Want to be a sworn translator in France

Want to be a sworn translator in Nice?

The path to become a sworn translator in Nice is a long one, but the way is marked. Follow our five step journey.

Find out how to become a sworn translator in just five steps: obtain your professional translator’s diploma, gain experience in a translation agency, submit your application as a candidate along with your studies and take the oath.

What does a sworn translator do?

A sworn translator or expert interpreter-translator (ETI) is a government official whose job is to certify that a given text is a faithful and accurate translation of an original document. With the authorisation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the sworn translator also plays a role in administrative and legal matters by translating legal and official documents.

Step #1: obtain your professional translator’s diploma

To become a sworn translator, you must first obtain a professional translator’s diploma by taking a five-year university degree course for a Master’s degree in foreign languages or by studying at a specialised institution. In both cases, after completing the curriculum, you should be awarded an official diploma. There are two other conditions which are sine qua non: you must be of age and you must not have a criminal record.

Step #2: gaining experience

With your translator’s diploma in hand, you are now technically capable of submitting an application to become a sworn translator. Although in France, as in many other countries, having tried and tested experience as a professional translator is a great advantage, this does not mean that you cannot present yourself fresh out of college. As the periods are long and the possibility that you will be accepted at your first attempt is remote, you will probably have time to train, for example, at a translation agency.

Step #3: filing your application

To become a certified translator or expert translator and interpreter (ETI), you must submit your application to the public prosecutor. January or February is when you should withdraw a dossier at the Court of First Instance (CFI) in your district. Fill it in, describing your training and professional experience. The deadline for submitting applications is usually March 1.

Step #4: examining the application

After submitting the application, the police will probably carry out a “criminal investigation” (if you have nothing to worry about, there is no need to worry!). After your file has been examined, you will probably be invited to an interview with the commissioner of police or of the gendarmerie to check the information in your application. It is also possible that a deputy prosecutor, a clerk or other officer in the TPI may summon you to complete the investigation. The police will then send your file to the relevant Court of Appeal.

Step #5: taking your oath

The Court of Appeal, when it meets at a general assembly, has the power to confer the title of sworn translator. However, you will only find out at the end of the year whether your application was successful. If this proves to be the case, you will be invited to take an oath, , thus receiving the title of certified translator, appointed for a renewable period of five years. You will be also be included on the official list of certified translators.

According to the pair of languages that you work in and your experience, if you’re lucky, you will be sworn in on your first attempt, otherwise, you may have to wait a few years to be granted your title.

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This article has been written by Mathieu

Mathieu was born in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. After studying Literature and Linguistic Research, he moved to Argentina where he is currently a translator and a web editor.