Austrian certification rules for translated documents

What are the Austrian certification rules?

In Austria, the certification of translations is governed by the guidelines outlined in the Federal Law on Sworn and Certified Court Experts and Interpreters (Sachverständigen und Dolmetschergesetz – SDG).  To comply with Austrian certification rules and to be listed as Court Translators and Interpreters, applicants need to showcase their professional expertise in both roles.

  1. Individuals with advanced education in translator and/or interpreter training provide proof of at least two years of professional practice.
  2. Furthermore, candidates demonstrate a minimum of five years of recent professional experience prior to registration.

Austrian certification rules for court translators and interpreters

Court examinations

Subsequently, candidates undergo a comprehensive examination at court. They face a panel consisting of at least one judge and two certified interpreters and translators appointed by the Austrian Association of Court Interpreters. Court certification is for both interpreting and translating, covering both directions of the candidate’s language pair. Furthermore, there are separate examinations for each language pair. These examinations typically last around 5 hours. They include an interview covering comprehension of the role of a court interpreter, professional ethics, a written exam on the legal system, and general legal knowledge. Additionally, they involve the translation of a legal document for each language direction. They also include oral translation of a written document for each language direction (e.g., interpreting an expert report from German to English during a court proceeding). Finally, they cover a simulated court hearing.

Swearing in

After passing the exam, translators are sworn in and registered at the respective court for a period of 5 years. This registration can be extended by providing proof of continuous professional development and evidence of handling an adequate number of assignments for the judiciary. Sworn translators must assist in court and official appointments as required. Their official stamp and signature are recorded with the court, empowering them to issue certified (“beglaubigte”) translations.

Clean criminal records

Additional prerequisites for the examination include having a clean record (police clearance certificate) and relevant academic qualifications. While sworn translators do not have to be Austrian citizens, Austrian certification criteria stipulate that they must live in Austria.

Register Offices

Beyond the court, the Austrian certification requirements differ. Registry Offices accept certified translations from the UK, provided that the translator has verified the original document and attests to creating their translation based on the original.



Austrian Translation Certification Process: Your Guide

Navigating the translation certification process of documents for use in Austrian courts involves adherence to stringent rules and guidelines.

  • Starting with Court Interpreters Listing: Exclusive authorization to certify translated documents for court purposes is granted solely to translators featured in the List of Court Interpreters.
  • Moving onto Certification Wording: Certifications must be worded: “I affirm, under my oath, the complete accuracy of this translation with the original/transcript/photocopy attached/inspected by me.” Any alternative wording is invalid.
  • Turning to Essential Requirements: The certified document includes the place and date of certification, the translator’s signature and seal.

The Vienna Central Register Office confirms:

  • Qualified UK Translators: Translators from the UK seeking to certify marriage‑related certificates for Austria possess professional qualifications and are members of an official language institute.
  • Emphasising Document Verification: The translator views the original document, and generates their own copy for attachment to the certified translation. This process is explicitly stated on the certification page.
  • Detailed Certification Page: Essential details including the translator’s name, contact information, credentials, and a stamped endorsement feature on the certification page.


Using Austrian documents in the UK: Translation requirements

Are you planning to use an Austrian document, like a birth, marriage, or divorce certificate, for UK authorities? Here’s what you need to know about translation requirements:

Qualified UK Translators:

While the UK has no sworn translators, a qualified translator self-certifies their translation (which is usually sufficient for UK use) or goes to a notary public to obtain a sworn translation.

Translator Recommendation:

For all your translation needs involving Austrian documents for use in the UK, trust a qualified translator like me, Erika Baker, to ensure accuracy and adherence to the necessary requirements.

Accurate, confidential, efficient and reliable English-German translations

Professionally qualified German translator into English and English into German, offering first class translation services for commercial, industrial, governmental and private clients.

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