Looking for a highly recommended German to English translator?
Or maybe you’re looking for some secrets on the world of professional translation and the scams to look out for when hiring a German translator?
Whatever your reason you’ve come to the right place. Let’s jump straight in!
My gosh, I could tell you a thing or two about the lovely world of professional translation!
By the way, in my efforts to best help you speak German easily and effortlessly, I've teamed up with the Rocket German Learning System.
You can click here to learn more about their program and how they can be of service to you.
It's an interesting system for learning German in that the focus is to help you engage in meaningful conversation within a short period of time.
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this website, before I went on maternity leave I’d been working for a major German company for seven years where we’d use translators on a daily basis. Over the course of these years many hundreds and thousands of Euros were spent on English to German translators and German to English translators. Many, however, either weren’t up to the job or weren’t native speakers, despite being assured otherwise.
You see, in the professional world of translation, it is generally agreed that the best translations are produced by those translating from their second language into their native language.
So, for example, a native English speaker would be preferably asked to translate German to English, rather than translate English to German. This is purely because the native language is the language in which the translation should be written and this is the language in which they are most proficient. You will see yourself if you attempt an English to German translation it is much more difficult than a German to English translation.
But back to my experience: I think the translators were secretly ‘put out’ that a native English speaker now worked in an otherwise ‘German’ department and could now check through all the documents to make sure they were being translated properly into English. If I am honest, I was often disappointed at the quality of translation and at how expensive some of them were.
What annoyed me the most, however, was when a translator would simply copy and paste a similar passage of information from a document they’d previously translated into a new document and pretend that it had been freshly translated and, of course they’d charge the company the standard rate.
The problem is the translation industry is unregulated which means virtually anyone can claim to be translator, and, therefore, the skills of translators can vary tremendously. There are certain qualifications and accreditations which a translator can acquire, but even then there are no guarantees. For example, there are plenty of excellent English to German translators and German to English translators who haven’t these qualifications and other translators who have far less skill, but do have qualifications.
When assessing the quality of an English to German translator (or German to English translator) you should always ask whether or not he or she has:
• A very good knowledge and understanding of the source language (i.e. the language from which the text is being translated)
• An exceptional command of the target language (i.e. the language which the text is being translated into). The translator should ideally be a native speaker of the target language.
• An understanding of and experience of the subject matter of the translation (i.e. a legal text should be translated by somebody with legal experience and understanding.)
• An understanding of the importance of translating equivalents (i.e. he/she should know when to translate literally and when to paraphrase.)
• Excellent testimonials from previously satisfied clients
In an ideal world a German translator should be recommended to you. As you would have seen throughout my website I never recommend anybody unless I’ve used them myself and have been 100 % satisfied with the results.
I can honestly say the best German translation company I have ever used is ‘Knight Translations’ run by a lovely lady who I’ve known on a professional level for a number of years called Catherine Winzer.
She is a native English speaker who studied German at Oxford University in the UK. She’s been working as a professional German translator for almost 10 years for numerous high profile German clients and her prices are very competitive. And, unlike virtually all other translation companies, she never outsources to anybody else so you know that she personally will translate all your documents.
Anyway, I truly believe a good German translation service is like gold dust… so please keep her our little secret :)
If you are interested in Catherine translating a document for you, just fill out this quick (non-binding / non-contractual) interest form and she will aim to respond to you within 24 hours with a quote or to ask for further information.
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