Van Loosen Vertalingen
Nieuwe Haven 71f
3116 AA Schiedam
The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 (0) 6 48 27 43 59

KvK: 58445498
Rbtv: 4871

member of:
Vereniging SIGV

Requently asked questions

In the world of translation, a distinction is made between translators and interpreters. I’m a translator only. Translators translate written texts from one language into another, while interpreters do this orally, for instance during conversations. Both disciplines require different skills. Because interpreters do their job orally, they must be extremely quick at finding equivalents in the other language. To this end, interpreters must be flexible and good at improvisation. Translators have more time to think, but their work is cast in stone. That is why a good translator will not rest before they have found the best of various equivalents. For translators precision is foremost.

Sometimes, a sworn translation is required. For example of documents that are needed in court, or official Dutch documents that are needed abroad. These include birth, marriage or death certificates, diplomas, or identification documents.

A sworn translation can only be made by a translator who has met the quality requirements for being sworn in and has actually been sworn in at the district court. Such a translator is registered in the Register of Sworn Interpreters and Translators (Rbtv).

Note: for documents destined for countries other than the Netherlands, an apostille or legalisation is often needed in addition to a sworn translation. Read on for further explanation.

Translators who have been sworn in in the Netherlands are registered with a Dutch district court. This means that the stamp of a Dutch translator is often not valid outside the Netherlands if it has not been certified in any other way. Conversely, this also applies to foreign documents destined for the Netherlands: a document that is legally valid abroad is not legally valid in the Netherlands by default. That is why an apostille or legalisation is often required to validate a translation for use abroad.

Is the country for which your document is destined a party to the Apostille Convention? Then you’re in luck: you only need an apostille. This means that the document can be validated for the country of destination by means of the stamp of a Dutch district court.

Is the country for which your document is destined not a party to the Apostille Convention? Then the translation must undergo the longer process of legalisation. The stamp of the Dutch district court must then be approved by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassy or consulate of the country for which the translation is destined.

Please see the Dutch government website for the countries that have signed the Apostille Convention

For further information (in Dutch), please see the website of the Dutch government or the Court.

In the Netherlands, the profession of translator is a free profession. This means that everyone can call themselves a translator without any qualifications. Unfortunately this means that many ‘translators’ offer their services at low fees, but with a low quality to match. If you want to be sure that you invest your money in a service that’s worth it, I recommend you consult the register of a professional organisation (for example the Netherlands Society of Interpreters and Translators, or NUBVETO).