SLOVAKIA

 

Country:                                            

Official or co-official languages

Slovak is the official language. However, in areas where a linguistic minority reaches 20% of the local population, speakers have the right to communicate with authorities in that language.

Brief description of linguistic diversity

Hungarian, Czech, Ukrainian, Polish, Russian, German, English

Foundations:

 

Current legislative mandates for LIT and certification

2004 law currentlyunder debate. Ministry of Justice requires the use of registered interpreters: Ministry of the Interior (e.g. police) recommends the use of registered interpreters.

Responsible parties:

 

Current accrediting bodies

Certification exams delegated to accredited Institutes of Interpreting. Currently 4 institutions have been accredited.

Does register exist?

Yes, a national register, managed by the Ministry of Justice, was set up in 2004 as established by law. Prior to 2004, registers were maintained by regional courts. Interpreters from regional registers were transferred to the new national register, but required to sit the new certification exam (within a transition period).

Criteria for inclusion: successful completion of a "professional minimums" course on the basics of law and the legal interpreting profession; proof of language proficiency; interpreting exam.

Who develops certification exams?

General format of the exam (exam components, procedure, maximum points and minimum pass points per test) set out by the Ministry of Justice. Individual Institutes of Interpreting select their own test content.

Who/How many rate performances?

Specific composition of juries up to the Institutes.

Collaboration

There is no professional LIT association in Slovakia; the Ministry consults stakeholders on draft legislation.

 

Test Format:

 

T & I in one exam?

Two separate exams, two registrations, two fees.

Screening exam? Describe.

Demonstrate language proficiency; complete the "professional minimums" course.

Test type/format

Interpreting exam: two monologue consecutive interpreting tests (A to B and B to A). Texts are selected by the examining institute and may include the reading out of a newspaper article or an excerpt from a legal text. The texts seem to be in line with practice where read-out documents are frequently used in courts.

 

Domains tested

Basic knowledge of the legal system (tested separately at the end of the "professional minimums" course), professional standards and regulations (also included in the course), consecutive interpreting A-B and B-A.

 

Scoring

Ministry of Justice sets minimum threshold (e.g. 8 out of 10). Points are awarded holistically during testing. Each Institute and even each examiner applies their own criteria.

Transparency:

 

Website? Dissemination of info about certification

Ministry of Justice (http://www.justice.gov.sk/Stranky/Nase-sluzby/Civilne-pravo/Tlmocnici-a-prekladatelia/Uvod.aspx) and Institutes of Interpreting

 

Requirements to sit exam

 

 

Sample questions or practice exam available?

No

 

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

HE degree, proof of language proficiency (an HE degree in languages automatically serves as proof of language competence. Any other type of certificate or diploma submitted will be evaluated by the Ministry of Justice); 5 years of professional experience; integrity (clean criminal record, legal capacity)

The law stipulates that qualified legal interpreters from other EU Member States will be recognised and registered as legal interpreters without the need to sit the exam. Proof is required.

Cost to candidate/#of locations/ frequency

Costs stipulated by individual Institutes – approx. €200 for the interpreting exam

Feedback on exam performance

Yes, on the spot; interpreting test is not recorded

Score grievance procedure available

yes

Maximum nº of sittings

Once every 3 years.

Permanent or renewable certification

permanent

(MoJ has the authority to re-test interpreters every 5 years, but so far has not done so)

Post-certification:

 

 

 

Revocation of certification possible?

yes

If so, for what reasons?

request by interpreter to be removed; upon committing an offence which gives rise to administrative or criminal proceedings; death

Performance monitored? If so, how?

no