Navajo Interpreter Training Program

The Navajo Interpreter Training Institute was created at the University of Arizona in 1992 as part of the Navajo Court Interpreter Certification Project.  This Project was a collaborative effort among the UA National Center for Interpretation (NCI), legislators, interpreters, educators, and the judiciary in States of New Mexico and Arizona whose goal was to ensure that limited- and non-English-speaking Navajo citizens would receive the quality language services necessary for equal access to justice in the legal setting.  To afford due process and to improve access to courts, pre-trial services, and other related agencies, it was clear that a comprehensive training program for bilingual Navajo interpreters was essential, as there was no interpreter training available for any Native American language.  Since 1992, the Navajo Institute has trained over 350 interpreters in Tucson, Arizona.

Although NCI no longer administers the written and oral interpreter certification tests for Navajo, it continues to hold the renowned, high-quality Navajo interpreter training program.  NCI can arrange 2-day, 3-day, and longer interpreter training sessions at any location depending on the demand.  During the training students receive instruction in the protocol, ethics, and skills required of competent, professional interpreters in the legal and medical settings.  The training program also focuses on the professional role of the interpreter, and on cultural aspects of interpretation.  Importantly, most of the training time is devoted to the hands-on practice and evaluation of consecutive and simultaneous interpretation and sight translation of authentic materials from legal, medical, and social service settings.    

NCI connects over 30 years of curriculum development experience with the very best Navajo trainers to deliver a program that receives high praise from participants, such as the following from the 2013 program:

“This course has taught me a great deal in how to properly interpret. This benefits not only me, but all who are involved in this process—the client, the attorney, the courts, or any other area that would require sound interpreting.”

“This session has opened my eyes to a new world of what it takes to become an effective interpreter and how to achieve this goal. I now understand the importance of having a good interpreter to help our people understand their rights, process, procedures, laws and regulations.”

NCI is dedicated to continue providing the highest quality Navajo interpreter training available.  For more information, please call us at (520) 621-3615 or send us a message.