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Court interpreter training planned for Eau Claire

Madison, Wisconsin - July 29, 2011

The Director of State Courts Office is accepting applications for interpreter training to be held in Eau Claire on Aug. 20-21 at the Eau Claire County Courthouse.

While Spanish is the primary language requested by the courts, increased efforts are being made to recruit qualified interpreters for many other languages, particularly those spoken by incoming refugee populations. The state Department of Children and Families Refugee Assistance Services Program is offering a limited number of scholarships to qualified individuals fluent in languages such as Arabic, Burmese, Farsi, French, Khmer, Russian, Somali and Tibetan. Interpreters also are sought for less common African and Asian languages such as Amharic, Karen, Nepali, Maay-Maay, Swahili and Tigrinya.  In all, applicants fluent in English and almost 50 other languages, including American Sign Language, are being sought.

Training sessions are intended for individuals who are interested in learning the fundamentals of court interpreting and are designed to give participants an overview of the needs and expectations of the court with emphasis on ethical conduct, legal terminology, court procedure, and basic legal interpreting skills. Small group practice exercises will help to develop interpreting skills. This orientation is intended as an introduction to the complexities of court interpretation, rather than as an in-depth training. Faculty includes judges, attorneys, and certified court interpreters. A $160 fee covers the sessions, lunches, and materials. Each session will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on two consecutive days. Orientation applications must be postmarked by the deadline of Aug. 5.

Applications are encouraged from individuals who are currently interpreting in court proceedings or administrative hearings regularly. The court system also seeks applications from working interpreters in other fields who want to broaden their experience to include legal settings and to bilingual individuals who wish to learn more about the court interpreting profession. Participants who attend orientation, achieve minimal testing levels, and meet other requirements will be placed on a roster of interpreters used by courts, law enforcement agencies, lawyers, and law-related agencies.

This training is part of the Director of State Courts Office Interpreter Program, which aims to improve interpretation and translation in the courts.  For more information on these training sessions, and to register, visit the court system Web site. For more information contact Carmel Capati, Office of Court Operations at carmel.capati@wicourts.gov or (608) 266-8635.

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