Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Delaware

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

Legal Language Services ranks Delaware 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 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 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 Delaware.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Delaware

Delaware state authorities periodically offer exams, both written and oral, for certification in Spanish and 21 other languages based on the National Center of State Courts’ performance exam.

Languages available in the full exam include:

  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • French
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hmong
  • Ilocano
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Laotian
  • Mandarin
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

Languages available in the abbreviated exam include:

  • Arabic (Egyptian colloquial)
  • Bosnian
  • Croatian
  • German
  • Serbian
  • Turkish

Common Languages Spoken in Delaware

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 12.19% of the Delaware population primarily speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, more than 78 percent of the non-English speaking population in Delaware speaks one of the following 10 languages:

Spanish 53.81%
Chinese 4.43%
French 3.45%
German 2.87%
Gujarathi 2.46%
Tagalog 2.46%
Italian 2.30%
French Creole 2.21%
Kru, Ibo, Yoruba 2.13%
Hindi 1.97%

Other languages spoken in Delaware include Telegu, Greek, Swahili, Vietnamese, Urdu, Polish, Korean, Arabic,Pennsylvania Dutch, Tamil and Japanese, among others.

Classification of Interpreters in Delaware

The Delaware Judicial Department defines legal interpreters in the following ways:

  • Professionally Certified Interpreter: An interpreter who has scored a minimum of 70 percent on a three-part oral exam, passed a written exam, attended a two-day orientation seminar, passed a criminal background check and who abides by the Court Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics.
  • Conditionally Approved Interpreter: An interpreter who has scored a minimum of 60 percent on a three-part oral exam, passed a written exam, attended a two-day orientation seminar, passed a criminal background check and who abides by the Court Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics.
  • Registered Candidate: An interpreter who has passed a written exam, attended a two-day orientation seminar, passed a criminal background check and who abides by the Court Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics.

Not all venues in Delaware require certified interpreters, even for Spanish-language cases. Please consult with Legal Language Services for the rules pertaining to your specific venue and language.

Judicial Districts in Delaware

There are three judicial districts in Delaware, one for each county: Kent, New Castle and Sussex. Certification requirements in Delaware are statewide and remain consistent across all local jurisdictions.

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