The REAL lowdown on court interpreting

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Al Piste in Los Angeles, California

75 months ago

But I’ve been told I can make $320 for a half day AND that there’s a SHORTAGE of Spanish interpreters!

- Gee, I wonder who told you that. Maybe perhaps it came from the same people who are trying to sell you a “get certified” course? The truth is this: court interpreters working for the judicial system chose to unionize fairly recently and fell into the hands of the CFI and CWA to represent them. The most incompetent, ineffective and outright imbecilic organization on the face of this earth as far as unions go. These lamebrains orchestrated a walk out in LA that lasted WEEKS. A disastrous failure I might add. They achieved absolutely NOTHING. The courts realized they could still function with only 10% of the remaining interpreters in the meantime so guess what?. They have now ordered their coordinators to NOT HIRE any more additional help from independents!. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot.

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Dan in Los Angeles, California

75 months ago

Well you definitely need to work on your people skills but other than that I'd say you're spot-on regarding earnings and info in general.

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Al Falfa in Los Angeles, California

75 months ago

The REAL lowdown on interpreting?. It SVCKS.

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Freelancer in San Antonio, Texas

72 months ago

Al Piste is right, if a little angry, but I don't blame him/her. I lived in CA and there is definitely a glut, lots of good interpreters, but too much comptetition and not enough respect. I make more in TX, although I don't get called as much because here as everywhere else, too many freelancers charge too low to get the job, of course they get called. When I am asked about my prices, I say you get what you pay for. However, I'm fortunate enough to have a second much better income in the form of my spouse. And I've started translating to fill in the gap.

You don't go into interpreting for the money, that's for sure.

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Al Piste in Los Angeles, California

72 months ago

The other day they sent me to a depo and upon arrival it turns out there had been a mistake, the deponent spoke perfect English (in fact NO Spanish at all). He only had a Hispanic surname so someone just ass-umed he needed an interpreter and ordered one.

However since they had already booked me for the full day the cheap azzwipes who hired me (thru an agency) wanted me to stay and help the deponent fill-out about 500 pages (I shyt you not) worth of paperwork all WRITTEN IN ENGLISH!. I explained that I interpret from Spanish into English & vice versa and in this case there was NO SPANISH INVOLVED AT ALL.
I explained that you do not hire a court reporter and have her do the windows if it turns out she's not needed to report nor do you call a plumber and ask him to do the dishes.

They called the agency and the agency told me that basically I either stayed to help them do the paper work OR I WOULD NOT BE PAID.

I basically told all of them to go fock their mothers. I might have even used those exact same words. Funny thing is they said my reaction wasn't "too professional" to which I responded, "neither is the krap you're trying to pull off".

Bottom line: I probably won't be paid for the time I spent there and that focking agency will never call me again. OK, granted it's because I told them not to but the point is THIS IS ONLY A SAMPLE OF THE BS WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH ON A DAILY BASIS!

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NJ DUDE in Newark, New Jersey

72 months ago

Take them to small claims court.

Al Piste in Los Angeles, California said: The other day they sent me to a depo and upon arrival it turns out there had been a mistake, the deponent spoke perfect English (in fact NO Spanish at all). He only had a Hispanic surname so someone just ass-umed he needed an interpreter and ordered one.

However since they had already booked me for the full day the cheap azzwipes who hired me (thru an agency) wanted me to stay and help the deponent fill-out about 500 pages (I shyt you not) worth of paperwork all WRITTEN IN ENGLISH!. I explained that I interpret from Spanish into English & vice versa and in this case there was NO SPANISH INVOLVED AT ALL.
I explained that you do not hire a court reporter and have her do the windows if it turns out she's not needed to report nor do you call a plumber and ask him to do the dishes.

They called the agency and the agency told me that basically I either stayed to help them do the paper work OR I WOULD NOT BE PAID.

I basically told all of them to go fock their mothers. I might have even used those exact same words. Funny thing is they said my reaction wasn't "too professional" to which I responded, "neither is the krap you're trying to pull off".

Bottom line: I probably won't be paid for the time I spent there and that focking agency will never call me again. OK, granted it's because I told them not to but the point is THIS IS ONLY A SAMPLE OF THE BS WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH ON A DAILY BASIS!

