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Federal Court Interpreter Certification Scandal Erupts Again

It’s a sad mess. Tony Rosado’s recent blog highlights the latest episode in the saga of U.S. federal court interpreter certification.

To refresh your memory, the U.S. federal court interpreter exam (English-Spanish only), is the toughest certification in this country for interpreters. The annual official pass rate is between 4 and 5 percent.

But last year interpreters who paid good money to take the exam, and even traveled across the country or from abroad, have yet to see the results. Why? The U.S. government contracted the testing process to an agency called Paradigm. They compromised the test.

To this date, we do not know the validity of the exam. The qualifications of the raters. Or the integrity of the examination process. What we know is that no one who took the exam last year has their score yet, nor have they been reimbursed for their exam, far less their travel expenses.

In fact, the “update” email the candidates recently received does not even mention an apology. We extend our sympathy to the many candidates who took what was once—and may be again—the most respected interpreter certification in the nation.


For more info on this topic, see UMTIA’s earlier blog post from June titled “Is It a Scandal? Federal Court Certification Takes a Hit” here.


Article originally found in INTERSECT weekly update from July 20, 2018.

Related to: Interpreter/Translator News, Legal Interpreters

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