You may have seen some interpreters around the courthouse wearing a white button that bears their credential—Master Licensed Court Interpreter (MLCI). The slogan across the top reads Fiat justicia — “Let justice be done.”
I’m always glad when a potential client calls me for the first time to check availability and rates. And I really like it when they also ask, “By the way, you are court certified, right?” This tells me the client is interested in doing things right—my kind of client. But, before I answer that question, I always have an internal debate over how detailed my answer should be. Normally, I conclude that they just want to know if I’m qualified to interpret for the assignment they are asking me about. So, I just say, “Yes.”
But, at least here in Texas, this seemingly straightforward question is actually quite complicated. I hope this post will shed some light on qualifications for court interpreters in Texas. Continue reading
It was a great pleasure to visit my alma mater, UT Arlington, today, and talk with a great group of students and professionals.
Here are direct links to the resources I mentioned during the talk:
- Corinne McKay’s Tips for Newcomers to the Translation and Interpreting Professions
- Harry Obst’s book The White House Interpreter
- Daniel Sanchez Reinaldo’s blog on TV interpreting (Spanish)
- Metroplex Interpreters and Translators Association (Next event in December)
- American Translators Association
- Texas Association of Health Interpreters and Translators
- Texas Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators
- Texas Licensed Court Interpreter examination
- Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exam
- Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook for Translators and Interpreters
- Apple Job Listing – Technical Translator (Mexican Spanish)
- ATA Compensation Survey Summary (PDF)
- Erik Hansson’s list of translators and interpreters on Twitter
- Follow me on Twitter
One thing I’d like to underline is that it’s easy to feel a little lost starting out in this profession. Don’t be afraid to find your own path, but also know that there are many, many colleagues who will be happy to give you tips and help you along.
Finally, if you’re ready to start going through the steps of setting up your translation business, I recommend you check out Corinne McKay’s online course, How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator.
Correction: My slides included incorrect information for passing scores for the Texas Licensed Court Interpreter exam. The minimum passing score for a Basic license is 60% and the minimum passing score for a Master license is 70%. I’m grateful to the colleague who alerted me to this error.
Yesterday, registration opened for Phase II of the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exam. Since I was fortunate enough to pass Phase I (Written) last year, I registered right away to (hopefully) test for Phase II in my home city. This way, I can avoid combining travel stress with the stress of a test that won’t be available for another two years if I fail it. Which won’t happen, of course. (Positive thinking…)
FCICE has announced that the exams will be administered the week of July 15th, but it seems we won’t have a firm date until after the registration period closes on May 17th.
After the exam, FCICE warns us that Spanish applicants may have to wait up to 13 weeks for results. Applicants for other languages may have to wait even longer. Which means that I will probably check my mailbox at least 78 times from July to October, or 65 if Saturday delivery is canceled.
Did you also pass Phase I last year? Go straight to the Phase II registration page here. Thinking of starting the FCICE process when the written exam is administered next year? There are some materials available, including a practice oral exam.
A few months back, I received the great news that I had passed the Phase One (Written) portion of the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exam. Since then, I have been compulsively checking the FCICE web page to see when registration will open for the Phase Two (Oral) Exam. Since the Phase Two exam is only offered in odd-numbered years (2013, 2015, 3001, etc.), I have been eager to set up my study timeline and meet this beast head on in 2013.
So I am thrilled to announce that the wait is over, as the FCICE has announced the registration period:
- Registration Opens: Monday, March 25, 2013 8:30 A.M. ET
- Registration Closes: Friday, May 17, 2013 at 5:00 P.M. ET
No word yet on actual exam dates, but I registered for the Phase One exam in May 2012 (got the last slot in the location most convenient to me, whew!) and all exams were administered within a short period in August 2012. It looks like this year’s timeline may be similar. More details at the FCICE site.