When it is important to ensure that information is communicated clearly between individuals, it is sometimes necessary to have an interpreter.
- People who do not speak Icelandic or who have not become proficient in Icelandic have the legal right to a free interpreter in court cases or when visiting a medical doctor.
- Interpreters are bound to confidentiality and neutrality.
- Interpreters are also frequently called upon during parent and teacher interviews in schools or for municipal social services, trade union organisations, the police, and business companies. A number of preschools and compulsory schools bring in interpreters, with the institution paying for the service, and this also applies to social services. Since interpreter services are not always free, however, it is advisable to check first with the institution or business regarding its policy on interpreting expenses.
- If a person wishes to have an interpreter, it is important to state the language needed, as it is not always enough to list nationality only. It is the institution which has the role of ordering the interpreter, although the person involved has the right to reject an interpreter's services.
Dóms- og kirkjumálaráðuneytið (Ministry of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs) provides a list of all those who have legal certification to translate documents and interpret in courts of law.
Fjölmenningarsetrið (Multicultural Centre) has opened an information phone service in the following languages for those seeking help: