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Hi all, I am very interested in learning more about the possibility of becoming a Mandarin certified court interpreter, and seeking for some advices here in pursuing it in California, USA.

I am originally from China, and have been living in the US for the past 17 years. I have a BA and a master degree in Business from a state university in the US.

My question is, in seeking of become a California Court certified interpreter, would you recommend any program as the best option for me to gain the necessary knowledge to pass the certification exam and later work as an court interpreter?

Thank you!

asked 01 Nov '17, 13:03

fatpaw's gravatar image


Hi, Court interpreting and conference interpreting are different fields, though they are often related and there can even be overlap (ie international tribunals).

Google certified court interpreter California and you'll probably come up with plenty of information on the program itself and the steps to take to become certified. Each state is slightly different but similar- usually you have to attend an orientation for 2 days (which is mainly about the process itself, not training), then have a written, then an oral exam. Training itself though can be tricky. Since you're in CA, check out MIIS training programs. Watch a lot of Law and Order and look up the terms you don't know (that's how I prepared for a court exam, albeit after completing a MACI program). Also check out the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) website.

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answered 06 Nov '17, 09:37

InesdC's gravatar image


Thank you so very much! I'll look into it! I really appreciate it. :D

(06 Nov '17, 12:52) fatpaw

There are Acebo products available for Mandarin. Their Spanish-language materials are top notch. Having just prepared for my state's court exams (with Spanish), I'd recommend watching and practice interpreting with court proceedings of all kinds (arraignment, preliminary hearing, pre-trial hearing, trial, witness testimony, attorney's statements, advisement of rights). Most of these elements are available online through state court websites. Practice sight-translating police reports and witness affidavits. If you can handle a consecutive with segments of of 50-60 words and are also comfortable simultaneously interpreting the content I mentioned, you're probably about where you need to be for the state exam.

Depending on how much interpreting experience you have, to be safe, I'd recommend about one year of regular study (1-2 hours a day) before taking the exam.

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answered 07 Nov '17, 18:30

abelisle's gravatar image


Thank you for such valuable suggestions and advices!!!

(07 Nov '17, 18:40) fatpaw
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question asked: 01 Nov '17, 13:03

question was seen: 2,079 times

last updated: 12 Nov '17, 23:50 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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