Legal Language Services ranks New Jersey 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.

In addition to statewide requirements, some legal venues in New Jersey require that legal interpreters be certified by specific organizations. 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.

Please be aware that some counties in New Jersey may have specific legal interpreting regulations in addition to the statewide requirements.

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 in New Jersey 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 New Jersey.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in New Jersey

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

The state of New Jersey also offers federal court certification in Spanish and accepts certification from member states of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification. New Jersey does not accept any other test results.

New Jersey offers certification in 20 languages:

  • Arabic
  • Bosnian
  • Cantonese
  • Croatian
  • French
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hmong
  • Ilocano
  • Khmer
  • Korean
  • Laotian
  • Mandarin
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese

Classification of Interpreters in New Jersey

The New Jersey Judicial Department defines legal interpreters in the following three ways:

  • Level 3: Master: Interpreters at this level interpret complex legal proceedings and translate forms, letters and other court-related documents.
  • Level 2: Journeyman: Interpreters at this level interpret legal proceedings and translate forms, letters and other court-related documents.
  • Level 1: Conditionally Approved/Trainee: Interpreters at this level interpret proceedings of limited legal significance or limited linguistic complexity and prepare draft translations of forms, letters and other court-related documents.

Not all venues in New Jersey require certified interpreters. However, for cases requiring an interpreter in a language for which there are certification exams, then a certified interpreter is required. Please consult with Legal Language Services for the rules pertaining to your specific venue and language.

Common Languages Spoken in New Jersey

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 28.69% of the New Jersey population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, more than 78% of the non-English speaking population in New Jersey speaks one of the following 10 languages:

Common Languages Spoken in New Jersey

  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Tagalog
  • Chinese*
  • Korean
  • Gujarathi
  • Polish
  • Hindi
  • Arabic
NJ courthouse exterior - legal interpreting guidelines

Other languages spoken in New Jersey include Russian, French Creole, French, German, Urdu, Kru/Ibo/Yoruba, Greek, Telugu, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Mandarin, Tamil, Bengali, Turkish, Japanese, Panjabi, Ukrainian and Cantonese.

*This table was created based on respondents’ written answers, the majority of whom wrote “Chinese” while others specified “Cantonese” or “Mandarin.”

Judicial Vicinages in New Jersey

Legal interpreting requirements can vary by district in New Jersey. This state has 22 judicial vicinages, or districts, that encompass 21 counties:

  • Vicinage 1 of New Jersey
    Counties: Atlantic, Cape May
  • Vicinage 2 of New Jersey
    Counties: Bergen
  • Vicinage 3 of New Jersey
    Counties: Burlington
  • Vicinage 4 of New Jersey
    Counties: Camden
  • Vicinage 5 of New Jersey
    Counties: Essex
  • Vicinage 6 of New Jersey
    Counties: Hudson
  • Vicinage 7 of New Jersey
    Counties: Mercer
  • Vicinage 8 of New Jersey
    Counties: Middlesex
  • Vicinage 9 of New Jersey
    Counties: Monmouth
  • Vicinage 10 of New Jersey
    Counties: Morris, Sussex
  • Vicinage 11 of New Jersey
    Counties: Passaic
  • Vicinage 12 of New Jersey
    Counties: Union
  • Vicinage 13 of New Jersey
    Counties: Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren
  • Vicinage 14 of New Jersey
    Counties: Ocean
  • Vicinage 15 of New Jersey
    Counties: Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem

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