Legal Language Services ranks the US federal district in Puerto Rico as a district with moderately regulated legal interpreting requirements.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico does not require certified interpreters for any legal proceeding. However, certified Spanish interpreters are always sought out first and rarely are non-certified Spanish interpreters used in cases involving Spanish to English interpreting or vice versa. Non-certified interpreters are more frequently used for languages other than Spanish.

Puerto Rico periodically offers both written and oral exams for certification based on the guidelines laid out by the Consortium for Court Interpreter Certification.

Puerto Rico also recognizes certified interpreters from states offering Consortium-based certification as well as federal certification and the National Judiciary Interpreter and Translator Certification Exam.

Puerto Rico accepts certification in the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • Chuukese
  • French
  • English
  • Hmong
  • Ilocano
  • Korean
  • Laotian
  • Mandarin
  • Marshallese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese

Classification of Interpreters in Puerto Rico

Courts in Puerto Rico define legal interpreters in the following three ways:

  • Certified Interpreters
  • Non-certified Professionally Qualified
  • Non-certified Language Skilled Interpreters

Only interpreters who have successfully passed both the written and oral examination earn certification.

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

Common Languages Spoken in Puerto Rico

According to a recent American Community Survey, English is only spoken by about 4.51% of the Puerto Rico population. This means that approximately 95.49% of the Puerto Rico population speaks a language other than English.

Here’s a look at the top 7 non-English languages spoken in Puerto Rico:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • Portuguese
  • Chinese*
  • Italian
  • German
  • French Creole

Other languages spoken in Puerto Rico include Arabic, Hindi, Russian, Hebrew, other Indo-European languages, Finnish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, other specified North American Indian languages, Korean, Polish, Swedish, Japanese, Cantonese, Greek, Bulgarian, Mandarin, Panjabi, Urdu, Yiddish and Romanian.

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

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 Puerto Rico is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.