The Swedish system of authorizing interpreters

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Everyone who lives in Sweden but is unable to speak Swedish is entitled to the help of an interpreter in their contacts with the authorities in Sweden. Good interpretation provides one important safeguard for individual legal rights. For more than thirty years, therefore, the Swedish state has had a well-established system of authorizing interpreters. Sweden’s interpreter authorization is unique in the world today. Authorization is awarded by the Swedish Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency to those who pass its test in interpreting. This test consists of two sections: 1. Written test with questions on Swedish society and terminology into and from Swedish. 2. Oral test in the form of a role-play that may involve, for instance, a visit to a physician or lawyer. Once authorized, interpreters may then take another test for a specialist qualification as a court interpreter and/or health services interpreter.


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