Pass that Court Certification Test!

tony and javier pic

Hello dear students,

Fair warning: I am deeply excited and coming out fresh from an amazing training in order to get certified as a State Court Interpreter.

Before I continue, I want to thank Javier Castillo and Tony Rosado for an incredible workshop. Not only were they experts in the matter, but they personalized the training to our needs and gave us a lot more than what we paid for. If you ever need to complete a workshop, continuing education, or if you just want to improve your interpreting skills, I highly recommend that you participate in one of their classes!

Let’s continue. First and foremost, If you are interested in becoming a court interpreter, there are steps that you need to take in order to become one. There is one thing I guarantee on this: being bilingual is definitely not enough. As Socrates perfectly stated: “I know one thing: that I know nothing”. This is exactly how I left after the training. However, there is hope!

As I stated before, there is a process to follow in order to become a Certified State Court Interpreter in the State of NC. One of them is to pass a written and verbal examination. Once you are ready to start preparing, here is what I recommend:

  • Stay away from glossaries at first.
    • Glossaries are great, but they do not provide a context for you. Watch court trials (you can YouTube a lot of them), watch law TV shows, go to court in person and listen to how they speak….then, and only then, start to study the vocabulary, the phrases, the expressions, and all of the wonderful (and confusing) things that are said in court.
  • Practice! Do not rely on reading and being a walking dictionary of legal terms. Play a video of a trial and interpret it! Simultaneous, consecutive…all of it! You will be surprised how different it is to interpret in your head (we are all masters when we do this), from interpreting out loud. Practice makes perfect!
  • Read. A lot. Get a book related to law, maybe a book that law students are required to read. Understand the law. It is very hard to interpret concepts you do not understand and, take my word, there will be a lot of those in the courtroom.
  • Invest in yourself: go to a workshop. From personal experience, I just shaved off months of preparation by going to a 4-day class in which two experts shared all of their knowledge and expertise with me, provided studying materials, advised the best resources I should use and much more. Try to go in person.

I will be taking my written test at the end of this month. I will update you all on the results. As of now, I already started to prepare for the oral examination! It is never too early to start. Wish me luck!

Please, if you have been there done that, give us some advice on how you passed the examinations. If you want to get this certification and have any questions, please comment on this blog or send us a question here!

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