How do you become an interpreter?

Interpreting and translation for courts and authorities

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In-service training to become a court interpreter

  • Introduction to the German legal system and public authorities for prospective legal interpreters / translators
  • Mediation of interpreting and translation techniques relevant to courts and authorities
  • Qualification for already active interpreters / translators and university graduates
  • with high language skills
  • part-time
  • Presence and self-study, currently completely converted to online teaching
  • Event period: September 2021 to August 2022
  • Time required: 420 hours in total; 10 weekend seminars and self-study time
  • Requirements: University degree or see knowledge, proof of language skills in German and working language (C2)
  • University certificate with 14 ECTS credit points
  • Application deadline: May 15, 2021

Our seminar organization during the corona pandemic


The advanced training introduces legal and official procedures and areas in which interpreters and translators work and teaches interpreting and translation techniques relevant to courts and authorities.

1. Legal focus:

  • Institutions of the administration of justice
  • Introduction to the following areas of law:
    • Criminal law and criminal procedure law
    • Civil and civil procedural law
    • Administrative law
    • Corporate law
    • Family law
    • Policing; Appraisal activity
    • Registry and notarial affairs

2. Mediation and training of interpreting and translation techniques:

  • Professional ethics, court communication
  • Terminology work
  • Translate from scratch
  • Dialogue interpreting
  • Consecutive interpreting with notes
  • Simultaneous / whispered interpreting
  • Translate documents

Study and Examination Regulations


scientific management
Prof. em. Dr. Christiane-Jacqueline Driesen, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences

Seminar leader
Prof. em. Dr. Christiane-Jacqueline Driesen, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences
Werner Rühl, presiding judge, Hamburg Regional Labor Court

Interpreters and language experts from the University of Hamburg and other universities, judges from Hamburg courts and practitioners from authorities, police and notaries.


University certificate
After passing the exam (admission requirements: at least 80% attendance, proof of performance), graduates receive the university certificate with detailed information on the goal, content, scope and performance. 14 credit points (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS) are awarded.

Recognition of the exam
The design of the examination is based on the requirements of the Hamburg proficiency test procedure (§§ 6, 7 HmbDolmVO). It is recognized as equivalent by the interior authority of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HmbGVBl. No. 44/55, 12/2007 and 12/2009). After passing the examination and fulfilling further formal requirements, an application for a swearing-in can be submitted to the interior authority.

Career prospects
The need for translators in courts and authorities is increasing noticeably as a result of globalization and internationalization. In addition to excellent language skills, this demanding job requires solid legal know-how and experience in various interpreting techniques. In addition, court interpreters have to reflect on their role as neutral, discreet intercultural mediators - and thus put foreigners who do not speak the language of the court in the position of local people.

Target group and prerequisites for participation

target group
The target group for in-service training are university graduates, preferably in the fields of interpreting, translation, linguistics and law, who have a demonstrably high level of language skills. In addition, applicants with comparable knowledge and skills and the corresponding several years of professional experience in the field of interpreting and translation.

Participation requirements

  • University degree (Magister / Master / Diploma)
  • relevant practical experience
  • comparable knowledge and skills for applicants without a university degree


  • Proof of the required language competence in the desired working language, comparable to Level 6 (formerly C2) of the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (EFQ). German native speakers provide this proof in the working language, non-German native speakers in the German language. Evidence can be provided through a linguistic or translation course or a comparable language acquisition


  • Passing the entrance test

Admission test
There is a written general language entrance test. Only applicants will be invited to the test who have the above Fulfill the participation requirements and whose desired working language has been selected.

The test includes the handwritten translation of a general language text of 25-30 standard lines within 120 minutes without tools. The translation takes place from the mother tongue or cultural language into the working language.

Choice of languages
Qualified interested parties can apply in any language. The languages ​​are selected by a selection committee based on the applications after the application deadline. A total of 26 places are available, spread over a maximum of 6-8 languages. Mixed groups with individual languages ​​can also be formed. The maximum of 5 places per language are assigned according to the ranking of the test results.


Dates in 2021
The seminar dates for the virtual course 2021 are currently being planned.

Event period: September 2021 to August 2022
Monthly face-to-face seminars: Fridays from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Saturdays from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
All attendance appointments will take place online in 2021!

University of Hamburg
Center for Further Education (ZFW)
Schlueterstrasse 51, 20146 Hamburg

Time and costs

Expenditure of time

  • Duration 12 months, part-time
  • Attendance time: approx. 115 hours, 10 weekend seminars plus exams;currently completely switched to online teaching
  • predominantly double lecturer
  • from the 4th weekend seminar work in small groups (by language)
  • Self-study time: at least 300 hours in total, approx. 8 hours per week
  • 420 hours in total
  • Working with the online learning platform OpenOLAT

The self-study period and course-related performance certificates are binding components of the course.


  • 3,950 euros (as of 2020, plus written and oral final exams, subject to change)
  • written final exam: 345 euros
  • oral final exam: 395 euros
  • Participation in the entrance test costs 125 euros

There is the option of paying in installments (before the start of the course and invoicing).

Financial funding opportunities

Please note that the Center for Continuing Education is not certified according to AZWV (Recognition and Admission Ordinance for Continuing Education). There is therefore no formal financial support from the Employment Agency for the time being; Please clarify possible individual decisions with your clerk at the Employment Agency.

Advice and application

Advice on further training
Daniela Krückel will be happy to advise you on all questions relating to further training. For a personal consultation, please make an appointment for a telephone consultation or contact me by email daniela.krueckel "AT"

Please send us your application (preferably by email as PDF) with the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation stating the working language and mother tongue
  • Tabular CV
  • Copy (s) of degree certificates and / or professional qualifications
  • Proof of qualified language acquisition in the working language
  • if available: proof of relevant professional qualifications

Application deadline: May 15, 2021 (Course starts in September 2021)

Book a telephone consultation

Advanced training for responsible work at courts and authorities

Your advantages with us

  • Scientific program management
    Our part-time master’s and certificate programs are scientifically managed by a professorial program manager. The lecturers themselves are professors from the University of Hamburg as well as experienced experts from professional practice.
  • Current teaching content
    The latest scientific findings and research results flow continuously into the course content, as well as practical know-how from everyday professional life. In this way, we guarantee a high level of relevance and a successful transfer into your professional practice.
  • Professional seminar organization
    Due to corona, teaching is predominantly digital, of course with technical support and direct contact with the teachers. We take care of all organizational requirements with many years of experience.
  • Recognized degrees from a university of excellence
    Upon successful completion, you will receive a master’s degree or a university certificate from the University of Hamburg. An absolute enrichment for your application documents!


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