The Czech Republic is full of individuals eager to offer their services as translators and interpreters; the number of skilled translators and interpreters is far more limited, though.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to find a good translator or interpreter. A professional organization does exist, but there are no specific requirements for becoming a member and hence membership alone is no automatic guarantee of quality. Many translation agencies offer their services, some small and local, others with branches throughout the country, but it can’t be said that either one or the other is superior.
Perhaps the most useful advice is to try and find an individual or a company that specializes in the area you are interested in; at the very least, this suggests they are taking their job seriously and are knowledgeable about any specific terminology required (though you should definitely ask to see some examples of their translations).
The cost of a translation is usually calculated by the number of pages of translated text, a ‘standard page’ (‘normostrana’) being a Word document of 1,800 characters including spaces.
Rates are not fixed by law, and vary considerably, depending on the source and target languages and the experience and ability of the translator. They can range anywhere from 250 CZK to somewhere over 600 CZK per page. In addition, surcharges may be made for such things as certified translations, express work, translations requiring some expert knowledge of the subject of the text, weekend translations, and so on.
It may happen that for some purpose – translation of a birth certificate, for example, or interpreting at a wedding ceremony – you’ll need the services of a ‘court-appointed interpreter’ (‘soudní tlumočník’) or “certified translator” (‘soudně ověřený překladatel’).
Individuals who are authorized to use this title have been approved as official interpreters/translators to and from a specific language and are registered as such by the Ministry of Justice.
You can use this online registry of all certified translators and interpreters at the Ministry of Justice website (switch for tlumočník) or search for the members of the Chamber of Court Appointed Translators and Interpreters to select individuals according to the language required and the region where they are registered. Or you can use one of the language agencies in the city, doing both regular and certified translations:
Language Centre Correct
Translations, interpreting, language services
- Kozí 2, Brno
- 777 99 66 90
Centre of Language Excellence.
- Moravské nám. 3, 602 00 Brno
- 544 212 355
For many official administrative procedures you’ll need to have copies of documents notarized, i.e. confirmed legally as exact copies of originals – carry on to the guide Authentication of copies and signatures.
If it’s a public document, you’ll need a special certificate – an apostille1 . Carry on to the guide on how to sort out your Apostille: international superlegalization.
1. a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document, and confirms that the document was issued by the relevant authority.