For many official transactions you’ll need to have copies of documents notarized, i.e. confirmed legally as exact copies of originals. Or, when signing official documents you may have to have your signature notarized. In these and similar situations you are faced with a simple, if bothersome, task: to visit the office of any state-authorized notary (notář / notářka) – of which there seem to be an inordinate number in this country – where the necessary procedure will be carried out speedily and for a standard rate.
Translations and interpreting
The Czech Republic is replete with individuals eager to offer their services as translators and interpreters; the number of skilled translators and interpreters is far more limited.
Unfortunately there’s no easy way to find a good translator or interpreter. A professional organization does exist, the Union of Translators and Interpreters (JTP), 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 firm that specializes in the area your 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).
Here in the Czech Republic the cost of a translation is usually calculated by the page, 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 400 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.
Official certified translations / interpreting
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 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 the on-line registry to select individuals according to the language required and the region where they are registered. This isn’t perfect – you may find that someone has moved from the region where s/he was originally registered – but in most cases it works well.
For more details or if you need help looking for a notary / translator / interpretor, send us an inquiry.