Legal Language Services ranks Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Judiciary provides proficiency examinations for certification through the NCSC in the following 20 languages:
According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 20.82% of the Rhode Island population speaks a language other than English.
What’s more, almost 88% of the non-English speaking population in Rhode Island speaks one of the following 10 languages:
Other languages spoken in Rhode Island include Tagalog, Arabic, German, Russian, Armenian, Greek, Korean, Vietnamese, Mande, Hmong, Hindi, Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai, Japanese, Nepali, Tamil, Hebrew and Gujarathi.
*This table was created based on respondents’ written answers, the majority of whom wrote “Chinese” while others specified “Cantonese” or “Mandarin.”
The Rhode Island Judicial Department defines legal interpreters in the following two ways:
Not all venues in Rhode Island require certified interpreters, except for Spanish-language cases. Please consult with Legal Language Services for the rules pertaining to your specific venue and language.
There is 1 judicial district in Rhode Island that encompasses 5 counties.
Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.