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Do you need an interpreter?

If you need to deal with Finnish authorities and you do not speak Finnish or Swedish and have no other common language with the authority, you are sometimes entitled to interpreting services. In these cases, the authorities will book you an interpreter and pay for the services.

Authorities can arrange and pay for interpretation when the processing of the matter in question has been initiated by the said authorities. However, this is not always possible. If you need an interpreter for the initial assessment and integration plan, it is the responsibility of the authority to book one. You can ask about the matter from the authorities in advance.

If you are seeking asylum in Finland, you are entitled to interpretation in matters related to the processing of your asylum application. You are entitled to receive information about decisions concerning you in your native language or a language that you understand. Information on decisions is provided through interpretation or translation.

If you book and pay for an interpreter yourself, you can use an interpreter whenever you want.

linkkiKela:
Interpreter servicesFinnish | Swedish | English

What does an interpreter do?

An interpreter will accompany you to meetings with authorities. He or she will interpret the discussion between you and the authority. The interpreter will either be present or the interpretation services will be provided via a telephone or video connection.

The task of the interpreter is to interpret the discussion between you and the authority. The interpreter will not handle any tasks other than interpretation. Therefore, he or she cannot assist you in any other matters. The interpreter is an impartial third party; he or she will not take your or the authority’s side.

Interpreters are sworn to secrecy, which means that they cannot disclose information about your affairs to others.

linkkiAt Home in Finland project:
Video of the roles of an authority and interpreterFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Somali | Persian | Arabic | Kurdish | Thai

Where to book an interpreter?

Many companies provide interpretation services. You can search for such companies with an online search engine, for example. The Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters website hosts a search engine through which you can search for an interpreter or a translator.

linkkiThe Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters:
Search for an interpreter or a translatorFinnish | Swedish | English