Translators Associations Europe: OVGD

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Translators Associations Europe: OVGDThe Austrian Association of Certified Court Interpreters (Österreichischer Verband der allgemein beeideten und gerichtlich zertifizierten Dolmetscher, OVGD) is non-political, non-for-profit translators association that was founded over more than 75 years ago, with the declared purpose of taking further the professional and business interests of sworn and certified court interpreters in Austria.

The translation association is the sole representative organisation of the class in Austria. It is responsible for conducting negotiations with the competent Austrian authorities whenever matters related to court interpreters are concerned (such as Court Experts and Interpreters Act, Court Experts and Interpreters Fees Act). It is also one of OVGD’s tasks to keep in touch with all Austrian authorities that may, by their activities, exert a direct or indirect impact on court interpreters.

In addition, OVGD nominates examiners for the certification test which evaluates the skills and knowledge of persons applying for registration in the List of Sworn and Certified Court Interpreters. The Austrian translators association organises seminars for applicants, as well as other events on terminology and makes available several discussion groups for members. Moreover, the organisation is responsible for publishing newsletters, printed fees forms, information on professional problems that affect translators, interpreters and translation agencies, as well as several work sheets and study material on the subject. Last, but not the least, OVGD “acts as an arbitration forum hearing disputes over certified translations”.

At the moment, it is estimated that the number of members of this translators association is around 600. They are spread all over Austria, and any person interested in hiring their services may consult the list published on OVGD’s website for the purpose. This directory is organised according to languages.

OVGD is a member of some of one of most important international groups of translators associations, FIT, the International Translators Federation. It is also an associate of the Austrian Association of Sworn and Certified Court Experts. One of the organisation’s main concerns is to keep constant contact with similar and related associations in Austria, such as Berufsverband für Dolmetschen und Übersetzen Universitas Austria. Beyond its national borders, OVGD works closely with the German translators association, BDÜ, and the Czech Chamber of Translators and Interpreters, as well as many other translation associations around the world.

OVGD is managed by five bodies: the General Assembly, the Executive Committee, the Auditors, the Arbitration Commission and the Arbitration Forum.

There are four membership categories at OVGD: Ordinary members, Honorary members, Sponsoring members and Friends of the Association.

All sworn and court-certified interpreters registered in Austria may apply to become Ordinary members. As for Honorary members, they are “persons who have rendered exceptional services to the association”. Every individual or legal entity that shares the association’s goals and is willing to support them – yet does not meet the requirements for Ordinary membership – may be accepted as a Sponsoring member. Individuals who have previously met the requirements for Ordinary membership but no longer do so because of having ceased their activities may join the organisation as Friends of the Association.

If you wish to become a member of this translators association, you should get in touch with OVGD’s secretariat.

OVGD reminds that “the Federal Law on Sworn and Certified Court Experts and Interpreters (SDG) amended the requirements for registration in the List of Court Interpreters to the extent that applicants must prove professional experience as interpreters and/or translators”. If you are a graduate of a university department for the training of translators and interpreters, you must furnish proof of two years of professional work during the years that immediately precede registration.

The application for registration in the List of Sworn and Certified Court Interpreters should be submitted to the president of the court of first instance in the district of regular residency or place of professional activity (“centre of economic interests”) of the applicant. In the course of registration, the certifying authority responsible for it will charge a commission concerning the acquirement of an expert opinion on whether registration requirements are fulfilled (qualifications). The examination fee is € 400.00, except when more than three examiners need to be called in. In this case, the examination fee amounts to an additional € 100.00 per examiner.

The Austrian translation association advises all applicants to prepare thoroughly before filing the application. Circumstances permitting, they may be called very soon after applying to take the examination and may not have enough time for preparation. OVGD says that “generally - depending on your educational background - you will need at least 6 months to acquire the necessary knowledge”.

According to the organisation, “the work of a Court Interpreter not only calls for an impeccable command of German and the foreign language, but also requires knowledge of the principles of Austrian legal and court procedures and of the legal and court procedures of the country where the chosen language is the official language, as well as extensive knowledge of the legal and commercial terminology of law and commerce both in German and the foreign language”. Moreover, a thorough knowledge of the terminologies of other fields such as medicine, technology, etc. is required.

Keep in mind that Austria’s official language is German. Around the world there are around 98 million native German speakers.

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