Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Georgia

Legal Language Services ranks Georgia 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 need 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 Georgia.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Georgia

Georgia 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.

Georgia offers certification in 17 languages:

  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • French
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hmong
  • Ilocano
  • Khmer
  • Korean
  • Laotian
  • Mandarin
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Vietnamese

Classification of Interpreters in Georgia

The Georgia Judicial Department defines legal interpreters in the following ways:

  • Certified Interpreter: An interpreter who has scored a minimum of 70 percent on a three-part oral exam, passed a written exam, attended an orientation workshop, passed a criminal background check and logged the required number of court observation hours.
  • Conditionally Approved Interpreter: An interpreter who has received an overall score of 60 percent on the three-part oral exam (with no score falling below 50 percent), passed a written exam, attended an orientation workshop, passed a criminal background check and logged the required number of court observation hours.
  • Registered Interpreter: An interpreter who has passed an oral proficiency interview, passed a written exam, attended an orientation workshop and passed a criminal background check. This classification level is only available to those proficient in a language that does not have a corresponding oral exam.

For all three levels of classification, licenses must be renewed annually.

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

Common Languages Spoken in Georgia

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 12.65% of the Georgia population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, just over 80% of the non-English speaking population in Colorado speaks one of the following 10 languages:

Common Languages Spoken in Georgia

  • Spanish
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese
  • French
  • Chinese
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Kru, Ibo, Yoruba
  • Gujarathi
  • Portuguese
Atlanta skyline

Other languages spoken in Georgia include French Creole, Russian, Tagalog, Arabic, Amharic, Urdu, Japanese and Persian.

Judicial Districts in Georgia

There are 10 judicial districts in Georgia that encompass 159 counties. However, certification requirements in Georgia are statewide and remain consistent across all local jurisdictions.

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