Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Utah

Utah US mapRegulations for legal interpreters in Utah differ from those in other states.

Legal Language Services ranks Utah 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.

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 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 Utah.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Utah

Utah state authorities periodically offer exams, both written and oral, for certification in Spanish based on the guidelines of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification.

Common Languages Spoken in Utah

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 14.09% of the Utah population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, more than 84% of the non-English speaking population in Utah speaks on of the following 10 languages:

Spanish 66.15%
German 2.77%
Navajo 2.63%
French 2.27%
Portuguese 2.20%
Chinese* 1.92%
Tongan 1.70%
Vietnamese 1.56%
Japanese 1.49%
Korean 1.42%

 

Other languages spoken in Utah include Russian, Tagalog, Samoan, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, Mandarin, Laotian, Mon-Khmer/Cambodian, Dutch, Greek, other Pacific Island languages, Arabic, Swedish, Cantonese, Bantu, Persian, Urdu, Thai and other specified North American Indian languages.

*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 Utah

The Utah State Courts system defines legal interpreters in the following ways:

  • Certified Interpreter: An interpreter who has passed both a written exam and three-part oral exam as well as the Code of Professional Responsibility for Court Interpreters exam, attended a two-day orientation program, submitted to a background check, obtained 10 hours of observation, completed a five-day training course, and submitted to a criminal background check.
  • Approved Interpreter: An interpreter who has passed both a written exam and an Oral Proficiency Interview as well as the Code of Professional Responsibility for Court Interpreters exam, attended a two-day orientation program, obtained 10 hours of observation, and submitted to a criminal background check.
  • Registered 1 Interpreter: An interpreter who has passed a written exam as well as the Code of Professional Responsibility for Court Interpreters exam, attended a two-day orientation program, obtained 10 hours of observation, and submitted to a criminal background check.

Not all venues in Utah require certified interpreters, even for Spanish-language cases. Please consult with Legal Language Services for the rules pertaining to your specific venue and language.

Judicial Districts in Utah

There are 8 judicial districts in Utah encompassing 29 counties. Certification requirements in Utah are statewide and remain consistent across all local jurisdictions.

  • 1st Judicial District of Utah
    Counties: Box Elder, Cache, Rich
  • 2nd Judicial District of Utah
    Counties: Davis, Morgan, Weber
  • 3rd Judicial District of Utah
    Counties: Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele
  • 4th Judicial District of Utah
    Counties: Juab, Millard, Utah, Wasatch
  • 5th Judicial District of Utah
    Counties: Beaver, Iron, Washington
  • 6th Judicial District of Utah
    Counties: Garfield, Kane, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne
  • 7th Judicial District of Utah
    Counties: Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan
  • 8th Judicial District of Utah
    Counties: Daggett, Duchesne, Uintah

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