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Can I bring my own interpreter?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed July 2023

You can bring your own interpreter, however a program must not ask you to bring someone to interpret for you, or ask a friend or relative you brought with you to interpret.

Benefits of a professional interpreter:

  • Professional interpreters are fluent in both languages. 
  • They interpret directly and clearly everything that you and the program staff say.  
  • Professional interpreters follow rules about interpreting.  
  • They keep your information private.

You may bring your own interpreter if you want to. But, if your friend is not a professional interpreter, it can cause problems. 

Also, do not ask a child to interpret. A child is not a reliable interpreter. Children may not be able to understand all the words in English or in your language. The message may be too sensitive or delicate – not for a child’s ears. It is not fair to you or your child to ask them to interpret. Protect your child and yourself.  

Demand a professional interpreter.


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