Legal Language Services ranks Oregon 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.
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 Oregon.
Oregon state authorities offer annual 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 Oregon also offers federal court certification and accepts certification from member states of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification.
In addition to Spanish, Oregon offers certification in 19 other languages:
According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 14.37% of the Oregon population speaks a language other than English.
What’s more, almost 85% of the non-English speaking population in Oregon speaks one of the following 10 languages:
Other languages spoken in Oregon include Romanian, Ukrainian, Hindi, Cantonese, Persian, Italian, Mandarin, Mon-Khmer/Cambodian, other Pacific Island languages, Thai, Cushite, Laotian, Dutch, Portuguese, Hmong, Telugu, Polish, Hebrew and Panjabi.
*This table was created based on respondents’ written answers, the majority of whom wrote “Chinese” while others specified “Cantonese” or “Mandarin.”
The Oregon Judicial Department defines legal interpreters in the following two ways:
Please note that state law requires that an Oregon Certified Court Interpreter must be called to interpret first. If no certified interpreter is available, the court may use a non-certified interpreter who presents qualifications that are acceptable to the court according to ORS (Oregon Revised Statutes).
Please consult with Legal Language Services for the rules pertaining to your specific venue and language.
There are 27 judicial districts in Oregon that encompass 36 counties. However, certification requirements in Oregon are statewide and remain consistent across all local jurisdictions.
Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Oregon 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 Oregon is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.