Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Official Translations to Greek

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Foreigners in Greece, Greeks abroad or Greek citizens seeking to go abroad may need to have documents translated into Greek or another language during a process involving bureaucracy, such as getting married, converting a driver’s license, applying for a residence/work permit, applying for citizenship, applying at a foreign university and immigration to a country outside Greece.

For certain transactions and documents, Greek authorities may request translations by a specific body and deem others unacceptable.

*Article last updated on August 4, 2014

Options deemed acceptable by Greek authorities

1) In Greece:

The Translation Department at the Foreign Ministry
10 Arionos Street
Psyrri (near Monastiraki metro station)
Phone: (210) 328 5764, (210) 328 5723 or (210) 328 5713
Fax: (210) 328 5777
Open from 9:00-13:00 (go early)

1st floor – From/to Albanian (must first be certified by a consulate abroad), Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Georgian (must first be certified at a consulate abroad), Hebrew, Hungarian, Moldovan, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovakian and Ukrainian and Uzbek to/from Greek.

2nd floor – From/to English to/from Greek. Phone: (210) 328 5731 or (210) 328 5732

3rd floor – From/to Arabic, Dutch, Finnish, Flemish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish to/from Greek. A window offering to certify photocopies is also available.

  • Bring the original document or a certified copy, a pen and cash. Basic translations taking up to two (2) weeks are no longer free as of March 2007, and expedited two-day service is available (pricelist follows).
  • Fill out one form per document in Greek or English. For example, if the birth certificate has an apostille with the apostille letter attached, you need two forms even though they are attached; they are considered to be two different types of documents needing translation, not a fusion of the same (Note: Do not detach them or the apostille will be invalidated). If the birth certificate itself spans two pages, then this counts as one document requiring one form. See “Translation Application” to print and/or complete in advance.
  • Submit documents and forms, pay and keep your protocol number and cashier’s receipt. Some sources say you can pay when you pick up the document, but they’ll likely ask you for a portion. It’s easier and faster to pay for everything up front since the person accepting your documents for translation can also take your money and issue a cashier’s receipt without you going to a second window and waiting in line again. Get a receipt.
  • Pick up the documents on or after the date given. You must have the protocol receipt, cashier’s receipt and a valid form of ID, no exceptions. If someone else is picking them up, you must authorize them via police dilosi.

It is not necessary to submit originals with apostilles for translation if you need them for another reason. You can make copies of these documents, have them certified at the police station and use these (see my article “How to certify a photocopy at the police station“). I found there were no objections. Just carry the originals for inspection by anyone wanting to see them.

Certificates of study must be certified by the institution if foreign or KEP Citizen Service Centre if Greek.

Outside Athens

For those in Greece but outside Athens, translations can be sent two ways:
a) Via registered mail to the address listed above after a telephone consultation at (210) 328-5721 or (210) 328-5722.
b) Via ELTA courier or private courier (Fed-X, etc.). However, this involves cooperation from the courier as he/she must be given the appropriate fees, visit the cashier, complete Translation Applications in your name or use forms you complete in advance (one per page), wait in line and submit them, then keep the protocol number/receipt and pick them up and send them back to you. It’s not a simple delivery, and you need to authorize this person via police dilosi to act on your behalf.

Pricelist

Category Normal Expedited
A 8.50 12.00
B 9.50 14.00
C 14.00 20.00
D 15.00 21.00

*Prices are correct as of last update

2) Outside Greece

The Greek consulate/embassy in your homeland provides some services but may be limited to certain documents. Call or write to inquire since appointments are sometimes required.

Approved translation and validation services may be outsourced and/or referred elsewhere for a fee. A list of several choices should be provided online or via printed list — be cautious of embassies/consulates recommending only one or two people.

3) Other options

Translation by a lawyer or certified translator is permitted in some but not all cases. Because interpretations can vary, Greek authorities will sometimes not allow these options. In addition, you will pay a fee higher than the Translation Office.

Note

This article was created before official websites offered practical information in English, based on real-life experience and updated over the years with new information.

It was plagiarized by a UK INFO source run by an EU citizen living in Greece less than a year, who rewrote my experiences as her own, then published them and my information in a competing article in March 2010. The website owners twice refused to enforce their own copyright policy and remove it.

Be careful who you trust.

Sources

— Documentation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, translated from Greek to English
— Personal experience in 2003, 2006, 2008, 2011
Translator charged with not issuing receipts and embezzling money” — To Vima

Related posts

How to certify a dilosi in Greece
How and where to get an apostille
How to find and hire a notary

The Author

Kat is a well-traveled American journalist and author. To learn more, see “About Me.”

  • Livingingreece.gr was created in 2007 to present meticulously researched original articles that fill a gap left by traditional media, government portals and commercial websites run by people without credentials.
  • @LivinginGreece is a Twitter feed curated from recognized Greek and international news agencies to provide breaking news about Greece, plus real-time updates and insider tips mined from 15 years experience.

Note: Please note my copyright policy and be aware that violations will be pursued.
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17 Comments »

  pengyou wrote @ June 19th, 2011 at 00:50

The Consulate in Washington DC did not provide translations, but offered a list of individuals who could do the translation that the consulate could then certify for a fee.

Kat Reply:

Thank you for sharing your experience, but I don’t see how the info you provided is different than what I have above. Further, there’s no way I can address the specific services of each location since there are dozens around the world, and the services they offer vary greatly and may change at any time as locations shut down or cut back due to economic factors. This is why I encourage people to inquire.

In “Certify a photocopy or other document in Greece,” I say that Greek embassies and consulates certify documents. Some charge a fee.

