Chinese language interpreters are the most requested in the CNMI Superior Court, while Filipino or Tagalog interpreters are the least requested, according to the NMI Judiciary’s Language Access Plan and Policy.
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 LAPP.
It said the Chinese language interpreters was the most requested over the three-year period at 87 percent, followed by Chuukese at 7 percent, Thai at 4 percent, and Filipino at 2 percent.
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.
The LAPP was one of the exhibits that 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.
Assistant public defender Heather M. Zona had questioned the court’s act requiring the OPD to provide the Tagalog interpreter. She argues that assigning OPD the task of finding interpreters violates both Commonwealth law and Parongan’s constitutional and civil rights.