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confused in Oakland, California

71 months ago

Ok, I get what you are all saying about $ and what not. I just want to know how should one get started if one would like to work for nothing and put up with shyt? I am already fluent in Spanish and the idea just popped into my head that it would be good to get paid for something that I already do. So do I have to go to school and take classes or can I just go and register for the test? I wouldn't be against brushing up on the court room mumbo jumbo but are we talking a semester or a year or what?

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Tony in FL in Olustee, Florida

70 months ago

I am addressing "confused in Oakland, CA" I am trying to become a State certified and Fedral interpreter in the Spanish language. I am a native speaker, and hold a graduate degree from a prominent university. However, I had a lot of trouble achieving certification. I took the Federal test, and did very well in the English, but failed the Spanish part miserably! As my instructor with Acebo (interpreter's aid course) pointed out: "Just because you have hands, it doesn't mean you can play the piano. Similarly, just because you may speak Spanish and English, it does mean you have the cognitive skills required for being a qualified interpreter. So, yes my friend, Confused, you will need to prepare for the test and hopefully you got what it takes, good luck!

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JENNY in Panama City, Florida

70 months ago

This comment is to the many who tried to Answer "confused in Oakland, CA. It seems that no one is answering her question. Her question is one that I am interested in also. She and I want to know what are the steps to becoming a court interpreter. Where do you go, where do you look.

Tony in Olustee Florida, did provided some other useful information. but did not answer the question.

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JENNY in Panama City, Florida

70 months ago

Thank you. You are really very nice. Why did you bother to answer, you obviously have nothing else to do.

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amie hill in Federal Way, Washington

69 months ago

JENNY in Panama City, Florida said: Thank you. You are really very nice. Why did you bother to answer, you obviously have nothing else to do.

about ur question i would suggest you go onto the websites for court interpreting in ur state and they have usefull sites and resources u can use to study. if ur already fluent in spanish u might not need to take a course in spanish. the federal court website has good info and resources also. i have done the state and federal certification, took no clasess before hand, i did do a lot of reading (books in spanish)books by isabel allende r great to brush up on coloquial terms. newspapers online from different spanish speaking countries. go to the court and just listen, download glossaries off the internet of legal terms both english and spanish if u have no court experience. do not forget to brush up on english grammer and vocabulary (very important). as far as if u should sign up now or later depends on how prepared u feel u r and how much money and time u want to spend, u could take the test just to see how u do and then try again

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amie h in Federal Way, Washington

69 months ago

confused in Oakland, California said: Ok, I get what you are all saying about $ and what not. I just want to know how should one get started if one would like to work for nothing and put up with shyt? I am already fluent in Spanish and the idea just popped into my head that it would be good to get paid for something that I already do. So do I have to go to school and take classes or can I just go and register for the test? I wouldn't be against brushing up on the court room mumbo jumbo but are we talking a semester or a year or what?

about ur question i would suggest you go onto the websites for court interpreting in ur state and they have usefull sites and resources u can use to study. if ur already fluent in spanish u might not need to take a course in spanish. the federal court website has good info and resources also. i have done the state and federal certification, took no clasess before hand, i did do a lot of reading (books in spanish)books by isabel allende r great to brush up on coloquial terms. newspapers online from different spanish speaking countries. go to the court and just listen, download glossaries off the internet of legal terms both english and spanish if u have no court experience. do not forget to brush up on english grammer and vocabulary (very important). as far as if u should sign up now or later depends on how prepared u feel u r and how much money and time u want to spend, u could take the test just to see how u do and then try again

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JH Zavala in Piru, California

69 months ago

Buenas! Iam looking to organize a "study group" for Sta. Exam within 25 mi radius of Magic Mt. in Valencia. I have completed Cal State Northige Interpreters/Translators' course. I am a retired Peace Officer consequently should have valued information for group.

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Al in Bakersfield, California

69 months ago

Hey JH, I too am interested in preparing for the state exam with the Judicial Council. I am unsure if you have had much response to your post, since it is a few hours old. If you are still interested and are able to organize a group, please let me know. Thanks.

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JH Zavala in Santa Paula, California

69 months ago

Al in Bakersfield, California said: Hey JH, I too am interested in preparing for the state exam with the Judicial Council. I am unsure if you have had much response to your post, since it is a few hours old. If you are still interested and are able to organize a group, please let me know. Thanks.

