Legal Language Services ranks Arkansas 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 a court interpreter.
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.
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 Arkansas 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 Arkansas.
With the exception of misdemeanor and felony arraignments, certified interpreters are required in Arkansas courts.
Please be aware that some counties in Arkansas may have specific legal interpreting regulations in addition to the statewide requirements.
Arkansas state authorities periodically offer exams, both written and oral, for certification in Spanish and several other languages based on the guidelines of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification.
The state of Arkansas accepts certification from the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification.
In addition to Spanish, Arkansas offers certification in more than a dozen other languages:
According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 6.61% of the Arkansas population speaks a language other than English.
What’s more, almost 90% of the non-English speaking population in Arkansas speaks one of the following 10 languages:
|Other Pacific Island languages||1.36%|
Other languages spoken in Arkansas include Korean, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Urdu, Portuguese, Telugu, Dutch, Romanian, Tamil, Cherokee, Kru/Ibo/Yoruba, Pennsylvania Dutch, Persian, Russian, Malayalam, Polish and Turkish.
*This table was created based on respondents’ written answers, the majority of whom wrote “Chinese” while others specified “Cantonese” or “Mandarin.”
The Arkansas Judicial Department defines legal interpreters in the following three ways:
In addition to the statewide requirements, some counties in Arkansas may have additional legal interpreting regulations.
There are 28 judicial districts in Arkansas that encompass 75 counties:
Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Arkansas interpreters who meet state interpreting rules for courtroom trials, hearings, depositions, arbitrations and other legal proceedings.
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 Arkansas is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.