Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Indiana

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

Legal Language Services ranks Indiana 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.

Do you need a certified interpreter?

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 Indiana.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Indiana

Indiana has two levels of certification for legal interpreters.

Certified interpreters are not mandatory in Indiana courts, but courts are encouraged to use them. In addition, some Indiana trial courts use only certified interpreters.

Please be aware that some counties in Indiana may have specific legal interpreting regulations in addition to the statewide requirements.

Indiana 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 Indiana also offers federal court certification and accepts certification from National Center for State Courts Interpreter Consortium member states.

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

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

Common Languages Spoken in Indiana

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 7.77% of the Indiana population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, almost 81% of the non-English speaking population in Indiana speaks one of the following 10 languages:

Spanish 56.50%
German 7.59%
Chinese* 3.60%
Pennsylvania Dutch 3.47%
French 3.09%
Arabic 1.42%
Tagalog 1.42%
Korean 1.29%
Hindi 1.29%
Japanese 1.29%

 

Other languages spoken in Indiana include Russian, Vietnamese, Dutch, Polish, Greek, Serbian, Italian, Gujarathi, Panjabi, Burmese, Kru/Ibo/Yoruba, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, Urdu, Portuguese, Indian, Telugu and Romanian.

*This table was created based on respondents’ written answers, the majority of whom wrote “Chinese” while others specified “Cantonese” or “Mandarin.”

Classification of Interpreters in Indiana

The Indiana Judicial Department defines legal interpreters in the following two ways:

  • Certified Interpreter: An interpreter who has attended a two-day orientation, passed a written exam with a minimum score of 80 percent, attended a two-day skills seminar, passed all three portions of the oral examination with a minimum score of 70 percent, submitted to a criminal background check, and signed an oath agreeing to comply with the Indiana Supreme Court Interpreter Code of Conduct and Procedure.
  • Qualified Interpreter: An interpreter who has attended a two-day orientation, passed a written exam with a minimum score of 80 percent, attended a two-day skills seminar, scored a Superior or the highest level in the Oral Proficiency Interview in both English and the target language, submitted to a criminal background check, and signed an oath agreeing to comply with the Indiana Supreme Court Interpreter Code of Conduct and Procedure.

Not all venues in Indiana require certified interpreters. Please consult with Legal Language Services for the rules pertaining to your specific venue and language.

Judicial Districts in Indiana

Legal interpreting requirements can vary by district in Indiana. This state has 26 judicial districts that encompass 92 counties:

  • 1st Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Lake
  • 2nd Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Benton, Jasper, Newton, Porter
  • 3rd Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: LaPorte, Pulaski, Starke
  • 4th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: St. Joseph
  • 5th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Elkhart, Kosciuscko, Marshall
  • 6th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Whitley
  • 7th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Allen
  • 8th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami
  • 9th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Adams, Huntington, Wabash, Wells
  • 10th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Carroll, Tippecanoe, White
  • 11th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Fountain, Montgomery, Parke, Vermillion, Warren
  • 12th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Boone, Clinton, Hamilton, Tipton
  • 13th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Marion
  • 14th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Grant, Madison
  • 15th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Blackford, Delaware, Henry, Jay, Randolph
  • 16th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Hendricks, Morgan
  • 17th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Hancock, Johnson, Shelby
  • 18th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Fayette, Franklin, Rush, Union, Wayne
  • 19th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Clay, Putnam, Sullivan, Vigo
  • 20th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Greene, Lawrence, Monroe, Owen
  • 21st Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings
  • 22nd Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Dearborn, Jefferson, Ohio, Ripley, Switzerland
  • 23rd Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Clark, Floyd, Scott
  • 24th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Crawford, Harrison, Orange, Washington
  • 25th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Daviess, Dubois, Knox, Martin, Perry, Pike, Spencer
  • 26th Judicial District of Indiana
    Counties: Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick

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