Two-day orientation workshops will be held March 9 and 10 on Maui for court interpreters for the state Judiciary.
Court interpreters work on a freelance basis as independent contractors in criminal and certain civil cases when parties or witnesses can't hear, understand, speak or use English sufficiently.
Language interpreters are being sought in Chuukese, Ilokano, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Marshallese, Japanese, Tagalog, Pohnpeian, Tongan, Samoan, Mandarin, Cantonese and Laotian. Certified sign language interpreters also are encouraged to apply.
To be certified as court interpreters, applicants must successfully complete the orientation workshop, achieve a passing score on a written English proficiency and court interpreter ethics exam, clear a criminal background check and pass an oral exam in a non-English language.
A $5,000 grant from the Hawaii Women's Legal Foundation and Hawaii Friends of Civic and Law-Related Education is being used to lower the registration fee for the workshops from $120 to $75.
Applications can be downloaded from the Judiciary Web site at www.courts.state.hi.us/ courtinterpreting or can be obtained from the Office on Equality and Access to the Courts at (808) 539-4860.
Depending on their performance on written and oral exams, court interpreters are paid between $25 and $55 an hour, with a two-hour minimum.
In the 2009 fiscal year, the Judiciary paid $436,000 to provide qualified interpreters for parties and witnesses in 7,872 cases.
Two-day orientation workshops are also to be held in February on Oahu and Kauai and in March in Kona and Hilo.