Civil-law notary interpreter

When do you need a Civil-law notary interpreter?

The word is self-explanatory: a civil-law notary interpreter interprets for the civil-law notary. But when is an interpreter needed at an appointment to execute a deed?

A civil-law notary is required to engage an interpreter when a client does not speak Dutch sufficiently or does not speak the language at all. This option is not without obligation. There is a specific law which prescribes that: ‘if an appearing party does not sufficiently understand the language in which the document is written, an interpreter who translates the pertinent points of the document will be present’.

Considering that each full stop or comma in such documents counts, it is understandable that the client must thoroughly understand what is being said. There may be absolutely no misunderstandings. Dutch law therefore finds it essential that a client is informed in a language which he or she understands. Examples of documents a civil-law notary interpreter can translate and explain are:

  • Mortgage deeds
  • Deeds of transfer
  • Wills
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Cohabitation contracts
  • Share transfers
  • Instruments of incorporation or deeds of formation
  • Amendments to the articles of incorporation or association

Sworn interpreter

A civil-law notary interpreter is always a sworn interpreter. This means that the interpreter is registered in the Register of Sworn Interpreters and Translators (Rbtv) and is authorised to interpret for institutions such as courts, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), and the police. What’s more, a civil-law notary interpreter is specialised in notarial law and is up to date on the specific terminology associated with that field.


Prior to the appointment, the interpreter reads through the draft deed(s). Proper preparation is always important, but this is essential for a civil-law notary interpreter. The interpreter is then already aware in advance of the type of appointment (which document will be discussed), the names of the persons involved, and the specific legal terminology used in the document. Therefore, we always ask you to share the draft deed(s) with us.

Would you like to know more, or do you want to book a civil-law notary interpreter?
Contact us on +31 (0)85 049 92 49 or at

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