FAQ

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HITA AND ATA?

HITA is an affiliate of the American Translators Association (ATA). HITA is not an ATA chapter: HITA and ATA do not share membership dues, and HITA’s organization and activities are not subject to ATA guidelines.

However, HITA shares ATA’s primary goals and objectives; to advance the translating and interpreting professions and to foster the professional development of individual providers. HITA and ATA have worked together to offer seminars and training courses in Houston. We encourage HITA members to learn more about the educational opportunities and other programs and benefits offered by the ATA.

What is a court interpreter?

A court interpreter is a person who interprets to and from English and another language in a court proceeding. Court interpreting services may be needed for a criminal defendant, a witness, a party in a lawsuit, or another person involved in a court proceeding who speaks or understands little or no English. Court interpreters are also sometimes responsible for translating written documents, often of a legal nature, from English into a foreign language or from a foreign language into English.

The interpreter’s role is to render a complete and accurate interpretation (oral) or translation (written), without altering, omitting, or adding anything to what is stated or written, and without additional explanations. In essence, the interpreter serves as a bridge between whomever is speaking—judge, attorney, witness, etc.—and the non-English speaking person, so that the non-English speaking person hears in his own language everything that is being said in English. If a non-English speaking person testifies in court, it is also the interpreter’s job to interpret everything that person says into English so that everyone in the courtroom can hear it in English.

“Interpret” in this context does not mean explain or simplify. It means providing an equivalent meaning in the target language as the one stated in the source language. It is not the interpreter’s job to explain or simplify anything that is being said by participants in the courtroom proceedings. Nor can the interpreter give advice to or otherwise counsel the non-English speaker in court.

In Texas, most court interpreters requires licenses, issued by the Judicial Branch Certication Commission..

How can I renew my membership?

Go to https://www.hitagroup.org/make-payment/

OR

You can also send a check to:

P.O. Box 801793
Houston TX 77280-1793

Make check payable to Houston Interpreters and Translators Association.

How do I become a certified interpreter or translator?

Translators can get certified by the American Translators Association (ATA). ATA certification is earned by passing a challenging three-hour exam designed to assess professional level translation skills in a specified source-target language combination. ATA certification exams are available in a limited number of language pairs. You can learn more here: https://www.atanet.org/certification/landing_about_certification.php

Interpreters can become certified healthcare interpreters or certified (and licensed) court interpreters.

Healthcare interpreter certification is carried out by:

  • Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI)

http://cchicertification.org/

  • The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI)

http://www.certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org/

Court interpreter certification and licensing:

You can obtain certification at a national/federal or state level:

  • Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination (Spanish/English only)

http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/federal-court-interpreters/federal-court-interpreter-certification-examination

NCSC’s State Interpreter FAQ

  • In Texas interpreters must obtain a certification and a license: the exam and paperwork is handled by the Judicial Branch Certification Commission (JBCC)

http://www.txcourts.gov/jbcc/licensed-court-interpreters/

How do I become a professional interpreter or a translator?

How do I become a professional interpreter or a translator?

Several Houston-area colleges and Professional Institutions offer professional education and training opportunities for interpreters, translators, or people who want to work in the translation/interpretation industry:

Berkana Language LLC offers:

Advanced Translation, English To Spanish and Spanish To English

BERKANA LANGUAGE LLC ‘s mission is to provide the best, practical self-study materials possible for translators and interpreters, as well as specialized English/Spanish dictionaries and glossaries; please visit the Products page to explore.
BERKANA LANGUAGE LLC is an approved provider of continuing education classes for the Office of Court Administration (JBCC) in Texas, the American Translators Association – ATA.
Instructor:  M. Eta Trabing and/or Denis Socarrán Estrada

http://www.eberkana.us/classes

For more information, please contact Eta Trabing at 281-676-8476, or by e-mail at berkanalanguage@aol.com

 

Graciela Zozaya and ACA Productions, Inc. Offers:

  • JBCC Mandatory Orientation
  • JBCC 40-Hour Test Preparation Course
  • JBCC Oral Exam Test Prep
  • 48 Hour Medical Intro to Medical Interpreting
  • Congenital Heart Surgery for Interpreters

For more information please visit: https://gracielazozaya.com/about

Houston Community College (HCC) offers a Translation and Interpretation Program (Credit-hour program)

  • Basic professional education in translation and interpretation
  • Comprehensive program for any language pairs, covering major areas of demand in language services in Houston, such as healthcare, legal, scientific and technical
  • Upon completion, the students will receive HCC Level II Certificate in Translation and Interpretation as well as CoreCHI™ healthcare interpreter certification
  • Hybrid (50/50 in-person and online) or online courses, affordable tuition
  • Accredited by THECB and SACS

For more information, please contact Dr. Natalia Noland at natalia.noland@hccs.edu or 713-718-2457

http://hccs.edu/translate-interpret

https://www.facebook.com/hccti/

 

University of Houston Downton (UHD) offers:

Minor in Spanish-English Translation

Students can earn a minor in one of three Spanish translation tracks – general, medical, or legal.

Interpreter Training in Medical and Legal Areas

Continuing education non-credit courses to train interpreters in the medical and legal areas. These test preparation workshops for future interpreters satisfy the orientation hours required by certification agencies, provide strategies and instruction in three modes of interpretation, and review content tested by the NBCMI and CCHI (for medical) and the Texas JBCC (for court).

For more information, please contact Dr. Rey Romero, 1055-N, 713-226-5549, romerore@uhd.edu

 

Lone Star College offers:

Bilingual Interpreter Certificate (English/Spanish)

http://www.lonestar.edu/BilingualInterpreterCertificate.htm

  • Specialized training for people who want to become professional community, medical, legal, business and/or conference interpreters
  • Non-credit Fast Track program
  • Industry training, without the need for admissions testing
  • Full program offered at LSC-North Harris

For more information, please  e-mail Erich.G.Polack@LoneStar.edu, call 281-618-5564