Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Louisiana

Legal Language Services ranks Louisiana 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 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 in Louisiana 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 Louisiana.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Louisiana

Louisiana does not require certified interpreters for any legal proceeding. However, the state periodically offers oral exams for certification in accordance with NCSC testing protocols.

There are certified interpreters on the Louisiana registry in the following languages:

  • French
  • Laotian
  • Mandarin
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

Classification of Interpreters in Louisiana

There are two levels of classification for court interpreters in Louisiana.

Registered Interpreter: An interpreter who has attended a two-day orientation seminar, passed a standard written English examination as provided by the National Center for State Courts, passed a written translation examination, passed a criminal background check, and who abides by the Court Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics.

Certified Interpreter: An interpreter who has attended a two-day orientation seminar, scored at least an 80% on the written examination, scored at least a 70% on the four-part oral certification exam, passed a criminal background check, and who abides by the Court Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics.

Common Languages Spoken in Louisiana

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 8.74% of the Louisiana population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, just more than 90% of the non-English speaking population in Louisiana speaks one of the following 10 languages:

Common Languages Spoken in Louisiana

  • Spanish
  • French
  • Vietnamese
  • Cajun
  • Chinese
  • Arabic
  • French Creole
  • German
  • Tagalog
  • Portuguese
Louisiana state capitol building - court interpreting guidelines

Other languages spoken in Louisiana include Italian, Urdu, Korean, Japanese, Laotian, Russian, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarathi, Polish and Mandarin.

Judicial Districts in Louisiana

There are 42 judicial districts in Louisiana. However, certification requirements in Louisiana are statewide and remain consistent across all local jurisdictions.

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