Becoming an Interpreter

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Contact us

If you are interested in becoming an interpreter, you can call us at (360)896-3881 or contact us here to receive more information.

Become certified

Becoming certified is not only one of the best ways to become a professional interpreter, in most instances it is required. There are many certification types including Medical, Court, and Translation. There are also many different certifying agencies which vary from state to state. most states have specific requirements on which type of certification and from which certifying agency they require for the type of work needed. Below, you can find a list of what you will need to become a certified medical and court interpreter. At this time, the current certified languages for Oregon are: 

Spanish, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Cantonese, French, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Illocano, Korean, Laotian, Polish, Portuguese, Tagalog and Turkish

CERTIFICATIONS ACCEPTED FOR OHA CERTIFICATION

National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CHI)

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CHI)

 https://www.certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org/

 

Languages avalable

Spanish Russian Korean

Vietnamese Cantonese Mandarin


Requirements

  • 18 years of age
  • Birth certificate or passport
  • Highschool diploma, GED or any degree from an institution of higher learning
  • Recent professional photo
  • Proof of 40 hours of training including a certificate of completion from an approved medical interpreter training course OR a transcript from a college or university for at least 3 credits of medical interpreting coursework


Proof of oral proficiency in English with one of the following:

  • Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD, or any other degree from an institution of higher education in the U.S. or other English language country.
  • High school diploma from a high school in the U.S. or other English language country or from an American School abroad.
  • One of the following tests (subject to change):
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): 570+ on paper; 230+ on computer version; 90+ on iBT.
  • ELPT (English Language Proficiency Test): 950+
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery) 80+
  • ECPE (Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English): PASS
  • FCE (First Certificate in English, Level 3): A
  • CAE (Certificate in Advanced English, Level 4): B
  •  CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English, Level 5): B
  •  IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 7.0 


Proof of Language proficiency in target language with one of the following:  

  • Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD, or any other degree from an institution of higher education where the target language is spoken.
  • High school diploma from a high school in a country where the target language is spoken
  • 24+ semester college credit hours of the target language
  • ACTFL Oral Exams (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages): Advanced Mid Level (follow this link www.languagetesting.com) - both the OPI (telephonic) and OPIc (computer recording) are acceptable.



Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CHI)

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CHI)

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CHI)

 http://cchicertification.org/ 


 Languages avalable

Arabic Mandarin Spanish


Requirements

  •  a high school level of education of any country 


Evidence of English proficiency 

  • A high school diploma, or its equivalent, from an English speaking country. 
  • Successful completion of extensive coursework at the post-secondary level, resulting in a degree, with the majority of classes conducted in English. 
  • Time spent studying and/or working in an English speaking country, where you were required on a daily basis to perform tasks at a professional level in English. 
  • Successfully passing any English language proficiency test from a reputable testing organization (see Footnotes on the next page). 
  • Successful passage of an established interpreter/translator certification exam (that includes a language-specific performance test), such as: 
  • The Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exam (FCICE) 
  • Any National Center for State Court (NCSC) exam
  • Other national or state certification exams, e.g., ATA, BEI, NAJIT, NBCMI, RID, State of Washington Medical Interpreter Certification. 


Evidence of other language proficiency (documents must be translated into English)

  • A high school diploma, or its equivalent, with classes taught in the other language (diploma or transcript as long as the country of origin can be established). 
  • Successful completion of extensive coursework at the post-secondary level, with the majority of classes conducted in the other language. 
  • Time spent studying and/or working in a country where the applicant was required on a daily basis to perform tasks at a professional level in the other language. 
  • Successfully passing a language proficiency test in the other language from a reputable testing organization
  • Successful passage of an established interpreter/translator certification exam (that includes a language-specific performance test), such as: 
  • The Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exam (FCICE) 
  • Any National Center for State Court (NCSC) exam 
  • Other national or state certification exams, e.g., ATA, BEI, NAJIT, NBCMI, RID, State of Washington Medical Interpreter Certification. 
  • Refugee status documentation (if above documentation is not available due to refugee experience).


40 hours of healthcare interpreter training  

  • Completing academic courses in medical interpreting; 
  • Completing non-academic training courses in medical interpreting; 
  • Adding up hours from multiple courses or conference sessions related to healthcare interpreting;
  • Completing continuing education courses; 
  • Developing or teaching interpreter training courses; or 
  • On-the-job training (including formal training classes and shadowing or being shadowed by experienced interpreters; it must be a training, not just performing your job as an interpreter).

