On becoming a court translator in Houston, TX
Thread poster: June Yin

June Yin
May 21, 2008

Can someone share information on becoming a court translator in Houston, TX? Thanks.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Information May 21, 2008

I think virtually all the information you will find on becoming a court interpreter, not translator, will apply to Spanish. Of course there can always be an occasional need for Chinese, but it would be so occasional that you could not depend on it at all for an income.

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Kathi Stock  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:02
Member (2002)
English to German
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Link May 22, 2008

Hi June,
Please check out this official link from the Department of Licensing and Regulation of the State of Texas. You should find all your answers right there.

Good luck!


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United States
Local time: 15:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Information May 28, 2008

Kathi gave you a good link for becoming a licensed court interpreter in Texas. They use an exam from the Consortium: http://www.ncsconline.org/D_RESEARCH/CourtInterp.html

Depends on your language pair, what kind of court you are interested in and if you want to do interpretation, translation or both.

The immigration courts have staff interpreters, but quite often hire freelancer/contract interpreters(there is one in Houston and about 4/5 others throughout the state). They mostly do interpretations in administrative hearings, very little translation work. You can try contacting them to find out how you might work or contract with them: http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/sibpages/hou/visitorinfo.htm

The county courts usually have staff interpreters, but they do hire contract interpreters and so do the municipal courts. Any court backed by the state of Texas, in cities with populations over 50,000 are required to hire only licensed interpreters. County courts have several sections: criminal, civil, juvenile, child support (AG), family and so forth.

Have you tried looking around the medical center? Many hospitals hire in-staff interpreters and translators. They will also hire freelancers.

There is also a U.S. district court, but they require a certification from the Administrative Office of the US courts: http://www.txs.uscourts.gov/. and their interpreters are also their translators.

Try getting in contact with the local ATA or NAJIT chapters, they might be able to help you break in. Their members are both interpreters and translators, but you'll find that ATA is more translator based and NAJIT is more interpreter based. TAJIT (the state chapter of NAJIT) will be having their first conference in Houston in June (28/29) of this year and Holly Mikelson will be the trainer. http://www.tajit.org/mc/page.do

Good luck.

[Edited at 2008-05-28 19:09]

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On becoming a court translator in Houston, TX

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