Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Vermont

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

Legal Language Services ranks Vermont 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 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 Vermont.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Vermont

Vermont does not require certified interpreters for any legal proceeding. However, court systems in Vermont 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 Vermont also recognizes certified interpreters from states offering Consortium-based certification as well as federal certification.

In addition to Spanish, Vermont offers certification in 12 other languages:

  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • French
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hmong
  • Korean
  • Laotian
  • Mandarin
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Vietnamese

Common Languages Spoken in Vermont

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 5.44% of the Vermont population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, more than 79% of the non-English speaking population in Vermont speaks one of the following 10 languages:

French 32.72%
Spanish 22.06%
German 8.09%
Chinese* 4.04%
Serbo-Croatian 2.76%
Vietnamese 2.39%
Italian 2.02%
Russian 2.02%
Nepali 1.65%
Marathi 1.29%

Other languages spoken in Vermont include Korean, Bengali, Polish, Urdu, Greek, Dutch, Turkish, Albanian, Serbian, Hebrew, Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, Slovak, other specified African languages, Tamil, Croatian and Mandarin.

*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 Vermont

A certified interpreter is an interpreter who has scored a minimum of 70 percent on an oral exam as well as a three-part written exam and who has completed an orientation seminar.

If a certified interpreter is not available, an interpreter who has not achieved certification but has met minimum requirements to be approved by the court will be considered for legal interpreting assignments.

Judicial Districts in Vermont

There are 14 judicial districts in Vermont that encompass the state’s 14 counties. However, certification requirements in Vermont are statewide and remain consistent across all local jurisdictions.

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