Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Alaska

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

Your legal interpreter must have the appropriate level of certification that meets your language needs. This is especially true if you require an interpreter who will be working in a courtroom. This does not mean, however, that you need a certified interpreter for every situation.

According to Alaska state law, all parties, witnesses, and victims involved in a court proceeding with limited English proficiency are entitled to court-appointed interpreting services at no extra cost regardless of language requirements.

Legal Language can help you determine the best interpreter, certified or otherwise, for your legal interpreting needs in Alaska. Let us help you find the best legal interpreters in Alaska.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Alaska

Alaska’s Language Interpreter Center periodically offers exams, both written and oral, for certification in several languages based on the guidelines of the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts. However, Alaska does not require certified interpreters for any legal proceeding.

Alaska offers certification in 20 languages:

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

The Alaska Federal Clerk of Courts office reports that if legal interpreters are not available locally, individual judges may request the presence of a certified interpreter from outside the state if it is deemed necessary in arbitration, court proceedings, or depositions. Telephonic interpreting services are frequently called upon to fulfill the need for interpreters in the state.

Classification of Interpreters in Alaska

Alaska defines interpreters in the following two ways:

  • Qualified Interpreter: An interpreter who has successfully completed the Alaska Court System’s Orientation Program (online) and an ALTA Oral Proficiency Inventory Listening and Speaking Test scheduled by the Alaska Court System, passed the National Center for State Courts Written Exam, passed a criminal background check, and abides by the Court Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics.
  • Certified Interpreter: An interpreter who has successfully completed the Alaska Court System’s Orientation Program (online) and an ALTA Oral Proficiency Inventory Listening and Speaking Test scheduled by the Alaska Court System, passed the National Center for State Courts Written Exam, scored at least an 70 percent on the National Center for State Courts oral examination, passed a criminal background check, and abides by the Court Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics.

Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Alaska interpreters for courtroom trials, hearings, depositions, arbitrations, and other legal proceedings.

Common Languages Spoken in Alaska

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 16.08 percent of the Alaska population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, almost 85 percent of the non-English speaking population in Alaska speaks one of the following 10 languages:

Common Languages Spoken in Alaska

  • Aleut-Eskimo languages
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Russian
  • Samoan
  • German
  • Korean
  • North American Indian languages
  • French
  • Hmong
Alaska State Capitol Building - legal interpreting guidelines

Other languages spoken in Alaska include Japanese, Chinese, Ilocano, Miao-Mien, Laotian, Polish, Vietnamese, Thai, Arabic, Hawaiian and Italian.

Judicial Districts in Alaska

Legal interpreting requirements can vary by district in Alaska. This state has BLANK judicial districts that encompass BLANK counties:

1st Judicial District of Alaska
Counties: Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan Gateway, Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway-Yakutat-Angoon, Wrangell-Petersburg

2nd Judicial District of Alaska
Counties: Nome, Northwest Arctic, North Slope, Wade Hampton
(This district includes man-made oil drilling islands/pads in the Arctic Ocean)

3rd Judicial District of Alaska
Counties: Aleutians East, Aleutians West, Anchorage, Bristol Bay, Dillingham, Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island, Lake and Peninsula, Matanuska-Susitna, Pribilof Islands, Valdez-Cordova

4th Judicial District of Alaska
Counties: Bethel, Denali, Fairbanks North Star, Southeast Fairbanks, Saint Matthew Island, Yukon-Koyukuk

Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Alaska 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 Alaska is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.