Translator Exams

Information on the translator exams and translator education

With the growth of world wide networks and increasing globalisation competent mediators between languages and cultures are becoming ever important. Ever since people of different origins are in contact with another, the job of translators and interpreters are necessary in all areas of daily life. Whether we are talking about the newest foreign bestseller or the manual for a computer, a conversation between politicians from different countries, reports from international press agencies or the execution of export deals, most would remain unobtainable for people if translators or interpreters would not open it up into their language. This produces a diverse job profile, as modern society puts high expectations on professional “language mediators”.

According to an EU survey from 2009 the language industry in Europe is growing by at least 10% per year. By 2015, the language services sector – which includes translations, interpreting, software localisation and “website globalisation” is supposed to reach a market volume of 11,06 Billion Euros in Europe. More than three quarters of all industrial organisations in Germany have a need for language services.

The translator works on written translation of texts whereas the interpreters is responsible for oral transmission.

Important skills for exerting the job of a translator or interpreter are:

  • good general knowledge
  • securely mastering mother tongue and foreign language, whereby the required proficiency of the mother tongue is often underestimated but is of highest importance
  • knowledge of cultural context of other countries
  • Specialisation within a field with established knowledge (e.g. economy, technology, medicine, law, science)
  • the ability, to convey specific texts with language suitable for both situation and audience
  • knowledge and usage of all essential, professional working tools
  • the ability, to adapt to subject and terminology
  • methodological knowledge to deal with typically occurring problems when translating and interpreting

Educational possibilities for becoming a translator/interpreter

The job description “Translator” and “Interpreter” is not protected in Germany. Therefore it is of utmost importance to receive an established education and a recognised title. The education to become a translator or interpreter usually happens at private institutes, such as ELOQUIA, as well as at universities, colleges and academies (e.g. in Bavaria). Followed by a final exam which can be taken at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK)  and the exam- and university departments.

Certified translator
State certified translator