Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Alaska

Alaska on mapRegulations for legal interpreters in Alaska differ from those in other states.

Legal Language Services ranks Alaska as a state with lightly 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 should hire a certified interpreter for every situation.

Whether or not an interpreter is certified — let alone the level of certification — will have an effect on how much you are charged for legal interpreting services. Due to the added cost of certified professionals, it may not be a sound strategy to use certified legal interpreters if certification is not legally required for your proceeding.

In fact, some situations may not benefit from certified interpreters. In particular, where subject matter expertise and/or special skills are required, certification may be a secondary consideration in securing a competent interpreter. In Alaska, special circumstances also apply due to the sparse population.

As previously noted, non-certified legal interpreters can provide professional interpreting services at a more affordable price. As in other states, a certified interpreter in Alaska will command a higher fee for legal interpreting services. Prices will be affected based on the level of certification.

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.

In addition to Spanish, Alaska offers certification in 20 other languages:

  • Arabic
  • Bosnian
  • Cantonese
  • Chuukese
  • French
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hmong
  • Ilocano
  • Khmer
  • Korean
  • Laotian
  • Mandarin
  • Marshallese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • 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.

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 Connecticut speaks one of the following 10 languages:

Aleut-Eskimo languages 28.67%
Spanish 21.70%
Tagalog 14.86%
Russian 3.79%
Samoan 3.23%
German 3.23%
Korean 2.99%
North American Indian languages 2.61%
French 1.74%
Hmong 1.43%


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

Classification of Interpreters in Alaska

Alaska defines interpreters in the following ways:

  • Registered Interpreter: An interpreter who has successfully completed the interpreter training series through the Language Interpreter Center.
  • Certified Interpreter: An interpreter who has passed a series of written and oral examinations developed by the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts.

Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Alaska interpreters 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.