Official or co-official languages


Brief description of linguistic diversity

Many European languages (English, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek etc.)  + Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese and others. The main languages needed for legal interpreting include Arabic, Somali, Urdu, Pashto, Farsi, Turkish, Romanian, Russian, and English (mainly English as a second or third language).



Current legislative mandates for LIT and certification

The Commissioner for Danish National Police keeps a list of interpreters who are then used for work within the Ministry of Justice (Courts, Police etc.). There are two ways to be included on the list:

1/Holders of an MA degree in translation and interpreting are automatically included upon application (their degree enables them to become authorized interpreters – full title: State-authorized Translators and Interpreters).  Holders of an MA or a BA in languages (Philology) are also included upon application. Though they are trained in literary translations only, they are assumed, because of their language degree, to be qualified for court interpreting.  However, the legal system acknowledges that there is a difference between the qualifications of the two groups; those with authorization are the better-qualified interpreters.

2/ For speakers of other languages, go to the local police station and prove competence in spoken Danish + familiarity with Danish society/legal system. A Danish citizen who has worked in another country and speaks that language might also apply for admission to the list.

Responsible parties:


Current accrediting bodies

At present (2013), there is only one university (Aarhus) which offers degrees in translation/interpreting. There is no national certification independent of these.  Very few of the interpreters on the list have an interpreting degree (c 150 maximum out of c3000). Some interpreters (c 35 maximum) have a Diploma in Community Interpreting (having completed a two-year part time program in community interpreting - this programme closed in 2002).  Only Aarhus University offers interpreting/translation of specialized texts (legal etc.) but other universities offer language programs which include literary translation. Denmark has six universities that offer language programs.

The main languages offered are: English, German, Spanish, French or all European languages + Arabic, Chinese and Japanese + possibly a few others.

Does register exist?

See information about the list above.

Who develops certification exams?


Who/How many rate performances?



There are two associations for State-authorized Translators and Interpreters ( and  They are associations (not trade unions) and have no formal authority.

There is some collaboration between these associations and Aarhus University about training and between the associations and the National Police about the list (see above). They have no say or authority as such, only a consultative function. Untrained interpreters also have an association, but with very few members, and with absolutely no authority:


Test Format:


T & I in one exam?


Screening exam? Describe.


Test type/format



Domains tested







Website? Dissemination of info about certification

A Danish website 'Legal Information' lists all Danish statutes and statutory orders, including the statutory order (issued by the MOJ) which concerns the Registry (list). It is likely that few interpreters are aware of the existence and content of the statutory order.

On the website of the Danish Police, under “Forms”, interpreters can find an application form and information on how to apply for approval and registration. Again, this information is not easy to find. Sometimes the police advertise if they need interpreters for certain languages.


Requirements to sit exam



Sample questions or practice exam available?



Additional qualifications for certification (experience, training, educational level, nationality)

No experience is necessary for inclusion on the list, but experience is taken into account.

Cost to candidate/#of locations/ frequency

There is no cost for inclusion on the list.

Feedback on exam performance




Maximum nº of sittings


Permanent or renewable certification Inclusion on the list is permanent.





Revocation of certification possible?


There is no oficial disciplinary process, but it is possible to be removed from the list.  There is no system of appeals but the interpreter can reapply and may be reinstated, at least in theory, depending on the reason for removal.


Performance monitored? If so, how?

There is no monitoring of performance.