Sworn translations

What is a sworn translation?

A sworn translation is made by a translator who is sworn in at a district court for the required language combinations. In Luxembourg, sworn translators are registered on the official list of the Luxembourg Ministry of Justice. In the Netherlands, they are listed in the Register of sworn interpreters and translators (Rbtv) of the Dutch ministry of Justice. In order to become a sworn translator, you must meet strict requirements, such as a translation education at least at bachelor level, knowledge of the culture of the countries of the source and target languages, and a minimum of five years’ work experience as a professional translator (500,000 translated words) in the relevant language combination immediately prior to applying for registration. Broadly the same requirements apply to Luxembourg.
In this way, the validity of a document is established within the national legal system.

A sworn translation is certified, stamped and signed by the translator. In the oath on the document, the translator states that he or she has made the translation to the best of his or her knowledge and belief and that it is complete and correct. The translation can be delivered digitally, or as a hard copy. The Luxembourg authorities usually accept a scanned digital copy. For a paper version, the translation is attached to the source text and provided with the translator’s oath, stamp and signature.

My swearing-in as a translator

In 2018 I took the oath at the Supreme Court of Justice in Luxembourg for the language combination French into Dutch and vice versa. In the Netherlands, I have been a sworn translator for over 30 years for the language combinations French <> Dutch and English <> Dutch. To keep my certification valid, I must obtain 80 PE points every five years and submit a current Certificate of Good Conduct to Bureau Wbtv.

When is a sworn translation required?

Sworn translations are necessary for documents that need to be translated into another language for official bodies. Some examples are:

  • Diplomas
  • Certificate of conduct/Excerpt from criminal record
  • Birth certificate/Certificate of residency
  • Court orders
  • Certificate of succession

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section for more information about sworn and legalised translations.

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