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Professional Aptitude as an Interpreter and Translator Determination


For the purpose of language transmission for judicial, official and notarial purposes, interpreters are generally sworn in and translators are authorised for the territory of the Land of Lower Saxony.

The interpreters' work includes oral and written transmission. In principle, the work of translators only means the written translation of one or more languages. Language in this sense is also a sign language.

Employment as an interpreter in a court hearing requires an oath to the effect that translations will be faithful and conscientious. Instead of taking an oath separately for each court hearing, you can take a general oath and refer to it afterwards.

In the case of documents drafted in a foreign language, a court may order the submission of translations whose accuracy and completeness have been certified by an authorised translator.

You have the opportunity to have your suitability determined for the job as:

  • Court interpreter
  • Interpreter for official and notarial purposes
  • Sign language interpreter
  • Translator

The general swearing-in of court interpreters will take place from 01.01.2023 in accordance with the Court Interpreters Act (GDolmG). The required language skills must regularly be proven by a state or state-recognised interpreter examination. The general swearing-in as a court interpreter ends after five years, but can be extended repeatedly by five years on request if certain conditions are met.

General swearing-ins issued before 01.01.2023 in accordance with §§ 22 - 31 of the Lower Saxony Justice Act (NJG) continue to apply. In court, interpreters can invoke this general oath until 31.12.2026.

The general swearing-in of interpreters for official and notarial purposes and sign language interpreters as well as the authorisation as a translator for the territory of the state of Lower Saxony is carried out in accordance with §§ 22 - 31 of the Lower Saxony Justice Act (NJG).

The general swearing-in of interpreters and the authorisation of translators to transmit language for judicial, official and notarial purposes for the territory of the State of Lower Saxony is carried out upon written application to the Regional Court of Hanover.

The prerequisites are personal reliability and professional aptitude. Proof of this must be attached to the application. For a general swearing-in as an interpreter for official and notarial purposes, as a sign language interpreter and as a translator, you do not have to prove your professional aptitude again if you are already generally sworn in and/or authorised in another federal state. In this case, it is sufficient for you to submit the certificate of your general oath or authorisation as proof of your professional qualification.

Process flow

On the basis of the information provided by the applicant and the documents submitted, the President of the Regional Court of Hanover decides on the applications. The general swearing-in, for which a special certificate is issued under the NJG and a certificate under the GDolmG, or the handing over of the certificate of authorisation is also carried out by the President of the Regional Court of Hanover.

In each case, the oath and/or authorisation is accompanied by an express obligation under the Obligations Act and the ordinances issued thereunder, with reference to the criminal consequences of a breach of duty, in particular under the relevant provisions of the Criminal Code.

After the certificate has been handed over in accordance with the GDolmG,

  • the interpreter shall be entitled 'Generally sworn court interpreter for (indication of the language for which she is sworn)',
  • the interpreter shall use the designation 'Generally sworn court interpreter for (indication of the language for which he or she is sworn)';

lead.

After handing over the certificate according to the NJG,

  • the interpreter used the designation "Interpreter for the ... language",
  • the interpreter shall bear the designation "Interpreter for the ... language",
  • the translator used the designation "Translator authorised by the Hanover Regional Court for the ... language" and
  • the translator shall bear the designation "Translator authorised by the Hanover Regional Court for the ... Language"

lead.

If a stamp is made, this designation must be reproduced completely and unchanged. The shape should be as round as possible. Size and font can be chosen freely. You will receive a sample after your swearing-in and/or authorization appointment. They are included in a directory of sworn interpreters and authorised translators, which can be viewed by courts and authorities as well as by notaries' offices.
In the directory

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone
  • Fax
  • e-mail address,
  • Occupation
  • any additional qualifications,
  • the respective language and
  • the date of the swearing-in and/or authorisation

affiliated. The same applies to any remuneration agreement that may have been concluded in accordance with Section 14 of the Judicial Remuneration and Compensation Act (JVEG).

The directory is also published on the Internet. Excluded from this are the information on any remuneration agreement, the existence or non-existence of which will not be published or discontinued under any circumstances. In all other respects, only those data will be disclosed for the publication or posting of which consent has been granted.

Who should I contact?

The jurisdiction lies with the Hanover Regional Court.

Competent authority

Hanover Regional Court

Requirements

The prerequisites for personal reliability are the

  • Submission of a curriculum vitae,
  • Submission of a police clearance certificate, which must be suitable for submission to an authority (document type "O"),
  • assurance that a life is led in orderly economic conditions,
  • self-disclosure from the central electronic register of debtors in accordance with Section 882 b of the Code of Civil Procedure,
  • assurance that no insolvency proceedings have been opened over the applicant's assets, that they have been rejected for lack of assets and that no discharge of residual debt is outstanding,
  • assurance that the applicant has no criminal record, that no investigation proceedings are pending against him or her and that no penalty or measure of correction or security has been imposed on him or her in the five years prior to the application, and
  • Permission from the Foreigners' Registration Office to engage in self-employment (possibly included in the residence permit), provided that the applicant does not have German citizenship or citizenship of EU member states.

The prerequisites for professional aptitude are

  • language skills with which the applicant can easily understand practically everything he/she hears or reads, express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and accurately, and make finer nuances of meaning clear even in more complex situations, both in German and in the foreign language at language level C 2,
  • language mediation skills as an interpreter and
  • Knowledge of German legal language (legal terminology). They must be able to correctly understand and accurately translate legal terms from the various areas of judicial proceedings, especially in the fields of civil, criminal and administrative law.

