Court certification in the Netherlands
Thread poster: Hannah Johnson

Hannah Johnson  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:27
Italian to English
Jun 9, 2008

I am an Italian to English legal translator living in Amsterdam and I have recently been approached by clients asking if I am a court certified translator (to carry out sworn legal translations). When I lived in Italy I used to have translations legalized and the procedure was very straightforward. Here, I am not sure if I can offer this service because I am not translating into Dutch and I am not even fluent in Dutch, and I believe it is necessary to have in-depth knowledge of the Dutch language to be certified.

Does anyone know if it is possible for a translator who is neither Dutch nor a Dutch speaker to be certified with a Dutch court and if so how to go about this?

Thanks in advance for any help,

Hannah Johnson


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Percy Balemans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:27
English to Dutch
+ ...
Knowledge of Dutch is a requirement Jun 9, 2008

According to the government website Overheid.nl (this particular article is available in Dutch only) you can only be certified if you have "sufficient knowledge" of the Dutch language. It doesn't say what they mean by "sufficient knowledge", except that this is to be "assessed by the court".

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
Clients' idea Jun 10, 2008

What would be the clients' idea in asking for certification of documents you would presumably translate from Italian to English? Where would the documents be used? In such case it would be important to have credentials recognized in the destination country (UK or USA for example) or the origin country (Italy), because the fact that you now live in the Netherlands and the Dutch language would be immaterial.

How did you certify documents when you were in Italy? What would be different now?


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Hannah Johnson  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:27
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Italian to English only Jun 10, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

What would be the clients' idea in asking for certification of documents you would presumably translate from Italian to English? Where would the documents be used? In such case it would be important to have credentials recognized in the destination country (UK or USA for example) or the origin country (Italy), because the fact that you now live in the Netherlands and the Dutch language would be immaterial.

How did you certify documents when you were in Italy? What would be different now?




Yes, I am talking about Italian to English only. To certify documents in Italy you have to take your translation and the original to the court (in a special format) where your details and those of the translation are recorded in a register. You have to be in Italy to do this. In the UK you have to go to a Notary. In either case you need to be in the country and I am not! And the Dutch ask me to be registered with a court here. To me this doesn't make sense, why should I have a good level of Dutch to translate from Italian to English?

There must be a solution to this problem, any answers will be gratefully received.


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Hannah Johnson  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:27
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Languages other than Dutch Jun 10, 2008

Percy Balemans wrote:

According to the government website Overheid.nl (this particular article is available in Dutch only) you can only be certified if you have "sufficient knowledge" of the Dutch language. It doesn't say what they mean by "sufficient knowledge", except that this is to be "assessed by the court".







This is exactly my problem! But what should people translating between 2 non-Dutch languages do I wonder? Is it possible that to certify translations you have to be living in the country where either your source or target language is spoken?

Thanks for your help and for the link!


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Percy Balemans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:27
English to Dutch
+ ...
Try contacting the court or the embassy Jun 10, 2008

Hannah Johnson wrote:
Is it possible that to certify translations you have to be living in the country where either your source or target language is spoken?


It does look like courts only certify translations in their own language. You could try contacting the court in your area and see if there are maybe other rules for translators in your situation. Or maybe the Italian embassy, to see if there's a way to certify documents without actually being in Italy.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
Predicament Jun 10, 2008

Yes, that does put you in a predicament! I live on the U.S.-Mexico border and do a lot of certified translations of legal documents that are accepted as valid in both countries. I have U.S. Federal Court certification that serves as my credentials and simply draw up a statement to that effect and have my signature notarized which is free or almost free from a notary that is not, of course, a civil law notary but a U.S. notary who does no more than vouch to the identity of the signer and that the signer swears that he is being truthful.

Sicen I live on the U.S. side that is simple. If I lived in Mexico it would be vastly more difficult, take much much more time and be much more expensive if I had to go to a civil law notary there.

Then there is the problem that with certified translations, paper has to physically change hands. You cannot send it electronically. Thus, physical distance from your clients is a disadvantage.

Like someone has said, you might look into the possibility of embassies or consulates, either Italian (origin) or UK (destination). They might have a procedure you can use.

[Editado a las 2008-06-10 15:09]


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Laura Morwood  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:27
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Embassy/consulate Jun 10, 2008

Definately try the embassy of Italy or the UK for certification. I translate English into Dutch and used to work at the Dutch consulate in Belfast. To certify a document, I would make sure that the original document was indeed an original as given out by the Dutch authorities. Anything other than that would be out of our remit. Then I would check the translation and make sure that it indeed was a true translation of the original. I don't know that you would find anyone at the embassy that could do the same for you though, you may have to get some sort of title from the authorities in either Italy or the UK (or their embassy). But certainly not the Dutch authorities as it has nothing to do with them! Good luck.

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Hannah Johnson  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:27
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Jun 11, 2008

Laura Morwood wrote:

Definately try the embassy of Italy or the UK for certification. I translate English into Dutch and used to work at the Dutch consulate in Belfast. To certify a document, I would make sure that the original document was indeed an original as given out by the Dutch authorities. Anything other than that would be out of our remit. Then I would check the translation and make sure that it indeed was a true translation of the original. I don't know that you would find anyone at the embassy that could do the same for you though, you may have to get some sort of title from the authorities in either Italy or the UK (or their embassy). But certainly not the Dutch authorities as it has nothing to do with them! Good luck.



I will do. Thanks for your reply and thanks also to everyone else who has given advice!


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Court certification in the Netherlands

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