After arriving in Belgium, it might be convenient to have someone who can translate information, documents etc. from Dutch to your mother tongue or vice versa. If you have to present documents for official procedures (e.g. birth or marriage certificate, diplomas etc.) it might be necessary to have a sworn translation.
- Ask the authorities concerned whether you need a so-called sworn translator (beëdigd vertaler) when starting an official procedure at the city office (Stadskantoor), your employer, your school,.... A sworn translator is a translator who has taken a professional oath before the court. This translator is authorized to translate certain official documents and to provide them with a personal stamp, signature and affidavit.
- If you need a sworn translator/interpreter: Consult Lextra Lingua (website in Dutch or French only) or go to the court of first instance (website in Dutch, French and German only) of Leuven. They have contact details of all sworn translators. At the City Office (Stadskantoor) and the Civic Affairs Office (dienst Burgerzaken), a (limited) list is also available.
- If you do not need a sworn translator/interpreter, several public and government agencies have the possibility to call in a ‘social’ interpreter on the spot or via telephone. If such an interpreter would be useful for you, inquire about the possibilities on site.
- Find a commercial translating agency on the internet. Make clear arrangements on paper about price and deadline.
- Several online translation tools exist, such as Google Translate or DeepL. Please be careful if you translate official or complex information, or information including a lot of jargon. Although these tools improve constantly, the translation might miss crucial elements.
Suppliers, channels and tools
Search engine of the federation of sworn translators & interpreters BBVT-UPTIA (website in Dutch and French)
- List of members of the association of court translators & interpreters Lextra Lingua (website in Dutch and French)
- Unofficial (but very functional) list of court translators & interpreters Belgische Beëdigde Vertalers (website available in English)
Last update: 28/06/2022