So who understands Germany then?

I think we\’ve a couple of Germany based readers here. So, a particularly technical question.

I\’m highly likely to need a part time translator sometime soon. German to English and vice versa, in Germany, of course. Some investigation work on the phone, some simultaneous translation.

Absolutely does not have to be a trained translator. We\’re not talking about lots of nuance here. However, a bit of industry background would be extremely useful.

Now, in the area that I need this work done, that bit of investigating, that bit of attending meetings with me, there\’s a university which is packed full to the brim with students who have that bit of industry background. And of course in the modern Germany many of them have English to an entirely acceptable standard for my uses.

So the question is, what is the likely attitude of German students to the offer of a bit of part time work? Screams of horror at having academe invaded by filthy lucre? Or, yes, lovely, I\’ll do 15 hours a week at (?? 15 €? €25?) an hour, thank you very much indeed.

Anyone actually know?


10 thoughts on “So who understands Germany then?”

  1. If you need the odd piece/phone call on your behalf/email doing-probably very bloody odd-then drop me an email, gratis and I’ll normally get it back to you within 24 hours or so.

    Oh and Students are students everywhere…a reason for parental bankruptcy and always interested in easy money.

  2. “Don’t the Jerries have guilds for everything? Like, you need to ask the Translators Guild, or something?”

    Yes for EVERYTHING. No,Translator’s Guild is only of interest if it is an ‘official’ document etc.

  3. You’re looking for an interpreter, not a translator.

    Students are likely to be receptive to offers of work, and €25 an hour is likely to be tempting. For contractual negotiations rather than informal digging around, you should really retain a professional. Closer t0 €100 an hour for a good interpreter with specialist knowledge. Bear in mind my producer interest here, but I would recommend you look into hiring a proper professional. A student with a bit of English is going to fuck some shit up big time. Even a lot of people calling themselves professional translators will produce reams of total garbage. Absolutely guaranteed – that statement based on years of personal experience in the translating business.

    As for translation of written documents, it so happens I’m one of the best qualified translators in Germany (all that means is I actually have some qualifications). I have been non-practising for years thus I am not a member of BDÜ, not court-appointed, and cannot certify or notarise translations in Germany.

    I would generally not take English into German. I’d consder the odd job the other way around for equity or beer money. Some nontraceable payment anyway.

  4. “Even a lot of people calling themselves professional translators will produce reams of total garbage”

    Can’t disagree …the few times I have had recourse to a ‘qualified’ translator, I have been sorely unimpressed but the ‘name’s the game’ and sometimes in Germany you need that bit of paper to have the stamp of a certified/certifiable translator. …the fact that what they have ‘translated’ is total nonsense isn’t important…just the fact that they have hit it with a big stamp…at a euro a word or whatever they now charge.

    [btw I’m Ins. Ling qualified and I’m one of the few who is happy to work with Sütterlinschrift]

  5. @SBC,

    I’m in IoL too. If you can get a euro a word I want your client list. That woud definitely tempt me back into the freelance world!

  6. @James V

    I’m not ‘in’ LOL (better acronym for the ‘IOL’.. IMO) . I picked up one of their diplomy-thingys years ago…cos speaking German at home it seemed an easy bit of paper to get. Nor do I have a client list- I don’t work as a translator as I never liked the idea of charging for translations -language is art and art should be free (yeah I know-Welcome To Cloud Cuckoo Land) but like JWvG said “Übersetzer sind als geschäftige Kuppler anzusehen, die uns eine halbverschleierte Schöne als höchst liebenswürdig anpreisen: Sie erregen eine unwiderstehliche Neigung nach dem Original.”

  7. I can supply contact details of financial translators based in Germany and Italy? Not sure of the rates, but your suggested rate sounds ok.

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