Living in Finland

Cities

Tarvitsetko tulkkia?
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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.

Where to book an interpreter?

There are eight interpreting centres (tulkkikeskus) in Finland, which are maintained by municipalities. The services of interpreting centres are primarily intended for authorities that work with immigrants.

Many companies also provide interpretation services.

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

Municipal interpreting centres

linkkiHelsinki Region Community Interpreting Centre:
InterpretingFinnish | English

linkkiCentral Finland Interpreting Centre:
InterpretingFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiLahti Regional Centre for Liaison Interpreting:
InterpretingFinnish

linkkiPirkanmaa Interpreter Centre:
InterpretingFinnish | English

linkkiOstrobothnia Interpreter Centre:
InterpretingFinnish

linkkiNorthern Finland Interpreting Service:
InterpretingFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiTurku Region Interpreter Centre:
InterpretingFinnish | Swedish

linkkiKotka Interpreter Centre:
InterpretingFinnish

Language help for everyday situations

If you need help with the Finnish language in everyday situations, such as on the bus or in shops, you can download the Túlka application to your mobile phone. The Túlka service is free for private persons; in the service, volunteers give language help through the phone in the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Persian
  • Somali

If you want to be sure that the interpretation is high-quality, you should get a professional interpreter. You always need a professional interpreter if the matter is important and effects your legal protection.

linkkiTúlka:
Language help for everyday situationsFinnish | English | Somali | Persian | Arabic