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Certified translation / authorized translators

For certified translations intended for a public authority or a court, a sworn translator must be appointed. These translators are “authorized” (ermächtigt“ in German) by the relevant competent authorities (regional courts).

Sworn interpreter

For interpretation/oral translation for judicial and administrative matters (for example, marriage or paternity), “sworn” (”beeidigt“ in German) interpreters are publicly appointed.

Legalization

In accordance with international practice, documents, documents and contracts of any kind in legal relations with foreign states or other jurisdictions require special international certification or legalization. With the – often multi-level – authentication or legalization the authenticity of the signature on the document and the enclosed seal is confirmed.

Apostille

For the member states of the Hague Convention on the liberation of foreign public documents from the legalization / authentication of 5 October 1961 there is a substantial relief. The legalization takes place by means of so-called Apostille.

Types of documents

In international legal relations, documents must be divided into two types:

(a) public documents, that is to say those originating from courts, notaries or administrative authorities; and

  1. b) private certificates, who obtain publicity only through the certification of an authority, a court or a notary.

For foreign traffic, only public documents or private documents of public character are permitted as a rule, provided that full evidential value is required.

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