Notarial interpreters 2019-05-23T09:48:16+00:00

Notarial interpreters

What kind of situations require the services of a notarial interpreter?

A civil-law notary is required to engage the services of a notarial interpreter when clients don’t have an adequate command of the Dutch language or when clients don’t speak Dutch. There is legislation that stipulates that ‘if a party appears that does not adequately understand the language of the deed, an interpreter shall be summoned to appear to translate the substance of the deed.’

This sounds like a logical step, considering every aspect of a notarial document is important, including the fine print. There is absolutely no room for misunderstandings. For this reason, the legislator believes it is important that the client is fully informed in a language he/she understands. Some examples of documents a notarial interpreter would translate and explain include:

  • mortgage deed
  • transfer deeds
  • wills
  • prenuptial agreements
  • powers of attorney
  • share transfers
  • deeds of formation
  • amendments to the articles of association

Sworn interpreter

A notarial interpreter is a sworn interpreter. This means a notarial interpreter is listed with the Bureau of Sworn Interpreters and Translators (Wbtv) and is qualified to interpret for the courts, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) and the police. Additionally, a notarial interpreter is specialised in notarial law and its corresponding specific terminology.

A notarial interpreter is also aware of cultural differences and can provide assistance if these cultural differences emerge during a meeting with the civil-law notary. A well-known example of this is how in some cultures, people nod ‘yes’ out of politeness while they actually mean ‘no’; so a person’s response remains ambiguous. A notarial interpreter pays attention to facial expressions and other non-verbal signals to avoid these kinds of situations. Any time he observes such behaviour, he can provide an explanation of the deeds.


An interpreter is usually sent the deed or deeds in advance. It is very important that a notarial interpreter is properly prepared. Take for instance the following challenge: a Dutch legal term found in the document that doesn’t exist in the listener’s native language. In this case, the term has to be explained as clearly as possible in the listener’s native language, or the notarial interpreter has to look for an alternative. It helps improve the quality of the chosen solution if the interpreter has had time to consider this matter in advance.

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