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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

EVIDENCE

Rule 604.Interpreters

An interpreter is subject to the provisions of these rules relating to qualification as an expert and the administration of an oath or affirmation to make a true translation.

(Amended effective January 1, 1990.)

Committee Comment - 1977

This rule is intended to implement Minn. R. Civ. P. 43.07.

Committee Comment - 2006

Interpreters who have not been qualified as experts should not be allowed to provide their opinion about the content of questions and answers involving persons who do not speak English or are handicapped in communication. The specific rules governing the qualifications of interpreters are set forth in Minn. Gen. R. Prac. 8. This rule provides that an interpreter who is listed on the statewide roster as a certified court interpreter is presumed competent to interpret in all court proceedings. Minn. Gen. R. Prac. 8.02(a). Most court interpreters on the statewide roster, however, have not passed the stringent tests and are not certified. Interpreters on the statewide roster but not certified, or those interpreters not on the roster, must be qualified as expert witnesses before providing interpretation. Judges should use the screening standards developed by the State Court Administrator to determine whether the non-certified interpreter is qualified. See Minn. Gen. R. Prac. 8.02(c). The State Court Administrator standards are available at: http://www.courts.state.mn.us/documents/0/Public/Interpreter_Program/voir_dire.doc