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College Level Certificates

Vancouver Community College (“VCC”)

From 1980 to 2012 Vancouver Community College has conducted a one-year court interpreter certification program in Vancouver bc in court interpreting. The course was first conducted at Langara College and is still called “the Langara course” by many people. It was the first course of its type in North America and remains unique in Canada.

Although it has been emulated in several places in the USA, Australia, and New Zealand. The course includes sections on Canadian Law, legal terminology, court procedures, consecutive interpreting, simultaneous interpreting, and interpreter ethics.

From 1992 to 2019 the Ministry of Attorney General of BC has accepted graduates of the VCC course as ‘accredited’ for professional and payment purposes by the BC Court Services.

VCC announced suddenly in July of 2012 that they were ceasing to deliver this program with immediate effect. 

The Language Bureau decided instantly and announced a month later that the expansion of our existing training programs to include a replacement for the VCC program. We were not happy about the cancellation, not least because nearly all of our Partners and Senior Associates spent many years building that program. And it was the source of our “feed stock” of qualified court interpreters and the starting point for most of the conference interpreters in Vancouver

Universities in BC

UBC offered a certification program in Vancouver in French translation until 1998 and SFU offers programs in Chinese translation and Mandarin and Japanese business interpretation at the downtown campus. None of these programs bestow any professional qualification. SFU also offers a certificate program in court interpreting which appears to be focused on off-shore students.

Training Outside BC

Although several courses seem to be springing up in Ontario to take advantage of the turmoil in the court system, we know of no credible training program for court interpreters in Canada outside Vancouver. Indeed there are very few such programs in the world.

Vancouver School of Interpreting and Translation (VanSIT)

For many years The Language Bureau provided training to resolve narrowly defined problems for particular clients, primarily in BC, Alberta, and Alaska. With the shutdown of the VCC certificate program we immediately realize3d that we would have a severe problem in our supply chain in about a decade. That sparked us enlarge upon our training experience and launch a school to fill the vacancy. We are also capitalizing on our experience in designing, delivering and evaluating certification exams for court interpreters in BC and across Canada. VanSIT court interpreting certificate holders, along with VCC graduates and SFU certificate holders and STIBC-certificate holders, recognized the Ministry of Attorney General for working in criminal trials in BC courts.