Official or co-official languages


Brief description of linguistic diversity

Between 0,5 and 1% of the population speak each of the following languages: Silesian, Belarusian, German, Ukrainian and Kashubian.



Current legislative mandates for LIT and certification

Act of 25 November 2004 on the Profession of Sworn Translator (the term ‘sworn translator’ covers both translators and interpreters). Although there is no specific mandatory legislative act imposing a direct obligation upon the judicial system or police to use the services of sworn translators, only translations done by certified professionals have official status. Only when a sworn translator/interpreter is not available in a given language do officials employ individuals with recognized language skills. These ad hoc interpreters must take an oath in court.

Responsible parties:


Current accrediting bodies

Ministry of Justice (State Examination Board)

Does register exist?

National register of sworn translators/interpreters, managed by the Ministry of Justice. All translators who meet the criteria laid down in the Act of 25 November 2004 on the Profession of Sworn Translator/Interpreter, and have passed the state exam and been sworn-in are included on the register, which is broadly recognized and accepted by all the stakeholders.

Who develops certification exams?

The State Examination Board appointed in accordance with the Act of 25 November 2004.

Who/How many rate performances?

The Committee of The State Examination Board varies from language to language, but it is made up of 11 members including four academics (modern language studies), three sworn translators who are members of associations of translators/interpreters and identified by them, three members appointed by the Minister of Justice, one member appointed by the Minister of Labour. Members serve for four years and can be recalled. Examiners of candidates in a specific language may include both members of the Board and outside consultants who meet the requirements set for Board members.




Test Format:


T & I in one exam?

Yes, since the term ‘sworn translator’ in Poland applies to both translators and interpreters, they all have to pass one and the same exam.

Screening exam? Describe.


Test type/format

A 4-hour written translation exam which entails the translation of two texts from Polish into the other language and two from the foreign language into Polish. One of each pair of documents must be a court letter, official document, or legal text. This is followed by a performance-based oral exam consisting of two consecutive or dialogic interpreting exercises and two sight translations (one from and one into Polish).


Domains tested

Translation and interpreting skills when dealing with court and official documents, as well as of other legal texts.



Performances on the oral portion of the exam are rated for conformity of the content of the rendered version with that of the original utterance, correct use of terminology and phraseology, correct grammar and lexis (non-legal), correct use of register, and general fluency. A candidate must receive an overall score of 75% to pass the exam. Details laid down in the Regulation of 24 January 2005 issued by the Minister of Justice on the Detailed Manner of Conducting an Examination for Sworn Translators



Website? Dissemination of info about certification

The Act of 25 November 2004 on the Profession of Sworn Translator and the Regulation of 24 January 2005 issued by the Minister of Justice on the Detailed Manner of Conducting the Examination for Sworn Translators are available on line. The Ministry of Justice also has a FAQ section on their website addressing practical issues related to exams and the profession of a sworn translator. The list of the State Examination Board components is also available. Coded results obtained on the written portion of the exam are also published on the Ministry of Justice website. Finally, websites of professional associations, including TEPIS, (The Polish Society of Sworn and Specialized Translators and Interpreters) also include information about certification procedures.


Requirements to sit exam

Candidates must meet certain citizenship stipulations (basically Polish and UE/EEA citizenship), know the Polish language, have full capacity according to the law, have a clean legal record, hold a degree at the Masters level or equivalent (although an effort is currently underway to reduce this requirement to a first level university degree).


Sample questions or practice exam available?

The examination texts from the prior years are available in print from various bibliographical sources, amongst others Rybinska (ed.) 2011. Opracowanie zbiorowe pod redakcją Zofii Rybińskiej, Teksty egzaminacyjne dla kandydatów na tłumacza przysięgłego [Examination texts for candidates to the profession of Sworn Translator]. Wydawnictwo Translegis.


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

Qualifications/Certification as Sworn Translator in other EU Member States is also recognized under Polish legislation (Act of 18 March 2008 on recognition of professional qualifications acquired in the Member States of the European Union and the Regulation of the Minister of Justice of 9 November 2010 on the adaptation period and the aptitude test in the procedure for recognition of qualifications to practice as a sworn translator).

Cost to candidate/#of locations/ frequency

Examination fee of 800 zlotys (200 EUR aprox.)

Feedback on exam performance

Coded results obtained on the written part are published on the website of Ministry of Justice. Candidates are informed of the number of points awarded.

Score grievance procedure available

Candidates may see their examination papers, complain and ask for feedback.

Maximum nº of sittings


Permanent or renewable certification Permanent





Revocation of certification possible?

Disciplinary proceedings as defined in the Act on the Profession of ST

If so, for what reasons?

Refusal to translate and/or interpret in proceedings conducted under statutory law, at the request of a court, public prosecutor, the Police or public administration authorities unless there are particularly valid reasons justifying such refusal;  failure to perform the tasks of a sworn translator with diligence and impartiality; failure to maintain confidentiality as to facts and circumstances; failure to improve professional qualifications; failure to keep a list of translations done and make relevant annotations on translations whether they were prepared from an original, translation or copy.

Performance monitored? If so, how?

There is no quality monitoring scheme. Complaints, however, may be submitted to the Professional Accountability Board at the Ministry of Justice