Thanks Al; you are the first response. My idea is to get together with several people who are interested then meet at a central location. Bakersfield is what 80 mi.? "Half way" would be about Fraizer Park. If we have others interested please contact us! I've just confirmed there are no tests scheduled for Ca State Exam in Jan. so this gives a little more studytime.Thanks, again Al

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Bella in Burbank, California

68 months ago

JH Zavala in Santa Paula, California said: Thanks Al; you are the first response. My idea is to get together with several people who are interested then meet at a central location. Bakersfield is what 80 mi.? "Half way" would be about Fraizer Park. If we have others interested please contact us! I've just confirmed there are no tests scheduled for Ca State Exam in Jan. so this gives a little more studytime.Thanks, again Al

Okay, Burbank may not fall within 25 miles radius by 5 miles but I'd be willing to split the difference. I'd like to get certified asap. I have a BA in Spanish, worked as a tutor for years, and I have some medical translating experience... most useful might be the fact that I am a certified paralegal (so that could come in handy for the legal jargon).

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JH Zavala in Ojai, California

68 months ago

Bella in Burbank, California said: Okay, Burbank may not fall within 25 miles radius by 5 miles but I'd be willing to split the difference. I'd like to get certified asap. I have a BA in Spanish, worked as a tutor for years, and I have some medical translating experience... most useful might be the fact that I am a certified paralegal (so that could come in handy for the legal jargon).

Hi Bella, I took the Sta. Cert. Test last May and came real close to a passing score, however, they say "Close" only counts in horseshoes and hand-gernades. It's illegal to discuss the contents of the test according to the waiver signed at the test center, so can't post much. It sounds as though you might have the expertise to pass this test. I need help with GRE words spanish/english & english to spanish. Also basic spanish grammar. Thanks for your interest in study group. You, Al and me may have to schedule first meetiing. Keep in touch!

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JENNY in Panama City, Florida

68 months ago

I have read your comments with interest. I was wondering if being able to place the accents on Spanish words is a big requirement. That has always been my problem in writing Spanish. Also are knowing the parts of grammar, i.e. Preterito perfecto o imperfecto
etc. are asked on the tests. In other words, Spanish grammar terminology. Thank you.

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JENNY in Panama City, Florida

68 months ago

amie hill in Federal Way, Washington said: about ur question i would suggest you go onto the websites for court interpreting in ur state and they have usefull sites and resources u can use to study.
Gracias por su informacion. Yo soy maestra de arte y corrientemente estoy estudiando para la mestria en educacion. Soy retirada y me paso en el Internet. Un dia cuando estaba tratando de encontrar un caso contra un juez local, encontre este forum, y me intereso. Yo no habia hecho estudio alguno acerca a este tema anteriormente. Simplemente escribi, para ver que la pregunta de la muchacha fuera contestada.

Si estamos escribiendo aqui, no es necesariamente para descargarnos de nuestras frustaciones en otros; si no para ayudarnos el uno a otro. No se porque el tipo ese me contesto de esa manera. Get off your lazy .....
I would like to freelance as an interpreter here in Florida and have found out without looking that the test will not be given again until next year (the first part). I will hopefully take it then. Until such time I am wondering about the test. Do they ask questions such as palabras esdrujulas, plusquam perfecto, preterito imperfecto and all those grammar terminology that I refused to keep in my head from school. I also would like to know if accent placement is tested. Thanks again for your reply, hope to hear from you.
Jenny

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JENNY in Panama City, Florida

68 months ago

PS I took the Spanish battery tests when I was in the Armed Services and passed it with flying colors and was awarded a linguist certification, which was attached to my nomal occupational work series. I wonder if that would be good enough to be able to work as an Interpreter while I wait for the test to open up?

Does anyone outthere has been able to use there military language skills certification for Interpreting in civilian life, without having to take the tests?

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Al in Bakersfield, California

68 months ago

JH, any luck getting a group together in Valencia or somewhere near? Please advise.

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Alejandro in Seattle, Washington

68 months ago

How much can you make as a medical interpreter (spanish) in Miami, does anyone know?

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JH Zavala in Ojai, California

68 months ago

Al in Bakersfield, California said: JH, any luck getting a group together in Valencia or somewhere near? Please advise.

