, court protocol, and ethical situations, and includes translation from English to a second language.

Candidates who pass the written examination – which requires a score of 80 percent or greater – may register to take the oral examination, which tests their skill in sight translation as well as consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. A candidate must pass each portion of this three-part exam with a score of 70 percent or greater to receive certification. Once an interpreter is certified, he or she becomes an independent contractor.

Contractors’ contact information is provided to the courts for use on an as-needed basis.

To register for the August orientation workshop, candidates must submit a completed application, signed authorization for a background check, and payment of the $260 program fee no later than Wednesday, July 3. For more information or to obtain the registration materials, contact Access to Justice Program Analyst Lynette Ricks by e-mail at or by calling (573) 526-8356.

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