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Court interpreter training planned for Milwaukee

Madison, Wisconsin - May 4, 2009

The Director of State Courts Office is accepting applications for interpreter training to be held in Milwaukee on June 6-7 at the UW-Milwaukee.

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 refugees. The state Department of Workforce Development’s Bureau of Migrant, Refugee and Labor Services is offering a limited number of scholarships to qualified individuals fluent in languages, such as Arabic, Russian, Somali, and Lao. Interpreters also are sought for less common African languages such as Mandingo and Maay, as well as Karen which is spoken in parts of Myanmar and Thailand. In all, applicants fluent in English and about 40 other languages 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 interpreter skills. This orientation is intended as an introduction to the complexities of court interpreting, rather than as an in-depth training. Faculty includes judges, attorneys, and experienced 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.

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 the orientation, begin the testing process, 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 at http://wicourts.gov/services/interpreter/training.htm

For more information contact Carmel Capati, Office of Court Operations at carmel.capati@wicourts.gov or (608) 266-8635.

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