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Home-court advantage

Free court interpreter orientation/exam offers a potential career path for bilingual and multilingual students.

By Cora Zaletel

February 25, 2019

Student looking at Italian club posterColorado courts need interpreters in 120 languages. To help fill this need, bilingual and multilingual MSU Denver students will be given an amazing career-path opportunity this spring thanks to the Colorado Judicial Branch.

In coordination with MSU Denver’s Department of Modern Languages, the Office of Language Access at the Colorado Judicial Branch will offer the Court Interpreter Orientation and Written Exam for all languages free of charge (usually $150) on the MSU Denver campus. According to Wendy Gallagher, coordinator of the First Year Spanish Program and Translation Certificate Program, this could provide entry to a respected, well-paying profession for bilingual and multilingual students — and a potential career path for serious language learners.  

Court interpreters translate speech from one language to another during legal trials and proceedings. Interpreters who work in the legal system may work full-time, part-time or on a freelance basis.

The Office of Language Access at the Colorado Judicial Branch is waiving fees for the first two steps toward Court Interpreter Certification at no risk and no cost for MSU Denver students and their affiliates, faculty and employees. The dates for orientation are March 13 (5:30-8:30 p.m.) or March 15 (noon-3 p.m.). The orientation session is for all languages and will provide information about the Court Interpreter Certification process as well as specific information about the Written Exam and future final Oral Certification Exams.

Attendance at orientation is required prior to the written exam, which may be taken either April 19 (noon-3 p.m.) or April 24 (5:30-8:30 p.m.). The Written Exam will be taken in English, testing knowledge of the English language and basic legal concepts.

Students who complete the orientation and pass the Written Exam will receive further information about the Oral Certification Exam, the final step in becoming a Colorado court interpreter.

Registration is open until March 10 or until limited seating is filled. To obtain a registration form and further information, please email Wendy Gallagher. On the form, applicants will indicate their preference for either the Wednesday or Friday orientation session.

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