How to find a sworn translator or interpreter in Greece?
Interpretation and translation before the Greek courts in criminal proceedings are governed by Articles 233-238 of the Greek Code of Criminal Procedure. Interpreters and translators are appointed by the competent court from the relevant table, which is drawn up each year by the Judicial Council of the Misdemeanours Court and finalised by the Council of the Court of Appeal. In cases of extreme urgency, interpreters who are not included in the above tables are appointed.
In civil proceedings, Article 252 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that if a witness, expert or party does not speak Greek, an interpreter shall be appointed by the court. A similar provision is contained in Article 137 of the Code of Administrative Procedure.
It should also be noted that there is a translation service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which, under the current legal framework, is responsible for the official translation of public and private documents.
Foreign public documents from countries that are party to the 1961 Hague Convention –which was ratified in Greece by Law 1497/1984 (Government Gazette, Series I, No 188) – are translated only if they bear an apostille as provided for in said Convention. All other foreign documents must be certified by the Greek consular authority in the country of origin of the document or by the country’s consular authority in Greece.
Translation is not provided free of charge. The cost of translation is determined by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs.
In addition, according to the Lawyers Code (Article 36 of Law No 4194/2013 Government Gazette, Series I, No 208), the work of a lawyer includes the translation of documents drafted in a foreign language and the translation of Greek documents into any foreign language. The translation has full effect before any court or other authority, provided it is accompanied by a certified copy of the original document and the lawyer certifies that they have sufficient knowledge of the language it was translated from and into.
Is access to the Greek translators’ databases free of charge?
Greece does not have a centralised database of Greek sworn translators/interpreters.
However, there is a database of members of the Panhellenic Association of Translators (members of the International Federation of Translators, FIT) who are professional translators (some of whom are also interpreters). This database allows users to search for an interpreter/translator by language and by region.
Furthermore, information on professional translators, by region of Greece, can be searched in the database of the Panhellenic Association of Professional Translators of the Ionian University (FIT member), whose members specialise in two of the three languages: English, French, German (for information on the language specialisations of Association members, please contact the Association itself).
How to search for a sworn translator in Greece
Ministry of Justice (where lists of lawyer-linguists are posted, per Bar Association in Greece, as well as contact details of Greek public prosecutor’s offices and courts)
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