Abdi Elmi


• First Court Certified Somali Interpreter/translator in the nation
• Certified by the State of Minnesota after passing the Consortium for Language Access in the legal certification test.
• Certified Medical Interpreter by CCHI
• Author of English - Somali Legal Dictionary (2019) Education:
• M.A. in Health and Human Services Administration 2003 • Saint Mary's University, Minneapolis, Minnesota • Independent Contractor interpreting and translations for Department of State • ILR/OPI Certified Tester for ACTFL

Employment History Seminar Interpreter/Translator – Language Services – U.S. Department of State 2008 – Present • Independent contractor Interpreter/translator for the U.S. Department of State (Public Trust Clearance granted).
• Translated Antiterrorism Assistance Training Program (ATAP) of the State Department training manuals into Somali language. The two phase of the project consist approximately 200,000 words.
• Principle Interpreter for National Level Counter Terrorism Center training sponsored by the Antiterrorism Assistance Program (ATA) of the State Department for Somaliland interior ministry officers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March - April 2009.

Court Interpreter/Translator – Self Employed and through various agencies 2004 – Present
• Conducted over 2000 hours in 2009-2010 of court interpreting including high profile cases in the state and federal courts nationwide. • Translation, editing, and translation evaluation of court documents/forms for Hennepin County, Minnesota, Minnesota Judicial Branch, Supreme Court of Ohio, & Washington State.

Teaching, Testing, Training and Course Development 2004 - Present
• Consultant for Combat Interpreter/Translator Curriculum Development Support Project for the U.S. Department of Defense Interpreter and Translator training course.
• Design and deliver diversity training courses. Topics include tolerance of culture and religion in the workplace, mmisconceptions and stereotypes about Islam. Courses carry CE units recognized by the State of Minnesota.
• Certified Somali language tester for American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
• Keynote speaker at cultural/diversity trainings and events.

Testing and Evaluations: Legal and Healthcare Interpreting and Translations
• 1/2009 – 4/2009 Attended ILR/OPI testing training conducted by ACTFL in New York.
• 4/2009 - present Conducted/rated over 70 tests for Somali language using ILR/OPI testing protocol.
• 9/1989 – 12/1990 Somali Institute of Development Administration and Management. Developed and taught undergraduate management courses.
• Evaluate translations and interpreting skills of other Somali translators/interpreters; past projects include reviewing and grading healthcare Interpreters test for the state of Maine and Washington.

Media Consultant, African Media Group funded by UNICEF, Mombasa, Kenya, 1992 – 2001 Writer/Science and Arts Editor, Xiddigta Oktoobar Newspaper, Somali National Newspaper, Somalia, 1984 – 1990 Translator and Editor working as a team

Language Pairs

- English
- Somali
- English

Translating Services


Translating - Areas of Specialization

Business - Accounting & auditingBusiness - InsuranceLaw - ContractsLaw - Corporate lawLaw - Personal injury lawMedicine - Health careNatural Sciences - Microbiology, bacteriology, & virology

Interpreting Methods

In-personOver-the-phone interpreting (OPI)Remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI)Video remote interpreting (VRI)Whispered interpreting (chuchotage)

ATA Divisions

Arabic Language DivisionInterpreters DivisionLanguage Technology DivisionLiterary DivisionMedical DivisionTranslation Company Division

Interpreter Credentials

State Court CertificationUS Department of State Seminar

Translator, Interpreter



Primary Phone

(612) 423-1022


United States

Years in Business

16 - 20 Years

Education Level