Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Louisiana

louisiana us mapRegulations for legal interpreters in Louisiana differ from those in other states.

Legal Language Services ranks Louisiana as a state with lightly regulated legal interpreting requirements.

In general, 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 in Louisiana 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 Louisiana.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Louisiana

There are two levels of classification for court interpreters in Louisiana.

The first is the level of registered interpreter. In order to become a registered interpreter in the state of Louisiana, an interpreter must complete a two day training class, pass a written examination in English, pass a written translation examination, pass a criminal background check and agree to adhere to the General Administrative Rules for Louisiana Courts.

The second is the level of certified interpreter. Though the state did not previously offer certification and does not require certified interpreters for any legal proceeding, Louisiana will begin administering the oral certification examination provided by the National Center for State Courts in 2014.

According to Louisiana’s Code of Evidence and other laws for court procedures, complainants, defendants and witnesses part of any court or grand jury proceedings who are deaf or who have a language barrier have the right to an interpreter. If legal interpreters are not available locally, judges may request the presence of a certified or otherwise qualified interpreter from outside the state if it is deemed necessary in court proceedings.

Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Louisiana interpreters for courtroom trials, hearings, depositions, arbitrations and other legal proceedings.

Common Languages Spoken in Louisiana

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 8.74% of the Louisiana population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, just more than 90% of the non-English speaking population in Louisiana speaks one of the following 10 languages:

Spanish 37.76%
French 31.92%
Vietnamese 6.75%
Cajun 5.84%
Chinese 1.83%
Arabic 1.72%
French Creole 1.72%
German 1.60%
Tagalog 0.92%
Portuguese 0.80%


Other languages spoken in Louisiana include Italian, Urdu, Korean, Japanese, Laotian, Russian, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarathi, Polish and Mandarin.

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 Louisiana is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.