How do I improve my chances of becoming a German translator?

by Charlotte

I have spoken german fluently for the last 20 years and I'd love now to be able to put the experience I have to good use. If you could help in any way to improve my chances of becoming a translator, I'd be extremely grateful.

Hope to hear from you soon.



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by: Joanna

Hello Charlotte

Many thanks for your question to German Translation Tips and Resources.

If you’ve spoken German fluently for over 20 years, it certainly sounds like you are at home with the language! I would thoroughly recommend anyone thinking about a career in German translation to get a qualification in the profession – it helps you both to know you can offer a good translation and to get jobs in the marketplace. I read recently that nowadays UK translation agencies only take qualified translators onto their books.

A good qualification for UK-based German translators is the Chartered Institute of Linguist’s (CIOL) Diploma in Translation (DipTrans). You’ll find more about the CIOL here. I am currently putting together a list of institutions in the UK which offer preparatory courses for the DipTrans, and here’s a list of UK universities which offer BAs and MAs in German translation and translation in general.

When starting out as a translator, getting those first jobs is the real challenge. I recommend starting to build your own profile with your own website and by offering your services via the more general job platforms on the internet – you’ll find a few here.

I do hope this has been of some help – we’d love to hear of your progress!


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