College level

Vancouver Community College (“VCC”)

Since 1980 Vancouver Community College has conducted a one-year certificate program 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.

Since 1992 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.

*** Recent news ***

VCC announced suddenly in July of 2012 that they were ceasing to deliver this program with immediate effect. They claim that they are looking into re-starting after a one year hiatus and suggest that they will be making an announcement in January 2013. It has been reported that they are looking for a larger academic parter for help. It has also been reported that they are looking particularly to the Justice Institute of BC. However, this seems an un-likely pairing given that the Justice Institute is the police academy. 

The Language Bureau expects to post an announcement by mid-September concerning the expansion of our existing training programs to include a replacement for the VCC program. We are not happy about the cancelllation, not least because nearly all of our Partners and Senior Associates spent many years building that program.

Universities in BC

UBC offered a program 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.

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.

For many years The Language Bureau has provided training to resolve narrowly defined problems for particular clients, primarily in BC, Alberta and Alaska.