Legal Language Services ranks Oklahoma as a state with moderately regulated legal interpreting requirements.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Oklahoma

The Supreme Court of Oklahoma has approved a credentialing program for interpreters in the Oklahoma courts, as recommended by the Board of Examiners of Certified Courtroom Interpreters.

Written exams for certification are offered periodically based on the guidelines of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification.  The oral examination is administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts twice a year. 

Oklahoma will also recognize federal certification, Consortium certification, and certification from most state programs.

Oklahoma offers certification in the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian
  • Cantonese
  • French
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hmong
  • Ilocano
  • Khmer
  • Korean
  • Laotian
  • Mandarin
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese

Classification of Interpreters in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Judicial Department defines legal interpreters in the following two ways:

  • Certified Courtroom Interpreter: An interpreter who has passed both the Court Interpreter Written Examination and the Oral Examination as provided by the National Center for State Courts, completed a two-part orientation workshop, read and agreed to abide by the Code of Professional Responsibility for Interpreters in the Oklahoma Courts, and passed a criminal background check.
  • Registered Courtroom Interpreter: An interpreter who has passed both the Court Interpreter Written Examination as provided by the National Center for State Courts and a basic proficiency written translation test in the foreign language, completed a two-part orientation workshop, read and agreed to abide by the Code of Professional Responsibility for Interpreters in the Oklahoma Courts, and passed a criminal background check.

Common Languages Spoken in Oklahoma

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 8.85% of the Oklahoma population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, more than 86% of the non-English speaking population in Oklahoma speaks one of the following 10 languages:

  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
  • German
  • Other specified N.A. Indian languages
  • Chinese*
  • French
  • Korean
  • Cherokee
  • Arabic
  • Tagalog

Other languages spoken in Oklahoma include Hmong, Malayalam, Hindi, Persian, Japanese, Kru/Ibo/Yoruba, Russian, Thai, Urdu, Laotian, other Pacific Island languages, Italian, Portuguese, Gujarathi, Chamorro, Mandarin, Hebrew, Algonquian and Cantonese.

*This table was created based on respondents’ written answers, the majority of whom wrote “Chinese” while others specified “Cantonese” or “Mandarin.”

Judicial Districts in Oklahoma

This state has 26 judicial districts that encompass 77 counties:

  • 1st Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Beaver, Cimarron, Harper, Texas
  • 2nd Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Beckham, Custer, Ellis, Roger Mills, Washita
  • 3rd Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Tillman
  • 4th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Alfalfa, Blaine, Dewey, Garfield, Grant, Kingfisher, Major, Woods, Woodward
  • 5th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Comanche, Cotton, Jefferson, Stephens
  • 6th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Caddo, Grady
  • 7th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Oklahoma
  • 8th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Kay, Noble
  • 9th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Logan, Payne
  • 10th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Osage
  • 11th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Nowata, Washington
  • 12th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Craig, Mayes, Rogers
  • 13th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Delaware, Ottawa
  • 14th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Tulsa, Pawnee
  • 15th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Adair, Cherokee, Muskogee, Sequoyah, Wagoner
  • 16th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore
  • 17th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Choctaw, McCurtain, Pushmataha
  • 18th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: McIntosh, Pittsburg
  • 19th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Bryan
  • 20th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Carter, Johnston, Love, Marshall, Murray
  • 21st Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Cleveland, Garvin, McClain
  • 22nd Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Hughes, Pontotoc, Seminole
  • 23rd Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Lincoln, Pottawatomie
  • 24th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Creek, Okfuskee, Okmulgee
  • 25th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Atoka, Coal
  • 26th Judicial District of Oklahoma
    Counties: Canadian

Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Oklahoma interpreters who meet state interpreting rules for courtroom trials, hearings, depositions, arbitrations and other legal proceedings.

Please Note

The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information about legal interpreting guidelines in Oklahoma is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.