Legal translators/interpreters


This section helps you to find an interpreter or legal translator in Spain.

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How to find an interpreter or legal translator in Spain

I. Interpreters and translators in the justice system.

In Spain, sworn interpreters and translators in the justice system are regulated as follows:

Article 231.5 of the Organic Law on the Judiciary specifies that ‘Authorisation to act as an interpreter in oral hearings or to use sign language shall be granted in accordance with the procedural law applicable.’

Article 440 of the Criminal Procedure Code recognises the right to be assisted by an interpreter, and Article 441 states that ‘The interpreter shall be selected from persons qualified as such, if there are any in the locality. Where there are none, a teacher of the appropriate language shall be appointed, and if there is none, any person who speaks the language’.

Article 762.8 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that ‘If the accused or witnesses do not speak or understand Spanish, the applicable procedure shall be that laid down in Articles 398, 440 and 441. The interpreter does not need to have an official qualification’.

Article 9 of Law 4/2015 of 27 April 2015 on the rights of victims of crime recognises the right to translation and interpretation.

As a general rule, in civil and criminal cases with legal aid the Ministry of Justice (or the Autonomous Communities with powers in the field of justice) pays the translator or interpreter, while in civil proceedings without legal aid the claimant bears the expenses of the translator or interpreter. Interpreters are also used in certain administrative law proceedings, such as requests for asylum.

II. Sworn translators and interpreters:

To qualify as a sworn translator or interpreter it is necessary to pass the examination organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Holders of this qualification are authorised to make official translations

Is access to the database of translators in Spain free of charge?

There is no database in Spain with information on interpreters and translators.

How to find a legal translator in Spain

However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation publishes a list of the persons who have passed the examinations for sworn interpreters.

The list can be consulted free of charge and contains an alphabetical list of languages and the sworn translators in each language.

Last update: 26/02/2024

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