Court interpreters and sworn translators of legal language: The case of Slovenia

Viktorija Osolnik Kunc, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia


The paper will focus on the training of court interpreters and sworn translators and the recent changes in the examination standards in Slovenia. It will also look at the variety of educational backgrounds of court interpreters and sworn translators that play an important role for the development in court interpreting and sworn legal translating in Slovenia. In addition, current plans for the future will be presented.

Court interpreters and sworn legal translators are defined by the Rules on Court Interpreters. With regard to the Rules the applicants holding a university degree, having previous experience in legal translation and being EU citizens may be admitted to a legal seminar organized by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Slovenia. The seminar focuses on legal theory and examples of good-practice as well as a legal language workshop for each language. As there are no restrictions with regard to the educational background of the applicants, they may come from a variety of study fields. The number of educated linguistics (i.e. language teachers, translators, interpreters) is as high as the number of lawyers, followed by the applicants holding a degree in the fields of economics or mechanical engineering.

A few examples shall also show what advantages and obstacles linguists and lawyers face when working as court interpreters and sworn legal translators.

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