Hello, Al in Bakers and Bella in Burbank welcome to our study group! Several meeting places available in Santa Clarita. Contact group @ mtjacz@yahoo.com.

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Laguna Woods in Laguna Woods, California

68 months ago

What do you suggest I use for independent study for the California Interpreter's exam (writen and oral)? thanks

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Jeanette in Puyallup, Washington

68 months ago

Alejandro in Seattle, Washington said: How much can you make as a medical interpreter (spanish) in Miami, does anyone know?

What I do know is for beginning medical interpreters it is $22.00 and up in Seattle, Sorry not sure about Miami.

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Jeanette in Puyallup, Washington

68 months ago

Laguna Woods in Laguna Woods, California said: What do you suggest I use for independent study for the California Interpreter's exam (writen and oral)? thanks

Are you talking about Medical or Court, either way, when you pay you should receive some samples of the test you will be given, and terms you need to know.
If not go to the library borrow some language books, interpret what you see on tv write down the words you don't get right off the bat.
Hope this helps

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TheCourtInterpreter in Clearwater, Florida

68 months ago

For Florida go to www.flcourts.org and click on Court Interpreter Program for Florida court interpreter info. Florida certification will run you about $350 for all the exams and another $200 for the certification.

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gia in Los Angeles, California

68 months ago

Lil Louie said: Your brain?

why do you even bother to reply....this is meant to help others not for someone that has nothing else to do.

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Preparing to become a FL court interp in Guayaquil, Ecuador

67 months ago

Greetings TheCourtInterpreter:

I am currently living outside the US, but plan to return and relocate in the Ft. Lauderdale area. I don´t think I´ll make the written exam this year, and will therefore take it in 2010. On the bright side, it gives me more time to prepare. I have been an English <> Spanish interpreter and translator for 13 years and I think that with a lot of preparation, I may pass the tests.

I was wondering if you could give me any advice about whether I can begin interpreting without the certification (i.e. while I am in the process of obtaining it) and if so, who should I contact. I know this is a very broad request, but any info will be very much appreciated!

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ALIA in Fresno, California

67 months ago

I need to know what agencie(s) administer the written test to be certified as an interpreter, I been looking under PROMETICS and SPB but there is no schedule post it for 2009. Is there other agencies that can certified me. Also can you take an interpreter course in college and submit proof to the state to get a certificate?

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Jonas in Antioch, California

67 months ago

I applaud your reaction with reference to protecting the skills and image of the profession, but in terms of your particular work I applaud your courage.

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Mariu in Lancaster, California

67 months ago

I'm study for the Court Interpreter at the Southern California School of Interpretation, Santa Fe Springs, CA. The course is very difficult but they have a very high rate of passing the exam. For anybody that would like to study to be an interpreter I recommended this course. You can go on line at http//interpreting.com

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Raining in Anaheim, California

67 months ago

Effective January 1, 2009, once you pass the written exam, you are allowed four attempts to take and pass the bilingual oral interpreting exam for certified languages or the English proficiency exam for registered languages. There is no time limit to take or to complete the four attempts, and you may take the oral exam in a particular language once during any exam cycle. If you do not pass the oral exam within four attempts, you must restart the certification process.

Effective January 1, 2009, candidates who passed the written exam between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2008 will have a total of four additional opportunities to pass the oral exam, regardless of the number of times you have taken the oral exam prior to January 1, 2009.

Examination Update
Test dates for 2009 have not yet been scheduled.

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JH Zavala in Ojai, California

67 months ago

JENNY in Panama, Agudas,Graves, Estrijulas,etc, are placement of the accent. "Preterito o Plus con perfecto" are Verb tense or conjugation of verbs, and yes they are required @ Calif. Exam., However, I not aware if Basic Spanish Grammar is required for Florida Exam. Also brush up on Spanish/English Idioms. Maybe you or someone out there can help with the Spanish version of "You have sown the wind, now you must reap the whirlwind."

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JH Zavala in Ojai, California

67 months ago

Mariu in Lancaster, If you are interested in study group for State Exam, in Valencia, Santa Clarita area please contact us for an exchange of information, notes and tips. Hope to hear from you.

