Court Shows Appreciation for its Interpreters

by Vincent Funari

PHOENIX (May 3, 2023) – Regardless of the language or dialect you speak, court interpreters will be at your side ensuring you have equal access to justice.

On May 3, the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County will recognize the vital role court interpreters play in the justice system by celebrating Court Interpreter’s Appreciation Day.

“Interpreters play a crucial part in promoting diversity and inclusion in the justice system by ensuring individuals who come from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds can fully participate in court proceedings,” said Dr. Chris Bleuenstein, administrator of Court Interpretation and Translation Services (CITS). “Without court interpreters, individuals with limited English proficiency would be at a significant disadvantage. This would have serious consequences for the fairness and effectiveness of the justice system.”

In Court, interpreters facilitate communication between parties who do not speak the same language. This includes simultaneously interpreting what witnesses, defendants and plaintiffs say during proceedings while remaining impartial and unbiased. They are expected to maintain a high level of concentration throughout lengthy proceedings, interpreting every word spoken in real-time.

Court interpreters possess a unique set of skills and knowledge. They are required to be fluent in at least two languages and understand legal terminology and concepts. They must also convey meaning accurately and effectively while maintaining the tone of the speaker.

“The Court recognizes and appreciates the hard work and dedication of court interpreters. On the first Wednesday in May each year, we take the day, along with other courts across the nation, to acknowledge the contributions made by court interpreters and give them the recognition they deserve,” Dr. Bleuenstein said.

The CITS department supports the fourth largest general jurisdiction court in the United States. CITS has a team of 22 Spanish interpreters and two Spanish translators and oversees a contract system responsible for interpreting more than 100 other languages.

To learn more about court interpreters, please visit:

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The Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County is comprised of Superior Court, Adult Probation and Juvenile Probation, which includes juvenile detention. The Judicial Branch in Maricopa County is the fourth largest trial court system in the nation and, along with its 3,300 employees, is dedicated to providing a safe, fair and impartial forum for resolving disputes, enhancing access to services, and providing innovative, evidence-based practices that improve the safety of the community and ensure the public’s trust and confidence in the Judicial Branch. For more information, visit

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