IMDi is the national authority for interpreting services

A part of IMDi`s responsibilities in the field of integration is interpreting services in the public sector.

Last updated: 4/8/2022

IMDi is the national authority for interpreting services in the public sector and works with a number of initiatives aimed at interpreters, users of interpreting services and government agencies in order to:
- Increase availability of qualified interpreters
- Increase capacity in interpreter’s education
- Increase awareness and knowledge about interpreter’s role
- Regulate and further develop the field of interpreting services

In Norway there is a lack of awareness of interpreter’s role in public services. IMDi’s role as an advisory body combined with the concept of sector responsibility in the Norwegian administration, calls for a more cooperative and awareness based approach towards government agencies. Hence, IMDi cooperates with authorities in the health, justice, labour and welfare, education and childcare.

Qualification system in Norway and the National Register

The Norwegian National Register (www.tolkeregisteret.no) was created in 2005 in order to provide a nationwide overview of interpreters qualified for work in the public sector. All entries are placed in one of register’s 5 categories, according to qualification. There are approximately 1800 interpreters in 75 languages. The register’s 5 categories are:

A: Certified interpreters with a bachelor’s degree in public service interpreting

B: Certified interpreters with 30 ECTS university-level interpreter training or intepreters with a bachelor’s degree in public service interpreting

C: Certified interpreters

D: Interpreters with a 30 ECTS university-level interpreter training

E: Interpreter with a bilingual lexical knowledge test (Tospråktesten) or certified translators with a 3-day intensive course on interpreting ethics and techniques (TAO)

IMDi cooperates with OsloMet and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences which provide a university-level interpreter training (since 2007), a bachelor’s degree in Public Service Interpreting (s. 2017), the bilingual vocabulary test – Tospråktesten (s. 2017), the 3-day intensive course on interpreting ethics and techniques – TAO (s. 2018) and are responsible for the National Certification Exam (s. 2013). IMDi issues the certificate/license as a State Sworn or Certified Interpreter.

Current issues in Norway

  • The Interpreting Act
  • New National Register of Interpreters (2020)
  • Research project on tender procedures for interpreting services
  • Video interpreting project
  • Yearly survey on the need for interpreters