Official Translations

Getting official documents translated by a court-appointed interpreter is an unavoidable aspect of moving to the Czech Republic

This article was provided by the Grabmüller Translation Agency.

If you come to the Czech Republic for a longer stay or if you decide to live here, you can expect a bureaucratic nightmare. The authorities will require you to have various documents translated. The translations of such documents will almost always have to be verified by a court-appointed interpreter.

What is a verified translation?
Translations verified by a court-appointed interpreter consist of a document in the original language and its translation into the target language. The verified translation is attached to the document in the source language (the original or an authenticated copy). Each translated document is affixed with an interpreter's clause and the round rubberstamp of the court-appointed interpreter. By signing and placing the rubberstamp on the translation, the court-appointed interpreter attests that the translation corresponds verbatim to the text of the submitted document. The interpreter's clause is written in the target language of the translation.

Who are court-appointed interpreters?
Court-appointed interpreters are persons chosen by the courts of the Czech Republic who are authorized to translate official documents and to affix their translations with a round rubberstamp. The rubberstamp displays the national emblem of the Czech Republic, the name of the interpreter and his/her language(s).

What is an authenticated copy?
An authenticated copy of an original document becomes a document with the same weight as the original. Only a notary may make an authenticated copy of a foreign-language document. The price is around 30 CZK per printed page.

How much do I pay for a verified translation?
The prices for translations verified by court-appointed interpreters vary between 350 and 690 CZK, depending on the combination of languages, the type of document, the translator or the agency.

What influences the price?
Language combination. The price for common languages (English, German, Russian, French) is lower than for less usual languages (e.g. languages from Asia or Scandinavia). This is mainly because of the smaller number of court-appointed interpreters for those languages. The fewer the interpreters that have been appointed for an unusual language combination, the higher the price of the translation tends to be.

Type of document. If a common form is involved (like a birth certificate or marriage license), the price varies near the lower limit of the price range. Less common documents with content requiring greater expertise or with more complicated formatting will cost more.

Agencies: If a translation agency is involved in the process, the price of the translation is likely to be higher than if you approach a court-appointed translator directly. The advantage of a reliable agency is that it will save you phone calls to find a translator and the trouble of scanning your documents. You will avoid situations like encountering an unreliable or careless translator or not getting your translation by the agreed deadline. A high-quality translation agency secures your translation as soon as possible, arranges the making of certified copies by a notary, archives your submitted orders, sends the document to the desired address and is at your disposal every day.

What is the difference between interpreting and translating?
Interpreting is done orally. Verified interpreting (interpreting by a court-appointed interpreter) is required for wedding ceremonies, dealings with the registrar's office, general meetings of companies, meetings with notaries (when founding a company, for instance), the drafting of contracts etc. Translations are written. For official documents, a translation verified by a court-appointed interpreter is usually required.

This article was provided by the Grabmüller Translation Agency. For contact details, see Grabmüller's Prague Directory listing.

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