Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Mississippi

Mississippi interpreting guidelinesRegulations for legal interpreters in Mississippi differ from those in other states.

Legal Language Services ranks Mississippi 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 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.

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 in Mississippi 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 Mississippi.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Mississippi

Mississippi state authorities periodically offer exams, both written and oral, for certification in Spanish and other languages based on the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification.

According to the Mississippi Code of 1972 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.

Common Languages Spoken in Mississippi

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 3.82% of the Mississippi population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, almost 88% of the non-English speaking population in Mississippi speaks one of the following 10 languages:

Spanish 59.95%
Vietnamese 5.50%
French 4.97%
Other specified North American Indian languages 4.71%
German 2.88%
Chinese* 2.88%
Arabic 2.36%
Tagalog 2.09%
Korean 1.57%
Hindi 1.05%

Other languages spoken in Mississippi include Italian, Gujarathi, Kru/Ibo/Yoruba, Russian, Panjabi, Cajun, Japanese, Urdu, India (not elsewhere classified), Mandarin, Hawaiian, Portuguese, Greek, Laotian, Swahili, Telugu, Tamil and Thai.

*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 Mississippi

Mississippi defines legal interpreters in the following ways:

  • Certified Interpreter: An interpreter who has attended a two-day ethics and skill-building workshop, scored a minimum of 80 percent on a written exam, passed an oral proficiency interview, scored a minimum of 70 percent on a three-part oral exam, submitted to a criminal background check, provided verification if U.S. citizenship or the legal right to work in the U.S. and taken the Interpreter Oath
  • Registered Interpreter: An interpreter who has attended a two-day ethics and skill-building workshop, scored a minimum of 80 percent on a written exam, passed an oral proficiency interview, submitted to a criminal background check, provided verification if U.S. citizenship or the legal right to work in the U.S. and taken the Interpreter Oath.
  • Non-Credentialed Interpreter: An interpreter who has not met the above requirements.

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

Judicial Districts in Mississippi

Legal interpreting requirements apply to all courts and their judicial districts in Mississippi, including without limitation, municipal court, justice court, youth court, county court, circuit court, chancery court, and grand jury proceedings.

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