How can I find a foreign language interpreter for a court hearing?
Washington Courts are required by statute to appoint interpreters, when needed, certified by the AOC, unless good cause is shown. The AOC maintains a list of certified and registered interpreters on its public website, and this list is updated regularly.
If no interpreter from this list is available or willing to travel to your court, or the language isn't listed and you are unsuccessful with local community agencies or interpreting agencies, please review the resources under Finding a Court Interpreter on Inside Courts. You can also email the Court Interpreter Program at Interpreters@courts.wa.gov at the AOC. Ms. Johnson is in regular contact with interpreter coordinators in Washington courts, has a list of many interpreters and their experience, and is connected to a national network of court interpreter coordinators.
It is highly recommended that payment terms are agreed upon prior to the hearing. The state has no standard payment policy. However, court interpreters are typically paid $65/hr, and a two-hour minimum even if their services are used for less time. If you need interpretation for a trial or long hearing that will last more than two hours, it is highly recommended to hire two interpreters as described in General Rule 11.4. Interpretation requires intense concentration and focus, and accuracy severely diminishes the longer an interpreter interprets. Having a team of two interpreters who switch off every twenty minutes will help maintain accuracy. For more information on interpreting, please see information on Inside Courts.
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