Customized Legal Interpreter Training


The National Center for Interpretation (NCI), a leader in the field of language services, is ready and able to help language access providers meet federal Title VI obligations, and set the standard for the provision of language services for their limited- and non-English speaking clients.

NCI’s Training Expertise

The National Center for Interpretation has been successfully engaged in (1) cutting-edge, results-driven interpreter training and (2) the development of innovative interpreter proficiency testing since 1983.  NCI pioneered the foundational and nationally accepted interpreter training and certification instruments and processes in the field of court interpretation.   This proven expertise in training and testing across numerous levels of complexity, settings, and languages allows NCI to assist language access coordinators meet their mission of providing highly qualified legal interpreters.

NCI developed and has administered the Agnese Haury Court Interpreter Training Institute (CITI) annually since 1983.  The CITI is the nation’s premier Spanish/English professional interpreter training program, responsible for training much of the leadership in the field of interpreting since its inception. It has become the country’s major repository for the theoretical and practical aspects of specialized interpretation, its cognitive underpinnings, its ethical parameters, its best practice, its assessment, and the policy that guides it. 

For over 31 years, the AHI has trained over 2,000 interpreters, representing states from coast to coast, U.S. territories, and 18 countries.  The empirically-based AHI training methodology and curriculum undergoes continual evaluation and is extremely effective in producing successful and long-lasting learning.  Graduates of the AHI consistently demonstrate that they have mastered valuable interpreting techniques, permanently acquired specialized terminology, and achieved approximately a 40% improvement in their interpreting abilities.  Institute graduates also go on to pass the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination at roughly double the national rate, further demonstrating the effectiveness of NCI interpreter training. 

Overview of the Curriculum

Our existing Court Interpreter Training curriculum can be adapted to meet your specific needs. The length of training can also be customized to fit your needs: 2 days, 3 days, 4 days or longer. The curriculum focuses on topics essential to the court interpreter, including:

  • Ethics for court interpreters
  • Courtroom procedures and protocol
  • Legal procedure
  • Interpreting modes and techniques
  • Legal concepts and terminology
  • Skill development (consecutive and simultaneous interpretation and sight translation)
  • Specialized vocabulary, including slang, drug, weaponry and immigration terms

Skill-building practice sessions constitute the majority of the seminar contact time.  After an introductory lecture for each interpretation mode, participants engage in small group work and critique and analysis with the instructor(s).  This work consists primarily of actual interpreting practice through role-playing and/or pre-recorded scripts and documents. 

Skill-building in the consecutive and simultaneous modes of interpretation includes specialized terminology, concepts, and opportunities to practice memory techniques and note-taking abilities. Scripts are based on typical court scenarios, giving students an opportunity to practice both formal and informal registers of language.   Similarly, sight translation exercises use authentic court documents.  

During and after each lab-like skill development session the instructor provides feedback and critique.  The critique usually covers both the strengths and areas that need improvement, including grammar, vocabulary, and specialized terminology.

Concluding topics of the training may include techniques for continued self-study, court interpreter proficiency testing, and further professional development opportunities.  There is also an opportunity for roundtable work on ethical dilemmas, protocol, and other aspects of interpreting that have arisen for participants during the course of their work.

State Court Certification: Exam Preparation Workshops

Oral Exam Preparation

Upon request, NCI can bring this 2-day seminar to you and your group. Participants work on all three interpreting modes (simultaneous, consecutive, and sight translation) using language-lab style exercises based on authentic court interactions and documents designed to reflect the difficulty of the actual test. Each participant receives personalized feedback on their performance. Participants also learn self-rating techniques, so that they can learn how to evaluate their interpreting performance while practicing on their own.

Base price: $350 per participant 

Written Exam Preparation

This workshop is open to the public and is offered tri-annually. Our language neutral webinar enables participants to take an online practice examination. NCI sends participants their exam result and during the workshop the instructor reviews the most commonly missed questions with the group, and also discusses important test taking tips and strategies.

Cost: $120

Dates: TBD

Register here:


The cost of customized or on-demand court interpreter training depends on a variety of factors.  Interested organizations should contact NCI to discuss their specific needs and receive an individualized bid.  As a general reference, the base cost for training is $175/day per participant, with a minimum of 2 days training and 10 participants.  That base cost is then modified according to variables such as:

  • Provision of a venue and A/V equipment
  • Location
  • Number of participants
  • Length of training
  • Special language needs
  • Degree of development required for customization


More information