Legal Language Services ranks Colorado 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.
However, you may not need to hire a certified court interpreter for every situation.
In addition to statewide requirements, some legal venues in Colorado require that legal interpreters be certified by specific organizations. 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.
Please be aware that some counties in Colorado may have specific legal interpreting regulations in addition to the statewide requirements. For example, in some counties certified Spanish interpreters are required for court cases, while in others they are “strongly preferred.”
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 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 Colorado.
Colorado has several levels of classification for legal interpreters.
Colorado 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 Colorado also offers federal court certification and accepts certification from NAJIT (National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators) and NJITCE (National Judiciary Interpreter & Translator Certification Examination).
In addition to Spanish, Colorado offers certification in 11 other languages:
According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 16.76% of the Colorado population speaks a language other than English.
What’s more, almost 88% of the non-English speaking population in Colorado speaks one of the following 10 languages:
Other languages spoken in Colorado include Italian, Amharic, Polish, Hindi, Persian, Hmong, Navajo, Portuguese, Cantonese,* Mandarin,* Dutch, Kru/Ibo/Yoruba, Thai, Telugu, Serbo-Croatian, Greek, Mon-Khmer/Cambodian, Hebrew and Swedish.
*This table was created based on respondents’ written answers, the majority of whom wrote “Chinese” while others specified “Cantonese” or “Mandarin.”
The Colorado Judicial Department defines legal interpreters in the following six ways:
Not all venues in Colorado require certified interpreters, even for Spanish-language cases. Please consult with Legal Language Services for the rules pertaining to your specific venue and language.
Legal interpreting requirements can vary by district in Colorado. This state has 22 judicial districts that encompass 64 counties:
Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Colorado 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 Colorado is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.