Interpreter Resources & Education

Interpreter Resources & Education

There are three types of court interpreters in the state of Nebraska:  Certified, Registered, and Other. 

Certified Court Interpreters have:

  • Completed Court Interpreter Orientation.
  • Passed the English Language Proficiency Written Exam, achieving 80% or higher.
  • Passed the Oral Exam for Certification in its entirety, achieving 70% or higher on each of the three sections.
  • Certification is available American Sign Language, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and Spanish languages.

Registered Court Interpreters have:

  • Completed Court Interpreter Orientation.
  • Passed the English Language Proficiency Written Exam, achieving 80% or higher.
  • Taken the Oral Exam and achieved 50% or higher on each of the three sections.
  • Spanish and American Sign Language interpreters in this category cannot be used for interpreting in Nebraska Courts and Probation Offices.

Other Court Interpreters:

  • Completed Court Interpreter Orientation.
  • Passed the English Language Proficiency Written Exam, achieving 80% or higher.
  • Either has not taken the Oral Exam or did not achieve 50% or higher on each of the three sections.
  • Spanish and American Sign Language interpreters in this category cannot be used for interpreting in Nebraska Courts and Probation Offices.
Do you want to become a Court Interpreter?

Court interpreters are individuals who possess an educated, native-like mastery of both English and a second language; display wide general knowledge; and perform the three major types of court interpreting: sight translation, consecutive interpreting, and simultaneous interpreting. Resources for individuals interested in becoming a court interpreter are below.

Qualifications to Become a Court Interpreter

Qualifications to Become a Court Interpreter
Qualifications to Become a Court Interpreter

The Nebraska Supreme Court requires that individuals who interpret for the court be the most qualified interpreters available. In order to assure this, the court offers a certification program which tests the interpreter’s ability to provide sight, consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, all of which may be needed to assist a limited-English-proficient individual who finds him or herself before a Nebraska court.

To determine the qualifications of its interpreters, Nebraska has joined 39 other states in the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification. Through the tests and training materials available through the Consortium, the Administrative Office of the Courts offers certification in Arabic, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Cantonese, Chuukese, French, Haitian, Creole, Hmong, Ilocano, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Marshallese, Polish, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish, and Vietnamese. Certification as a court interpreter by another Consortium state is recognized in Nebraska, and Nebraska Certification may be recognized in other Consortium states as well.

In order to receive certification as a Nebraska Court Interpreter, an individual must complete the following steps:

  1. Attend a 2-day interpreter orientation. This provides an introduction to the courts, ethics, vocabulary, talents and skills needed to pass the certification oral examination and assume the responsibilities of a court interpreter.
  2. Pass a written English comprehension exam.
  3. Pass an oral examination of the interpreter’s sight, consecutive and simultaneous interpreting skills.

If interested, be sure to check out the training and testing schedules.

If you are interested in becoming a certified court interpreter, please send your name, address, phone number, e-mail address and any questions you may have to Jennifer Verhein.

Training and Testing Schedule

Training and Testing Schedule
Training and Testing Schedule

Court Interpreter Orientation

Cost for Orientation is $100, including required online information for individual review and a two-day in-person workshop.  Scholarships based upon financial need may be considered for qualified Nebraska applicants who are required to travel more than 100 miles (one way) to attend Orientation.

  • September 10 - 11, 2016, Creighton Law School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Registration Form

Written Exam

Applicants for the written exam for certification must have completed Court Interpreter Orientation to be eligible to sit for the written exam, which is administered approximately six weeks after Court Interpreter Orientation. Applicants may take the written exam once per calendar year. Exam is conducted in Lincoln and Omaha. Applicants taking the written exam for a third or subsequent time must pay a testing fee.

Oral Exam

Applicants for the oral exam for certification must have completed Court Interpreter Orientation and passed the written English comprehension exam in order to be eligible. Applicants are eligible to test once per calendar year. Exam is conducted in Lincoln and Omaha. 

Cost for the Oral Exam is:  $225.00 (Nebraska residents) and $350.00 (Out-of-state residents)

Note:  For purposes of the oral exam, an interpreter is considered "Nebraska Resident" if he or she lives in the state of Nebraska, or within 50 miles of the Nebraska border and intends to interpret for the Nebraska Judicial Branch.

  • Nothing scheduled at this time.

Interpreter Test Preparation Strategies for Written and Oral Exam

A list of test preparation strategies and resources cand be found here.  Although various training strategies and resources are included, the State of Nebraska does not endorse any particular program and does not guarantee success on examinations as a result of any training.

Skills-Building Workshop

Cost for Skills-Building Workshop is $100.  Times are 9:00 a.m. -  4:00 p.m. each day.  Space is limited.

  • Nothing scheduled at this time.

Resources from the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts

Resources from the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts
Resources from the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts
Are you already a Court Interpreter?

Below are items of interest to you as an individual who is qualified to interpret in the court system.