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Police interpreting

Friday, 14 July 2017
Do you need to testify at the police? Or perhaps you require assistance when talking to a German lawyer? The authorities are obliged to provide for an interpreter at no cost to you!

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When does a translated contract become legally valid?

Wednesday, 12 April 2017
A contract is concluded in accordance with German law and translated into English. What is the legal status of the English translation? Is the German version always prevailing and the English text is for information only when it comes to interpretation and legal assessment of the contract?

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Legalisation, apostille, certification - what is this all about?

Tuesday, 27 September 2016
The legalisation is a certification of authenticity of a foreign official document by a consular officer of the country in which the document is to be used. The apostille certifies (just like legalisation) the authenticity of an official document. However, an apostille is issued by the country in which the document itself was issued. This means that no official of a foreign country needs to be involved in the process.

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Reimbursement of translation costs

Saturday, 06 May 2016
Although translations are often indispensable, they are also expensive. As a customer, it is natural that you want to make sure your translation is accurate and meeting the highest standards. It is a great pity when the price is the only criterion for choosing a translator and you eventually have to pay more when problems with the alleged cheaper solution arise.

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Are certified translations from Germany recognised abroad?

Saturday, 24 October 2015
For years I have been translating a variety of documents into English or Polish and certifying them in accordance with my official status as a sworn-in translator at the Frankfurt am Main District Court. I do not know of any case in which a certified translation issued by me would not be honoured outside Germany.

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When should I hire a freelance translator?

Friday, 11 September 2015
Translation agencies, with in-house project managers and translators are, for the most part, only appropriate for large multinational companies requiring their technical documentation or websites to be translated into various languages. The situation is different if you e.g. have a small or medium-sized company or work as a freelancer and need a translation into one single foreign language.

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Is Google Translate a good alternative?

Wednesday, 15 July 2015
The notion that translators are an endangered species has already been circulating for some time. Machine translation (MT) offered by companies such as Google or Bing is, after all, free of charge and available any time. Granted: MT is improving year on year. It is fairly adequate for private purposes, for example when you are abroad and need quick help with directions or a hotel booking. Even if you cannot rely fully on the offered translations, communication is simplified.

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Data protection policy

Friday, 20 March 2015
As a sworn-in translator and interpreter I am often privy to sensitive information. Since I am obliged by law to treat all information confidentially, I do not disclose any written or spoken contents I gain knowledge of. Punishments extending from the German Confidentiality Act, by which I am bound, are far reaching. These include criminal acts such as the destruction of materials under official safekeeping, breach of confidentiality of written and spoken contents, breach of private secrets, and exploitation of somebody else's secrets or violation of tax secrets. I take the commitment to data confidentiality very seriously, be ensuring all possible precautions are heeded.

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Qualified translators and interpreters for other languages

Friday, 16 January 2015
As a freelance translator and interpreter, I am responsible for and carry out all orders and only in my three working languages, i.e. English, German and Polish. Should you be looking for a linguist for any other language, I recommend the searching tool of the Federal Association of Translators and Interpreters BDÜ. You are safe when using the BDÜ services as only translators and interpreters with a university degree, completed state examinations and long professional experience are admitted to this association.

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Licensed, sworn-in, state-recognised? - a short guide to the German legal translation system

Monday, 15 December 2014
When searching for a translation service provider, you will encounter different professional titles. First, you should bear in mind the distinction between a translator and an interpreter (in German "Übersetzer" and "Dolmetscher" respectively). While translators only deal with written texts, interpreters render spoken contents into another language. The fact that neither the translator's nor the interpreter's profession is legally protected poses quite a problem. Consequently, in practice anyone can register and offer translations services, even if they speak no foreign languages.

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What does a translation cost?

Wednesday, 02 July 2014
Unlike some other regulated freelance professions in Germany, translators and interpreters are not bound by any particular official fee schedule. A fixed scale of charges would be counter-productive as translation projects can vary greatly in terms of topic, scope and language combination. The only exception is the Law on the Remuneration of Interpreters and Translators (JVEG) that provides clarity and equal treatment in the legal field.

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Please translate it into English! - but which one?

Wednesday, 02 July 2014
As the world's foremost language English has some special characteristics. It is spoken as a first, second and foreign language in entirely different countries and contains therefore an enormous vocabulary. English spoken in Wales is distinct to the English spoken in California or Kenya. The differences are not only found in pronunciation but also in the way words are written. Phrases from all walks of life, be it everyday items ("restroom" vs. "cloakroom") or official titles ("minister" vs. "secretary") can vary greatly causing the danger of inaccurate translations.

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Standard lines, prices per word, matches - calculation of translation prices

Monday, 03 February 2014
In Germany it is customary to calculate prices for translation work with the help of standardised lines of text, so-called ‘Normzeilen’ consisting of 55 characters each including blanks. The number of characters in a source text (original text) or in a target text (translation) can be used as the basis for price calculation. In case of non-electronic texts usually the target text is used for convenience.

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Certified translations of education certificates from abroad: more than just a “stamp”

Monday, 28 October 2013
Professional qualifications acquired abroad are assessed by means of particular procedure, before they can be deemed equivalent to professions protected by German law. As well as an an officially certified copy of the original education certificate, a transcript detailing courses attended and grades received, a table-format CV and additional documents, candidates must submit translations of their educational certificates into German. In each case, translations must be certified by a sworn-in translator chartered to work for German courts and notaries.

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«We work only with native speakers»

Sunday, 08 September 2013
Translation companies with highest standards of professionalism, the industry's 'big players', often on their websites refer to ISO certifications or their own quality management procedures which in most cases include the 'two-man rule'. The phrase «we only work with native speakers» is rarely found on these renowned agencies' websites.

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Recently at a registry office: Have you ever been in a civil partnership with another woman?

Thursday, 16 May 2013
“Not words but contents are translated” – so I was told a few years ago. This remark is correct at its core, however incomplete. During the translation or interpreting process, the content of what is said is not just explained in another language. Instead, certain cultural practices which we take for granted (and themselves pose linguistic problems) are also conveyed.

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Interpreting at Sports Tribunal

Thursday, 16 May 2013
Health & safety training, business negotiations or a large Opel conference: as an interpreter you have to deal with all types of clients and industries. Throughout the years, I have specialised in the legal field.

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Appointment at a solicitor’s office: why you can't get by without an interpreter

Thursday, 16 May 2013
Not using a publicly appointed and sworn-in interpreter may prove to be advantageous seemingly because the legal (and financial) consequences of an improperly translated and thus misunderstood contract can ultimately cost you dearly.

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