  Maria wrote @ August 1st, 2012 at 19:00

Thank you so much for your excellent information.

The Geek Greek Embassy and Consulate only translate birth and death records. I was not able to obtain official certified translation from English to Greek. A list was not available. Translations from English to other languages only for commercial establishments.

  Clive wrote @ March 11th, 2013 at 10:52

Hi,

one question about translations is do you know what the Greek government require in terms of translations of English language to Greek? Does a translated copy need to have names in both Greek and latin characters or leaving in latin characters would be ok.

thanks.

Kat Reply:

As it says in the article above, the government accepts certain translations by certain services for certain documents, depending on how they’re used. You gave no specifics, so there’s way I can answer your questions.

Many times authorities accept copies of passports and EU/EEA national IDs without a translation, but this again depends on the transaction.

  Inga wrote @ December 9th, 2013 at 15:33

Hello,
I want to ask If it is possible to translate from lithuanian Language to greek in your Office?
Thank you.

Kat Reply:

I am a private citizen running this information website in my unpaid spare time; I do not work for the government.

Last I checked, they do not accommodate Lithuanian. However, use the contact info provided above to call and confirm.

  Liri wrote @ February 3rd, 2014 at 23:46

I need to have my birth cert, non impediment, divorce paper and deed poll all uk documents with apostle, so does that mean I got 8 documents and where do I get forms to fill out to do these, I’m based in Rhodes Greece
Regards

Kat Reply:

See section #1 in ‘Outside Athens.’

  asgharraja wrote @ August 10th, 2014 at 17:11

I have apply my documents for epi makron a few days ago.please give me internet website for online check of epi makron.

thanks a lot

Kat Reply:

I assume you are inquiring about translations, as the article above is about translations.
The MFA Translation department does not have its own website, and checking status online is a very advanced concept for Greece. You should have gotten a paper with protocol number and an estimated time of delivery for when your documents will be finished. You can check in person and by phone using the protocol number.

If you are inquiring about residence and work permits, see “FAQ: Greek permits.”

I am a private citizen running Living in Greece in my unpaid spare time, and my taxes pay for public offices to help you. I do not work for the government.

  Heather wrote @ August 13th, 2014 at 14:24

Your site has been a wonderful help while applying for my resident permit. I am nearing the finish line but have unfortunately come upon a substantial stumbling block in the final phase.

First I should mention that I am a US living approximately 3.5 hours from Athens. I read on your site that papers requiring translation may be sent to the MFA Translation Service after a consultation by phone. I have called and called and called over a ten-day period—-helpful friends of mine have called and called and called—but no one ever answers the phone. So I filled out the applications for each page to be translated, wrote a nice letter, included a copy of my valid 90-day visa which I received from the Greek Consulate in Boston and sent it off figuring it’s worth a try. Predictably, it came back opened but rejected.

I am hoping to avoid the cost and annoyance of a trip to Athens. Do you have any tips or experience to share?
Many Thanks,
HW

Kat Reply:

Because it is summer and August is considered a vacation month, many public offices are operating on minimal staff and may not be answering the phone. Public offices have also been known to change phone numbers without notifying the public they serve (I updated a few on August 4 and they haven’t changed since, as far as I know). There’s no way for me to know which.

If you have a friend in Athens, I recommend completing a Translation Application (link in article) for each page being translated, sign a police dilosi (read the relevant section above and follow the link given), send them everything, and have him/her act on your behalf.

I have no further first-hand tips or suggestions beyond the article above, except to visit in person. I’ve always done it this way even when I lived outside the country, though I realize it’s not the most convenient or cost efficient. I’ve rarely gotten anything done in Greece by phone, mail, fax or email in 17 years, and depending on other people is not as reliable as doing it yourself.

  Jap wrote @ November 26th, 2014 at 20:15

This is such an interesting and useful site, thanks for running this. :)

By any chance, is it possible to have my birth certificate (issued and authenticated by Philippine Foreign Affairs Department, but not authenticated by Greek Embassy in the Philippines) and Certificate of No Impediment (issued by Philippine Embassy in Athens) be translated directly by Greek MFA?

My fiance is Greek and I was given maximum of 30-day stay here (from 24th November). Your generous opinion/advise advice is highly requested.

Regards,
Jap

Kat Reply:

The certificate of no impediment issued by any foreign embassy in Greece (American, Canadian, British, Philippine, etc.) should already be in Greek and therefore doesn’t need to be translated. Normally it’s in Greek on one side of the paper and in the country’s language on the other side of the same paper.

Birth certificates from a foreign country (aka, not Greece) need to have an apostille from the issuing country as explained in ‘How to get an apostille‘, and then the birth certificate and attached apostille are both translated by the Greek MFA. The Greek embassy is not involved.

Good luck.

  Lena wrote @ December 15th, 2014 at 03:27

Thank you for your help.
I am in Limassol Cyprus.(few months)
I was born in Kharkive Ukraine.
I want to apply for Greek citizenship
I was told to translate all my documents by:
Translation has to be official and made by:
or Interpreter Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens
or authorized civil servant staff consulates,
or Greek lawyer who must be a member of any Bar Association of Greece and subscribed as “completing a translation lawyer”
or a certified translator graduate of the Department of Foreign Languages and translation Ionian University.

What is the easiest and most economical way to do it?
please give me an email address and a name.

Many thanks
Lena

Kat Reply:

The article above, based on first-hand information and updated regularly, is the only free advice and consultation I provide. In response to your question, see the entry for ‘Recommendations’ at “Comments, Questions and Contacting Me.” All best.

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