Working with German Translation
Careers for German Language Translators
In today’s difficult job market, it is important to have skills that employers find attractive and useful in order to remain competitive. Globalization and the prevalence of telecommunications have created a global village, where contact between individual entrepreneurs, small businesses, and large corporations based in different countries has become a daily occurrence. Companies that conduct their business entirely in German, as well as businesses in other nations seeking to reach German speaking clients, are in need of German language translators to keep their businesses operational. Therefore, a person with an in depth understanding of the German language could be very useful as a translator to any of these companies.
Many German language translators are native German speakers who have studied or have an intimate knowledge of another language. There are also those who are native speakers of another language who studied to become proficient with German. If you fit into one of these categories, a career among the ranks of German language translators might be for you. When considering the pursuit of such a career, it can be helpful to ask yourself the following questions:
Do I have the necessary grasp of the language? German language translators must be familiar with the different German dialects, including High German, Low German, and Standardized German, and be able to determine which is appropriate for the task at hand. In addition, they must be familiar with the regional variations in their second (or third, or fourth, etc) language, and know how to adapt their translations accordingly to fit these.
Do you possess the necessary writing skills? Can you express your thoughts effectively in both languages? German language translators must be especially skilled written communicators, and should have a concrete understanding of the written standards of German as well as their other languages.
Do I have any specialty skills I can bring to the div? German language translation does not happen in a vacuum. Many German language translators specialize in a specific area, such as law, finance, or technology. For example, a German language translator with experience as a software developer might then apply those skills to his or her translation, and offer to translate computer programs into German. German language translators with skills related to advertising might translate ad campaign materials for companies seeking to reach customers in German speaking markets, and so on. What other skills do you have, and how might these help you to find a specialty niche within the German translation community?
Do you have the necessary education and training to be competitive in today’s job market? Many students of German language have considered becoming German language translators, and wonder what type of education and training companies will look for. Nowadays, it pays to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in German, preferably a Master’s degree. Obtaining an advanced degree will help you to attract potential employers once you graduate.
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