When you just arrive 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, diploma’s etc.) it might be necessary to have a sworn translation.
- Ask the authorities concerned whether you need a sworn translator or interpreter when starting an official procedure at city hall, your employer, your school….
- If you need a sworn translator/interpreter: Go to the court of first instance of Leuven. They have contact details of all sworn translators. At the Stadskantoor (City Office), Civic Affairs Office, 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. 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.