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Court interpreters sought, workshops scheduled


Language interpreters — particularly those who can interpret in Chuukese, Ilokano, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Marshallese, Japanese, Tagalog, Pohnpeian, Tongan, Samoan, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Laotian — may be a court interpreter for the Hawaii State Judiciary by completing the upcoming orientation program and passing a series of written tests.

Certified sign language interpreters are also encouraged to apply.

A $5,000 grant from the Hawaii Women’s Legal Foundation and Hawaii Friends of Civic and Law-Related Education is being used to lower the registration fee for the workshops from $120 to $75.

Application forms may be downloaded from the Judiciary’s Web site at or obtained from the Office on Equality and Access to the Courts at 539-4860.

Requirements for certification include completion and acceptance of the application, successful completion of a two-day orientation workshop, achieving a passing score on a written English proficiency and court interpreter ethics exam, clearing a criminal background check and achieving a passing score on an oral exam in a non-English language.

The two-day orientation workshops are scheduled:

Oahu: Feb. 20-21

Kauai: Feb. 24-25

Kona: March 3-4

Maui: March 9-10

Hilo: March 18-19

Court interpreters work on a freelance basis as independent contractors in criminal and certain civil cases when parties or witnesses are unable to hear, understand, speak or use English sufficiently. Depending on their performance on written and oral exams, court interpreters are paid between $25 to $55 per hour with a two-hour minimum.

In FY 2009, the Judiciary paid $436,000 to provide qualified interpreters for parties and witnesses in 7,872 cases.

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