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alia in Fresno, California

67 months ago

yes I will Love to be a part of the study group. Please send me any information I need to know and if you know the date when the exam will be given. Thank You.

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Christopher in Antioch, California

67 months ago

Hi , I am interested in a study group for the state exam, how do I join. I am eager to study.

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Mariu in Lancaster, California

67 months ago

As soon as I know I will let you know. Southern California School of Interpretation is waiting for the dates. They think the written test will be in April. I'llkeep you posted.

Marie

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Mariu in Lancaster, California

67 months ago

JH Zavala in Ojai, California said: Mariu in Lancaster, If you are interested in study group for State Exam, in Valencia, Santa Clarita area please contact us for an exchange of information, notes and tips. Hope to hear from you.

Thanks. I leave in Palmdale and I'm finish my course of Spanish interpreter in Santa Fe Springs at the Southern California School of Interpretation. Please let me know when and where are you getting together. Thanks.

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JH Zavala in Ojai, California

67 months ago

Mariu in Lancaster, California said: Thanks. I leave in Palmdale and I'm finish my course of Spanish interpreter in Santa Fe Springs at the Southern California School of Interpretation. Please let me know when and where are you getting together. Thanks.

Hola Mariu; Glad to hear from you. I am trying to organize a central location for a day long study group. I now have "Chris in Antioch, Alia in Fresno, Al in Bakesfield and Bella in Burbank who are all interested in the group, However noone has emailed me to communicate the details. If of you are still interested in study group please email at: mtjacz@yahoo.com.

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Master Interpreter in Union, New Jersey

66 months ago

Don't mean to be harsh, but if you are at the level where you even have to think
about these things, then you are not ready yet to begin thinking about court sinterpreting as a profession. As an English speaker, do you think twice about where to place the apostrophe to indicate possession? Do you have to stop and ask yourself where to place it in "should've"? To be a competent court interpreter you really have to be two native speakers contained in the same person..by that I mean that if you speak English as well as a university-educated person would, breadth of vocab, idomatic expressions, slang, legal, technical, etc then your Spanish (or whatever other language) needs to be at that same college-educated native speaker level. Hard, I know, which is why at the top levels of the profession, people are doing quite well, financially speaking and the profession can be quite rewarding. Assuming the state where you work is a "good" one for interpreting (NJ is one of the "good" ones, I think) many people have carved nice careers for themselves.
I know its a catch-22, you need the practice courts before you can get to that level where neither your Spanish nor your English is dominant, but that's the harsh reality. The important thing is to just start, practice and practice, and practice some more. And then practice some more! I know it sounds harsh, but to do well in this field you really need to go SEAMLESSLY from one language to the other, no pauses, hesistation, etc. Good luck You can do it!

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Preparing to become a FL court interp in Guayaquil, Ecuador

66 months ago

Greetings Master Interpreter in Union New Jersey:

I am currently living outside the US, but plan to return and relocate in the Ft. Lauderdale area. I don´t think I´ll make the written exam this year, and will therefore take it in 2010. On the bright side, it gives me more time to prepare. I have been an English <> Spanish interpreter and translator for 13 years and I think that with a lot of preparation, I may pass the tests.

I was wondering if you could give me any advice about whether I can begin interpreting without the certification (i.e. while I am in the process of obtaining it) and if so, who should I contact. I know this is a very broad request, but any info will be very much appreciated!

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Master Interpreter in Union, New Jersey

66 months ago

To answer your question: YES! Many, many years before these state interpreter certification programs even existed, there were competent and professional interpreters! This is a fact lost on many people in and outside the field today. The "professionalization" of interpreters (at least in the U.S.)is relatively recent. The development of the "profession" of (court) interpreting is still on-going, and has many advantages. Does this mean that those interpreters (and translators for that matter) who worked before the protocols and standards were developed, before state-funded interpreter exams were created, were not professional or competent to interpret in a court or medical setting? Of course not! In fact, a good argument can be made that the founding members of ATA, the handful who FOUNDED the organization, were extremely competent and professional, to say the least. These "pioneers" who labored in the courts and in corporations, organizations of all kinds, and as freelancers took it upon themselves to not accept any job they knew they couldn't do right! Now, with the state and other organizations administering tests and "certifications" the responsibility to designate who is a competent and professional interpreter has shifted away from the lone, laboring interpreter, translator, or language professional. The point is that don't let anyone tell you that you are not able to work as a professional interpreter at all if you are not "certified". This is still a wide open field after all, still evolving. So, my answer to your question is YES you can! You can begin to interpret right away, without waiting for the official benediction from any certifying source. Of course, it's good to have them, but not necessary (provided you know in your heart of hearts that you are up to the particular task of interpreting that is being asked of you). If you have 13 yrs exper., then if you have been diligent & honest in your craft, then YES it's enough.

