Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Idaho

IdahoRegulations for legal interpreters in Idaho differ from those in other states. Legal Language Services ranks Idaho 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.

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 Idaho 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 Idaho.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Idaho

Idaho does not require certified interpreters for any legal proceeding. However, all court interpreters in Idaho are strongly encouraged to participate in Idaho’s training and certification program.

Idaho 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.

In addition to Spanish, Idaho offers certification in more than a dozen other languages:

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

Common Languages Spoken in Idaho

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 10.29% of the Idaho population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, almost 89% of the non-English speaking population in Idaho speaks one of the following 10 languages:

Spanish 74.34%
German 3.60%
French 2.33%
Other specified North American Indian languages 1.55%
Japanese 1.55%
Serbo-Croatian 1.36%
Russian 1.36%
Portuguese 1.07%
Korean 0.97%
Tagalog 0.97%

 

Other languages spoken in Idaho include Chinese, Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Thai, Italian, Dutch, Arabic and Romanian.

Classification of Interpreters in Idaho

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

  • Certified Master Interpreter: An interpreter who has scored a minimum of 80 percent on a four-part oral exam, passed a written exam, passed a basic ethics test, passed a criminal background check and attended a two-day basic orientation workshop.
  • Certified Interpreter: An interpreter who has scored a minimum of 70 percent on a four-part oral exam, passed a written exam, passed a basic ethics test, passed a criminal background check and attended a two-day basic orientation workshop.
  • Conditionally Approved Interpreter: An interpreter who has scored a minimum of 55 percent on a four-part oral exam, passed a written exam, passed a basic ethics test, passed a criminal background check and attended a two-day basic orientation workshop.
  • Registered Interpreter: An interpreter who has passed a written exam, passed a basic ethics test, passed a criminal background check and attended a two-day basic orientation workshop.

While no venues in Idaho require certified interpreters, they may be preferred for certain proceedings. Please consult with Legal Language Services for the rules pertaining to your specific venue and language.

Judicial Districts in Idaho

There are seven judicial districts in Idaho that encompass 44 counties. However, the certification requirements and programs in Idaho are statewide and remain consistent across all local jurisdictions.

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