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Sworn translators and interpreters

Official work for courts, authorities and notary publics


Sworn interpreters and translators are interpreters and translators who have taken a general oath at a district court or higher regional court. While the exact designations may vary from state to state, they all demonstrate that these translators and interpreters have proven their particular professional expertise and personal aptitude for language professionals for courts, official authorities and notaries and in most cases assume a quasi public authority. Therefore, they are obligated to secrecy by law ( § 189 Sec. 4 German Judicial Systems Act) and must faithfully and dutifully transfer the spoken or written text into the respective other language. In so doing, they significantly contribute to the safeguarding of the rights of all persons participating in the trial.

For many official documents that must be submitted to an authority and that are of official nature, translations must often be performed by a sworn translator. These documents, often also known as “certified translations”, should actually be referred to as “confirmed translations”. For these documents, the accuracy and completeness of the translation performed according to § 142 Sec. 3 German Code of Civil Procedure is confirmed with the specification of place and time as well as the translator’s official stamp. The stamp must include the translator’s name, language(s) and address.

The certification requirements are regulated by the corresponding legislation of the individual German states.

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