Court interpreter or legal interpreter

What exactly does a court interpreter or legal interpreter do?

The Dutch language is the only one which is permitted to be used in court rulings in the Netherlands. If a suspect does not have a sufficient command of the Dutch language, or no command at all, a court interpreter (also called a legal interpreter) must be present. The court interpreter therefore ensures that communication is possible between the court of law and the non-Dutch speaking party.

Court interpreters or legal interpreters have completed a degree programme with one or more specialisations in fields such as criminal law, immigration law, civil law, and others. In doing so, they familiarise themselves with legal terminology, legal Dutch, and legal terminology for non-Dutch speakers. Virtually all court interpreters are registered with the national Register of Sworn Interpreters and Translators (Rbtv) and are therefore called register interpreters.

A court interpreter interprets simultaneously. This means that the interpreter interprets while the speaker is speaking, with virtually no delay. By interpreting simultaneously during a court session, the sitting is not disturbed.


Proper preparation is essential. Because of the intensive nature and the speed and importance of interpreting during a court session, it is important that the interpreter has been able to delve thoroughly into the subject matter. That’s why we ask you to at least let us know what type of session the proceeding concerns (for example summary procedure, appearance in person of parties, plea hearing, etc) and to send the appurtenant documents so that the interpreter can become familiarised with them.

Do you need an experienced court interpreter? We are happy to be of help.
Contact us on +31 (0)85 049 92 49 or at

Set to work?

Find the right interpreter now!

Click here to request an interpreter for a CBR exam.