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Master Interpreter in Union, New Jersey

66 months ago

Dear interpreter in Guayaquil: A more specific answer to your question: Do the following three things and call me in the morning:

1. Join NAJIT (National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators). Once you join (about $100 a year) you will find contact names and numbers aplenty. They have an annual conference where you will meet a ton of people, from all over the country, including FL. Plus, they have an email discussion list where other interpreters regularly communicate from all over the U.S. They have a newsletter that also has a ton of info.

2. Contact Agustín De La Mora. Ask around, he gives training seminars and is a Fed. certified interpreter based in Florida.

3. Contact the county courthouses in FL and ask to be put in touch with their Interpreters Unit. Ask to speak to the director or the person who coordinates interpreting for the superior courts. Ask how to begin interpreting and explain that you are in the process of getting certified but that you have 13 yrs experience and want to know your options.

4. stay away from Florida interpreting agencies unless your sure they are reputable. Many people have had bad experiences with FL agencies in particular.

Good luck!

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ese cholo 831 in Bothell, Washington

66 months ago

What do you think of the school of interpretation down south of California, "Southern Caifornia School of Interpretation"? I don't know if you heard about this school or not but I am a online student for court interpreter and going to college for medical interpreter @ the same time. So what do you predict will happen after I ger certified, will I work alot of hours, thank you, and your answers are really helpful.

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ALIA in Sacramento, California

66 months ago

Neil3 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania said: I HATE cholo scumbags, so I predict you'll get 7 more tatoos, kill 3 little girls by mistake during your next drive-by and then wind-up doing time in Folsom Prison.

THIS IS A PLACE WERE WE ALL EDUCATED CIVILIZED PEOPLE CAN COME TOGETHER AND HELP EACH OTHER, THERE IS NO NEED FOR THIS TYPE OF COMMENTS. I THINK IS SO GOOD YOU ARE ENROLLED IN TWO DIFFERENT SCHOOLS AT THIS TIME THAT ALONE SAY A LOT ABOUT YOU CONGRATULATIONS AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, YOU KNOW! IT IS GOING TO BE AN EASY RIDE AFTER YOU GOT YOUR CREDENTIALS SO DO NOT EVEN WORRY! YOU WILL HAVE PLENTY OF WORK, AND THEN SOME, GOOD LUCK, AND DO NOT LET NO ONE BRING YOU DOWN!!!

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ALIA in Sacramento, California

66 months ago

ALIA in Sacramento, California said: THIS IS A PLACE WERE WE ALL EDUCATED CIVILIZED PEOPLE CAN COME TOGETHER AND HELP EACH OTHER, THERE IS NO NEED FOR THIS TYPE OF COMMENTS. I THINK IS SO GOOD YOU ARE ENROLLED IN TWO DIFFERENT SCHOOLS AT THIS TIME THAT ALONE SAY A LOT ABOUT YOU CONGRATULATIONS AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, YOU KNOW! IT IS GOING TO BE AN EASY RIDE AFTER YOU GOT YOUR CREDENTIALS SO DO NOT EVEN WORRY! YOU WILL HAVE PLENTY OF WORK, AND THEN SOME, GOOD LUCK, AND DO NOT LET NO ONE BRING YOU DOWN!!!

LAST REPLY WAS FOR ese cholo 831 in Bothel Washnigton

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Preparing to become a FL court interp in Guayaquil, Ecuador

66 months ago

Master Interpreter in Union, New Jersey said: Dear interpreter in Guayaquil: A more specific answer to your question: Do the following three things and call me in the morning:

1. Join NAJIT (National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators). Once you join (about $100 a year) you will find contact names and numbers aplenty. They have an annual conference where you will meet a ton of people, from all over the country, including FL. Plus, they have an email discussion list where other interpreters regularly communicate from all over the U.S. They have a newsletter that also has a ton of info.

