Filipino interpreters the least requested in CNMI courts

/ 12:24 AM April 24, 2019

Filipino or Tagalog interpreters are the least requested in the CNMI Superior Court, while Chinese language interpreters are the most requested.


An analysis conducted on case filings and services required in the Superior Court during calendar years 2012 through 2014 showed these results, according to the NMI Judiciary’s Language Access Plan and Policy.

Filipino language interpretation was the least requested at 2 percent over the three-year period. Chinese interpretation was most requested at 87 percent, followed by Chuukese at 7 percent, Thai at 4 percent.


The LAPP statistics were among the exhibits the Office of the Public Defender recently filed in court in support of its motion for a Filipino or Tagalog interpreter for Alfonso Sebastian Parongan, a suspect in the murder of his landlord in 2017, reported the Saipan Tribune.

Assistant public defender Heather M. Zona had questioned the court’s act requiring the OPD to provide the Tagalog interpreter. She argued that assigning her office the task of finding interpreters violates both Commonwealth law and Parongan’s constitutional and civil rights, the Saipan Tribune further reported.

English, Chamorro, and Carolinian are officially recognized as the languages for conducting business in the CNMI.

LAPP said the other languages in the CNMI include Japanese, Kosraean, Korean, Marshallese, Palauan, Pohnpeian, Vietnamese, Yapese, and American sign language.

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TAGS: CNMI court interpreters, CNMI Superior Court, court interpretation requests, language interpretation, public defenders
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