Legal Language Services ranks New Jersey 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.
In addition to statewide requirements, some legal venues in New Jersey require that legal interpreters be certified by specific organizations. 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.
Please be aware that some counties in New Jersey may have specific legal interpreting regulations in addition to the statewide requirements.
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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey.
New Jersey has several levels of classification for legal interpreters.
New Jersey 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 New Jersey also offers federal court certification in Spanish and accepts certification from member states of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification. New Jersey does not accept any other test results.
In addition to Spanish, New Jersey offers certification in 19 other languages:
According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 28.69% of the New Jersey population speaks a language other than English.
What’s more, more than 78% of the non-English speaking population in New Jersey speaks one of the following 10 languages:
Other languages spoken in New Jersey include Russian, French Creole, French, German, Urdu, Kru/Ibo/Yoruba, Greek, Telugu, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Mandarin, Tamil, Bengali, Turkish, Japanese, Panjabi, Ukrainian and Cantonese.
*This table was created based on respondents’ written answers, the majority of whom wrote “Chinese” while others specified “Cantonese” or “Mandarin.”
The New Jersey Judicial Department defines legal interpreters in the following three ways:
Not all venues in New Jersey require certified interpreters. However, for cases requiring an interpreter in a language for which there are certification exams, then a certified interpreter is required. Please consult with Legal Language Services for the rules pertaining to your specific venue and language.
Legal interpreting requirements can vary by district in New Jersey. This state has 22 judicial vicinages, or districts, that encompass 21 counties:
Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find New Jersey interpreters who meet state interpreting rules for courtroom trials, hearings, depositions, arbitrations and other legal proceedings.
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 New Jersey is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.