2. Contact Agustín De La Mora. Ask around, he gives training seminars and is a Fed. certified interpreter based in Florida.

3. Contact the county courthouses in FL and ask to be put in touch with their Interpreters Unit. Ask to speak to the director or the person who coordinates interpreting for the superior courts. Ask how to begin interpreting and explain that you are in the process of getting certified but that you have 13 yrs experience and want to know your options.

4. stay away from Florida interpreting agencies unless your sure they are reputable. Many people have had bad experiences with FL agencies in particular.

Good luck!

Dear Master Interpreter in Union, New Jersey,

Thank you very much for the valuable information you have given me. I have asked for advice from at least a dozen fellow interpreters, and have only been directed to certification links. I am following your advice and will let you know the results, eventually. I see that I am not the only one who found your comments helpful. I know it is not usual to give out e mails in forums, but I have nothing to hide, and I would like to keep in touch - cserranoh@yahoo.com.

Gracias, nuevamente!

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Dave in Clearwater, Florida

66 months ago

1. Join NAJIT (National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators). Once you join (about $100 a year) you will find contact names and numbers aplenty. They have an annual conference where you will meet a ton of people, from all over the country, including FL. Plus, they have an email discussion list where other interpreters regularly communicate from all over the U.S. They have a newsletter that also has a ton of info.
2. Contact Agustín De La Mora. Ask around, he gives training seminars and is a Fed. certified interpreter based in Florida.
3. Contact the county courthouses in FL and ask to be put in touch with their Interpreters Unit. Ask to speak to the director or the person who coordinates interpreting for the superior courts. Ask how to begin interpreting and explain that you are in the process of getting certified but that you have 13 yrs experience and want to know your options.
4. stay away from Florida interpreting agencies unless your sure they are reputable. Many people have had bad experiences with FL agencies in particular.
Good luck!

1. Joining NAJIT is good, even if you just get one or two referrals out of it. 2. Agustin de la Mora offers the Court Interpreter Workshop for the State of Florida and is pretty good if your a beginner trying to figure out if this is for you. Or go to his website www.delamorasolutions.com for more info.
3. Go to www. flcourts.org and click on "Court Interpreters Program", there is good info there about the profession.
4. Most people think that being bilingual is enough to interpret and maybe in an informal setting that may be acceptable BUT court interpretation is NOT just about language but also, and matbe as or more important, of memory and multi-tasking. Since everything said must be interpreted accurately having a goof memory is crucial.
5. There are some good agencies in Florida, but you have to be good at what you do to get in with them.

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Dave in Clearwater, Florida

66 months ago

Interpreting in Florida has been a pleasant experience for me. My agencies keep me fairly busy and I charge anywhere between $40 to $75 per hour.

You must understand that times are tough and you may have to bend a bit with your rates to get the assignments and some valuable experience.

On personal calls I'll charge $75 per hour with a 2 hour minimum.

If my service keeps me over 20 hours per week then $40 per hour is what I charge them.

Trials pay well and you make the hours BUT you're stuck in court for the duration. Last trial I did lasted 3 days at 10 hours per day.

Depos, hearings and EUO's are normally 2 hour minimums and you are in and out so you stay fresh and not to mention the free time for personal stuff that becomes available.

I try not to travel more than 1 hour away unless my service is desperate or it's a personal assignment.

When you find a good service DO EVERYTHING TO KEEP THEM CALLING YOU!! Make yourself indispensable, the one you can count on.

One time I was in therapy for my back and got a desperate call from one of my services needing me at an attorney-client meeting because they screwed the scheduling up. I told them that I was in shorts and a tee-shirt(I always wear a suit to any and all assignments) but would be happy to take care of them and did. Upon completion, the attorney said that it was a pleasure working with me since he had terrible experiences before with other interpreters. EVEN IN SHORTS! That service continues to call me all the time.

The side translation jobs that you get from attorneys make it worth it.

I just need 45 hours per month at my minimum to pay my bills(not very much). find what your break even is and try to build towards that.

The two best things about doing this is that it's varied, no two assignments will be 100% alike and because it pays decent, you can work less and play more!!

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