Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Guam

Legal Language Services ranks the US federal district in Guam as a district with moderately 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 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 and territories, 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 Guam.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Guam

Certified interpreters are not mandatory in Guam courts, but courts are encouraged to use them.

Court systems in Guam periodically offer exams for certification in the following languages:

  • Chamorro
  • Chuukese
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Kosraen
  • Mandarin
  • Marshallese
  • Palauan
  • Pohnpeian
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

Candidates must pass the written exam in order to qualify to take an oral examination. The oral examination measures a candidate’s ability to accurately perform simultaneous as well as consecutive interpretation and sight translations as encountered in the federal courts.

Classification of Interpreters in Guam

  • Certified Interpreter: An interpreter who has passed both a written exam as well as a three-part oral exam, completed a two-day orientation seminar, and upholds the Guam Interpreter Code of Conduct.
  • Registered Interpreter: An interpreter who has successfully passed a written exam, completed a two-day orientation seminar, and upholds the Guam Interpreter Code of Conduct. Registered interpreters may also be required to submit to an oral examination.

For other languages, individuals may contact local federal courts to determine if that court has a need for the language of expertise. The local federal court will determine on a case-by-case basis whether the prospective interpreter is able to work in the court system.

Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Guam interpreters who meet interpreting rules for courtroom trials, hearings, depositions, arbitrations and other legal proceedings.

Common Languages Spoken in Guam

Although English is the primary language used in Guam, other languages spoken on the island include Chamorro, various Filipino dialects (e.g., Tagalog, etc.), Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Chuukese, Kosraean, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Palauan and Vietnamese.

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 Guam is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.