Proof of this must be attached to the application.

Which documents are required?

Proof of personal reliability:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Police clearance certificate, which must be suitable for submission to an authority (document type "O")
  • Self-disclosure from the central electronic register of debtors in accordance with Section 882 b of the Code of Civil Procedure
  • Certificate from the competent insolvency court that no insolvency proceedings have been opened over the assets of the applicant or that the opening of insolvency proceedings has been rejected due to a lack of assets

Certificate from the Foreigners' Registration Office that self-employment is permitted (if applicable, included in the residence permit), provided that the applicant does not have German citizenship or a citizenship of the EU member states Proof of professional aptitude in accordance with §§ 3 para. 2, 4 GDolmG and § 23 para. 2 - 4 NJG:

From 01.01.2023, the professional qualification of a court interpreter will be based on the Court Interpreters Act (GDolmG). Professional aptitude in both German and foreign languages requires:

  • Proof of a state or state-recognised interpreter examination or
  • Proof of recognition of an interpreter's examination taken abroad, or
  • Certificate of completion of studies at a state-recognised university abroad,
  • C2 language certificate of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages from a state-recognized language institute,
  • Proof of the existence of a state procedure for the examination of language skills
  • Proof of knowledge of German legal language (legal terminology) by submitting qualified certificates or certificates of a university degree completed in this field, vocational training, many years of professional practice or the successful completion of a separate course.

Applications under the Lower Saxony Justice Act (NJG) for interpreters for official and notarial purposes and sign language interpreters require:

  • Certificate of successful completion of the interpreting or translation studies at a university or certificate of passing a state or state-recognised interpreting or translation examination, or
  • Certificates of successful attendance at a state-approved language school (for German and foreign languages) or
  • Examination certificate from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for an interpreter or translator examination
  • at a higher education institution in a Member State of the European Union or an interpreter or translator examination passed in a Member State of the European Union, provided that these are recognised as equivalent in each case, or
  • Certificate of Acquisition of the General Higher Education Entrance Qualification
  • Proof of language mediation knowledge and skills
  • Proof of knowledge of German legal language (legal terminology)

All documents must be enclosed in the original or as photocopies or digital images certified by an authority or a notary. If there are doubts about the authenticity of electronically attached evidence, it can be requested in the original or certified photocopy.

If documents are written in a language other than German, translations must be enclosed, the accuracy and completeness of which has been certified by a translator authorised in Germany (not the applicant himself).

Foreign documents that do not originate from a member state of the European Union must be provided with an apostille or legalisation to prove their authenticity. Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

The following evidence must not be older than 6 months at the time of the general swearing-in and/or authorisation:

  • Certificate of good conduct
  • Reprint of the information from the central electronic register of debtors
  • Certificate from the competent insolvency court

If the procedure is delayed because missing documents still have to be submitted, this evidence must be provided again.

What are the fees?

The Act on Costs in the Administration of Justice provides for fees for both the authorisation to certify the accuracy and completeness of translations and for the general swearing-in of interpreters.

If both the general swearing-in as an interpreter and the authorisation as a translator for the same languages are requested, the fee will only be charged once.

The fee is due when the application is submitted. Fees are due in advance. The application and the required evidence will only be reviewed after the fees have been paid.

In the event of rejection of an application, the fees will not be refunded. If the application is withdrawn before a decision is issued, the fee is reduced to 100.00 euros for the first language and 60.00 euros for each additional language.

Fee: 150,00 EUR
Payment in advance: No
for the first language

Fee: 100,00 EUR
Payment in advance: No
for each additional language

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

In principle, there are no deadlines for submitting an application. However, the general swearing-in of interpreters and authorisations of translators that took place before 01.01.2011 expired at the end of 31.12.2015. This also applies if they were granted for an unlimited period or for a limited period beyond this date. The group of persons concerned can submit a new application at any time.

General swearing-ins previously granted in accordance with §§ 22 - 31 of the Lower Saxony Justice Act (NJG) continue to apply. Interpreters can invoke this general oath in court until 31.12.2026.

Processing duration

Decisions on applications for general swearing-in and authorisation shall be made immediately, and within three months at the latest.

Applications / forms

The application for general swearing-in and/or authorisation can be submitted both electronically and in writing. The application must be in writing, i.e. it must be signed or authenticated by an electronic identification document.

You can find the link to the online application on this page. The prerequisite for using the online application is the use of a service account. You can also register a service account via the online application. To apply exclusively electronically, you must identify yourself with an electronic identity card. You can find the option in the online ID function section of the login to the service account. With a foreign electronic identity card, you can use the federal service account for registration and identification.

If you do not have an electronic identity card, the application must also be printed out and signed and sent by post after electronic transmission.

For the swearing-in and/or authorisation according to the NJG, the proof of professional aptitude must currently still be submitted in the original. The evidence must therefore be sent to the Hanover Regional Court by post after the online application has been submitted. For a swearing-in as a court interpreter, all evidence can be submitted electronically. If there are doubts about the authenticity of electronically attached evidence, it can be requested in the original or certified photocopy.

The form for download with further information can be found here.

Appeal

What else should I know?

More information can be found at the Hanover Regional Court.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)