Sworn interpreter 2019-05-23T09:42:27+00:00

Sworn interpreter

What does being sworn mean?

It’s quite simple: a sworn interpreter is permitted to interpret for the courts, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) and the police. Interpreters who are not sworn interpreters are not permitted to this. There is actually legislation that stipulates that criminal cases and immigration law cases may only be heard by interpreters listed in the Register of Sworn Interpreters and Translators (Rbtv)..

A listing in the Rbtv is only possible if the interpreter has at least a bachelor’s level degree or certificate from an interpreter’s programme, from a Rbtv interpreter’s test, or from the SIVG Court Interpreter in Criminal Cases course. So a sworn interpreter has a special qualification through registering with the Bureau of Sworn Interpreters and Translators (Wbtv).

What does the Wbtv Bureau do?

The Bureau checks and verifies that an interpreter meets certain quality and integrity requirements. This is important when it comes to the sensitive information that is discussed during court cases. In addition to the special qualifications and requirements, the interpreter must take an oath:

I shall carry out my work as befits a sworn translator, and I shall observe confidentiality with regard to confidential information.

Interpreters who have taken the oath and meet the requirements may then call themselves sworn interpreters. A sworn interpreter is permitted to interpret criminal cases and immigration law cases. If you’re wondering whether a sworn interpreter is better than a ‘regular’ interpreter, we can assure you that is not the case. A sworn interpreter is subject to requirements regarding degrees, certificates and work experience. While a ‘regular’ interpreter doesn’t have to meet those requirements, we still nevertheless check and verify the quality and integrity of these interpreters.

How does it work during a court case?

During a court hearing, the interpreter is seated next to the person for whom he or she will be interpreting. This is because in most cases, the whispering interpreter method is used. The distance between them should be small so that the interpreter can be heard and understood. That’s why we believe it’s important that you feel at ease with your interpreter.

Whispered interpreting is actually a form of simultaneous interpreting, where the interpreter speaks and translates while the speaker speaks. This way, there are no disruptions causing delays in the hearing. In instances involving long drawn-out court cases, this can be a significant benefit.


To guarantee the highest quality, an interpreter needs to know exactly what the case entails and thoroughly prepare himself/herself. To make this possible, be sure to give us comprehensive information about the case to ensure no details are lost in the process.

Need a sworn interpreter? With or without equipment? Contact us for more information now!