Dec 20, 2008

German regionalism in the crosshairs

One of the problems regarding sworn translations in Germany is that there is no guarantee that they will be accepted for official purposes if the certifying translator is registered with a different state. In some cases, certified translations have even been rejected if the translator was sworn by a different regional court in the same federal state. In Austria, by contrast, certified translations from sworn translators are accepted anywhere in the country.

In practice, there are relatively few objections raised, and a translation certified by a translator sworn in Bavaria will probably be accepted in the Saarland or North Rhine Westphalia, etc. But as is too often the case with life in Germany, there is the uncertainty of bureaucratic confusion and scope for abuse by some arbitrary, petty twit who hasn't had enough coffee.

With regard to certified translations that may end soon. In the member forums for the German translators association BDÜ, the head of the Berlin-Brandenburg group commented a few days ago that the question of whether a translation certified by a translator from one region will be accepted in another region should be resolved in the very near future. Changes in the law are expected at the federal level, which would make a certification in one state valid in all other states. However, he also noted that this was to have taken place on the 12th of December, and here we are somewhat later... as they say here, "gut Ding braucht Weil".

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