Program Goals

Provide training to bilingual individuals to become language interpreters and translators

Provide assistance to agencies to create comprehensive, meaningful language access plans

Provide training for groups and agencies on working with language interpreters

Language Interpreter Center

On September 21, 2007, the Alaska Institute for Justice opened the Language Interpreter Center. The Language Interpreter Center improves the quality of life for Alaskans with limited English proficiency by increasing access to legal, medical and social services.

 Program Statement

The Language Interpreter Center provides access to trained Alaskan and National interpreters and translators to government, nonprofit, business, and service organizations for Alaskans with limited English proficiency, this includes court and medical certified interpreters.

What we Do

We Provide Individual Interpreter & Translation  Services for Individuals and Organizations

Information for Clients &
Service Providers:

Accessing Language Services List of languages available for translation services
How Do I Access Interpreter Services from the Language Interpreter Center?
The Language Interpreter Center (LIC), a program of the Alaska Institute for Justice (AIJ), provides interpreter services in the following languages:

Albanian Hmong Serbian
Arabic Ilocano Slovak
Amharic Indonesian Somali
Bosnian Japanese Spanish
Cebuano Korean Swahili
Mandarin Lao (limited) Tagalog
Cantonese Malay Tigrinya
Croatian Nepali Thai
Czech Nuer Tibetan
Farsi Portuguese Urdu
French Russian Yup’ik
German Samoan


All of the LIC Interpreters have undergone extensive training and are qualified to provide interpreter services in Alaska. Interpreter services may be provided in person or telephonically.

How Do I Access Translation Services from the Language Interpreter Center?
Language Translation is converting a text from one language into written text in another language. The Language Interpreter Center (LIC), provides translation services in the following languages and directions:
Chinese Mandarin → English

  • English → French
  • French → English
  • English → Amharic
  • Amharic → English
  • English →German
  • German →English
  • English →Hmong
  • English → Korean
  • English →Russian
  • English → Samoan
  • Samoan → English
  • English → Serbian
  • English → Spanish
  • Spanish → English
  • English → Tagalog
  • Tagalog → English
  • English → Chinese
  • Chinese → English
  • English → Mandarin
  • Mandarin → English
  • English → Thai

All of the LIC Translators have undergone training and assessments and are qualified to provide translation services in Alaska.

Tips for Working with Language Interpreters

1. Offer your client an interpreter

2. Schedule additional time

3. Introductions and Confidentiality

4. Direct conversations between you and the client

5. Having the interpreter sight-translate important documents

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of interpreting do I need?
Simultaneous – this is where an interpreter sits next to the LEP and immediately interprets the dialogue. Special equipment (transmitter and receiver) can also be used for simultaneous interpreting. This type of interpreting is used at conferences, court and large meetings.
Consecutive – this is where an interpreter listens to a segment of speech then interprets. This is used at face to face meetings.

How many interpreters do I need?
This depends on the nature of the work. For simultaneous interpreting, if the assignment is expected to last longer than 30 minutes, you should hire two interpreters, with each interpreter taking turns of 10 to 30 minutes each.

For face to face/consecutive interpreting the requirements differ according to the nature of the assignment. Please be aware that interpreting is mentally exhausting and the interpreter may require a break.

Definition of Trained and Certified Language Interpreter and Translator


u  Fluent in two or more languages
u  Trained in the ethics and role of a professional interpreter
u  Knowledgeable of terminology in two or more languages
u  Certified interpreter has passed a national exam:
o   Federal Court
o   National Center for State Courts
o   National Medical Interpreting Exams

Training Workshops

Introduction to Language Interpreting

Introduction to Interpreting is for bilingual individuals who want to become community interpreters. Participants will learn the ethics of a professional interpreter, the role of an interpreter, examine different interpreting settings, learn terminology and participate in consecutive, sight and simultaneous interpreting practice sessions.

Audience: Screened bilingual individuals

Working with Language Interpreters
  • This workshop will familiarize participants with techniques and approaches for working effectively to communicate with clients through interpreters.
  • Understand responsibilities for meaningful language access under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
  • Examine the Interpreter’s Code of Ethics, the role of the interpreter, and tips to enhance communication through interpreters.
  • Practice with an interpreter either face-to-face or telephonically. This workshop is designed for anyone who interacts with an interpreter.
Language Access Programs

This workshop presents the components of a Language Access Program. Learn about agency responsibilities for meaningful language access under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

Understand the three components of a Language Access Program. Initiate brainstorming of steps to develop a Language Access Program.

This workshop is designed for supervisors or senior management level employees.

Online Scheduling Assistance
Many Alaskans cannot access critical legal, medical, educational and social services due to language barriers. Participants will learn about regulations and steps to remove barriers for non-English speaking Alaskans.

Information will include language demographics of Alaska, the goals of the Language Interpreter Center, qualifications of a trained interpreter and ways to improve outreach for agencies and organizations.

Audience: General

Bilingual Staff Training
  • Understand the role of a bilingual employee and the role of an interpreter.
  • Discuss different scenarios where either one or the other would be preferred.
  • Gain insight into the ethics of a professional interpreter.
  • Examine best practices for evaluating bilingual staff language skills.

This workshop is designed for both bilingual staff and supervisors.

Language Interpreters

Steps to Becoming a Language Interpreter

Complete a registration of interest
□ Fill-out a self-assessment language questionnaire
□ Take a written English assessment
□ Pass an oral proficiency interview in English and another language. Cost is associated for each test.

*Please schedule your oral language assessments by calling 907-297-2760.
Optional Translation (written skills) Assessment. Cost is associated for each test.
□ Pass a fingerprint background check
□ Sign a contract with the Language Interpreter Center as an independent contractor
□ Participate in interpreting courses.
• Introduction to the Interpreter Profession
• Interpreting in the Community
• Skill Based Interpreting Practice
• LIC Policy and Procedures
□ Pass an ethics test
□ Adhere to an interpreter code of professional conduct



Alaska Institute for Justice (AIJ) was one of the highest scoring organizations which applied for the Yield Giving Open Call and receives $2 million to support AIJ’s critical human rights work in Alaska.

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Staff and Contact Information

Kristina Lauenstein
Language Interpreter Center Coordinator

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