Oregon Court Interpreter Certification

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CHI)

Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exams

 https://www.courts.oregon.gov/programs/interpreters/want-to-be/Pages/default.aspx 


 Court Language Access Services (CLAS) Certification and Training Program


FOR SPANISH AND RUSSIAN ONLY

  • Pass a criminal history check
  • Achieves a passing score on the Written Examination
  • Attends the Orientation and the Ethics Orientation Conducted by CLAS
  • Achieves a passing score on the Court Interpreting Oral Examination
  • Achieves a passing score on the Ethics Examination
  • Completes and submits documentation of 20 hours of court interpreting services or court observation during the 12 months prior to application in courts of record in Oregon or Consortium member states, federal courts of record, or where the interpreter is sworn in and the record can be presented into evidence
  • Completes the application process
  • Takes the Interpreter's Oath administered by an Oregon state court judge.

  

OTHER LANGUAGES

- Arabic - Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian - Cantonese

- French - Haitian Creole - Hmong

- Ilocano - Korean- Laotian 

- Mandarin - Polish - Portuguese 

- Tagalog - Turkish - Vietnamese


REQUIREMENTS

  • The Oregon Registered Court Interpreter credential candidate must also fulfill the following credential steps:
  • Pass a criminal history check
  • Complete five hours of mentored Oregon Judicial Department court interpreting assignments
  • Achieve a passing score on the Ethics Examination.
  • Complete and submit documentation of ten hours of court interpreting services or court observation in courts of record in Oregon or Consortium member states, federal courts of record, or where the interpreter is sworn in and the record can be presented into evidence.
  • Complete the application process
  • Take the Interpreter's Oath administered by an Oregon State Court Judge.

Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exams

Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exams

Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exams

 https://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/federal-court-interpreters/federal-court-interpreter-certification-examination  


 The Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination is offered for Spanish/English testing only. 


Phase One Written Examination

  • The written examination will be administered May 21-23, 2020. Registration will open on March 20, 2020 and will remain open until the end of the testing window. The examination may only be taken once per testing period. It is a computer-administered screener examination which includes a multiple-choice test of English proficiency and a multiple-choice test of Spanish proficiency. Since you must pass the written examination to take the oral examination, you will receive your scores on the same day of testing.


Phase Two Oral Examination

  • The oral examination will be offered in 2021 in various locations nationwide. The oral examination tests the ability to effectively perform the three modes of court interpreting: sight translation and simultaneous and consecutive interpretation of discourse, all of which must reflect the correct form and content of authentic interpreting functions encountered in the federal courts.
  • Accordingly, the candidate is required to demonstrate the ability to effectively carry out these functions bi-directionally. Test items include both formal and informal/colloquial language, technical and legal terminology, and special vocabulary or other specialized language use which is part of the active vocabulary of a highly articulate speaker. The FCICE is offered only for Spanish/English, since that is the primary interpreting need in the federal Judiciary. Learn more about the oral examination


Certified OHA Interpreter

Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exams

American Sign Language Certification

 https://www.oregon.gov/oha/OEI/Pages/HCI-Certification.aspx 


  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Copy of an Oregon driver’s license or passport 
  • Must not be on the Medicaid Exclusion List: http://exclusions.oig.hhs.gov/. Printout of search results. 
  • Must pass a background check. 
  • Must have at least 60 hours of formal health care interpreter training. Proof of successful completion of training at OHA-approved training center or equivalent 
  • Must have at least 30 hours of documented interpreting experience. Proof of passing certification tests from one of the following: 
  • National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters •Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters 
  • Oregon Court Interpreter Certification 
  • Federal Court Interpreter Certification exams
  • American Sign Language (ASL) Certification
  • $25 certification fee payable (by check or money order) to OHA/OEI Health Care Interpreter Program (includes registration fee) 




American Sign Language Certification

Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exams

American Sign Language Certification

 https://rid.org/rid-certification-overview/ 


RID certification

 

RID plays a leading role in establishing a national standard of quality for interpreters. RID certifications are a highly valued asset and provide an independent verification of an interpreter’s knowledge and abilities allowing them to be nationally recognized for the delivery of interpreting services among diverse users of signed and spoken languages. Furthermore, in some states, holding a valid RID certification is required to provide interpreting services.


 Each RID credential has unique requirements that must be completed before it can be awarded. Some certifications involve passing a series of exams and others involve submitting documentation of training and experience. In all cases, if the candidate is determined to meet or exceed RID’s national standard, they are awarded certification. Detailed information about these requirements can be found on the corresponding certification page. 


 RID currently offers two different certifications. In addition, RID currently recognizes certifications that were previously offered by RID, but the exams are no longer available, as well as credentials assessed and awarded by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). Individuals who hold NAD credentials that have been previously recognized by RID are considered Certified members of RID.