German Jobs Option 3:
Become a German translator

Want to become a German translator?

If you speak fluent German and you understand the concept of translating meanings you may consider a career as a German translator or German interpreter.

Becoming a German translator

A translator is someone who translates written material from one language into another. A wide variety of material is translated ranging from literature to marketing material, through to engineering manuals and medical/scientific research findings.

Although the translation industry is unregulated, which means there are no specific qualifications required, it is highly competitive, not least because you can work as a freelance on a flexible and remote basis.

An interpreter is different from a translator in that he or she translates orally. A ‘simultaneous’ translator, for example, will translate a speech as it is being spoken ‘live’ at an event via a microphone to attendees who do not understand the language the speech is being spoken in.

Although such interpreters tend to be very well paid, it really does require an excellent knowledge of both the source and target language. Simultaneous interpreters work under particularly stressful conditions – you only get one chance to get it right! – and you may find you spend a significant amount of time away from home.

A large number of interpreters work for the United Nations or for multinational companies.

If you are serious about becoming a translator or interpreter there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of being successful. For example, you could become certified by the American Translators Association or embark on a translation or interpretation degree offered at some universities. 

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