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Interpreters & Language Access

Court proceedings are conducted in English.  If a party or a witness does not speak English well, he or she may need an interpreter to testify, to speak to the judge, and to understand what others are saying in a proceeding. Certified and registered court interpreters are specifically trained to interpret in court proceedings. If you need language assistance, you should ask the court if it can provide a court interpreter by completing local form ALA-INT-001 (see below).  

• There is no charge for the services of a court appointed interpreter.

Criminal & Traffic Matters.  Do not use form ALA-INT-001 for criminal or traffic cases. If you are a defendant or a witness in a criminal matter, you may tell your attorney (or the DA) that you need an interpreter; if you are a traffic defendant, when you come to court to get a date set for a hearing, please let the clerk at the filing window know that you need an interpreter.

• Interpreters are neutral and bound to confidentiality.

• Note:  Although the court attempts to meet all requests, the court is not always able to provide an interpreter in every language or in every civil case. 

How to Request a Court Interpreter

Click on the link below for the local interpreter request form and instructions:
  • Arabic

  • Chinese

  • Farsi (Persian)

  • Punjabi

  • Spanish

  • Tagalog

  • Vietnamese


Contact Info:

For questions regarding language access or court interpreters, use the following contact information:
Phone – (510) 891-6006
Email –

How to Become a Court Interpreter

Learn more about California’s Court Interpreter Program (CIP) and how to become an interpreter by visiting:

Laney College Language Interpreter Certificate Program

Laney College in Oakland currently provides a language interpretation certificate program with the support of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda.  For more information regarding their innovative interpretation programs, please visit Laney College's website.
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