Maryland Courts

Translation Services

Translation of court documents: We translate court forms, signs, brochures, web pages. We do NOT translate court orders, case-related materials, evidence.Sight translation: Appropriate for short, simple documents. Translations are made orally only.
Evidence and case-specific material: Courts should use translators certified by the American Translator's Association for court orders. Attorneys should use ATA-certified translators; materials should be translated in advance of the proceeding.
Priority languages: Spanish, Korean, French, Russian, Chinese. Can do others if needed

Translation of Court Documents

The goal of the Maryland Judiciary is to provide language services to limited English proficient individuals by translating official court forms and informational documents.

While interpreting involves oral rendition, translating involves taking a written text in a source language and providing a written translation in the target language.

The Maryland Judiciary has numerous District and Circuit court forms and brochures translated into Spanish. A smaller number of forms and brochures is in the process of being translated into French, Chinese, Korean, and Russian. Limited English proficient individuals can find these forms on the Court Forms page.

The Court Interpreter Program of the Access to Justice Department provides limited ongoing translation services to the courts. Currently, these services are limited to the translation of official court forms, signs, brochures, court instructions, and court web pages. To ensure quality and consistency in the translation process, the Court Interpreter Program utilizes Morgan Language Services to handle all translations.

To request a translation of a court document, please fill out the Translation Request form and submit it electronically along with the document to:

Lorena Sevilla Somoza, Court Interpreter Program Specialist  Lorena.sevillasomoza@mdcourts.gov
Phone: (410) 260-1576

Documents for translation must be submitted in the original electronic format, e.g. Microsoft Word (not PDF). Scanned or hard copies are not accepted. Formatting specifications, turnaround schedule, and translations budget will be discussed upon the receipt of the completed Translation Request Form.

Sight Translation

Court interpreters are trained by the AOC Court Interpreter Program staff to provide sight translations. Sight translation takes place when the interpreter reads a document and renders the information from the document orally into the target language. Court interpreters are often asked to sight translate official court documents to LEP parties or foreign language documents presented in the court. Sight translation of lengthy and complex documents may present a challenge for the court interpreter. Parties should have lengthy documents translated in advance before the hearing rather than expect the interpreter of record to render a sight translation in open court.

Translation of Foreign Language Documents

The Court Interpreter Program recommends that parties and their attorneys hire translators accredited by the American Translator’s Association (ATA) to provide official translations of foreign language documents.  The directory of translators accredited by ATA can be found at:

http://www.atanet.org/onlinedirectories/individuals_tabs.php

It is also recommended that translators certify their work by attaching a statement to the translation, attesting that it is a true and correct translation of the original.

Sample Statement:

I,                             , certified by the (state name) Administrative Office of the Courts for Spanish- English court interpreting and accredited (certified) by the American Translators Association for Spanish-English translation, do hereby declare that the attached birth certificate, identified with serial number                                         , is a true and correct translation of the Spanish original.

Note that this certification is not required by law but may be requested by parties in the case.