• Germany edition
 
Hundreds of great job opportunities for foreign professionals at Germany's top employers - in cooperation with Monster, Experteer, Stepstone, and CareerBuilder.
What
Where
3,720
jobs available
Find English-speaking professionals with The Local.
Advertise a vacancy
My German Career
'Everyone thinks they can be a translator'
Photo: Clare Howes is in the middle

'Everyone thinks they can be a translator'

Published: 06 Feb 2013 07:09 CET

With a French upbringing, English parents, and a German degree under her belt, 24-year-old Clare Howes had a good head start in the language department. In 2010 she formalized her skills with a two-year masters in translation studies in Paris, and is now working in a translation agency in Siegburg near the Rhineland city of Cologne.

What exactly does your job involve?

I translate a very wide variety of texts, from legal documents to press releases and marketing material. There's also an element of project management, because we outsource translations for other languages. Mostly, however, I'm translating. That's one of the advantages of being an English-speaking translator in Germany - there's a real demand for your services, so I get to do a lot more actual translating than my German colleagues.

Are you the only non-German in the office, then?

Yes. There are just four of us, including the boss and myself.

A select group. How did you get the position?

I did a three-month placement as part of my masters, and interned in the firm I'm with now. That was in the summer of 2011. I graduated in June 2012 and started working for them in July. The boss actually offered me a job to begin straight away, but I wanted to finish my degree first. It was really nice knowing that I had it all lined up for when I finished, though.

It sounds like you had a fairly smooth ride. Do you think translation is easy to get into in Germany?

In Germany qualified English translators are quite sought after. But you definitely need to do a masters - every English-speaker coming to live in Germany thinks they can become a translator just like that. Lots of people believe they can translate, but firms are always going to pick those with proper qualifications.

Click here for The Local's job listings

How have you found the work itself?

I've enjoyed it. I am getting to do a lot of actual translating. Friends who are independent translators have to spend a lot of time finding clients, which is quite hard when you start off, but for me the clients are all just there. The work itself is often quite fun. Advertising in particular can get your creative side going: you can be imaginative with the translations.

Compared to my peer group working in France, where I graduated, I am also much better paid, which is a definite advantage to working in Germany.

And the atmosphere? Did you find any truth in the stereotype of the rigidly disciplined German office?

Yes and no. I have a very structured day, which is actually the big advantage of my job. I work every day from 9am till 5.30pm, with a half hour break for lunch. After that I am completely free. I am back in Bonn, where I live, by six, and can then enjoy the whole evening. But it's a small office and things can also be more flexible. If I want to arrive an hour later because I was in Paris for the weekend, for example, it's not impossible.

Is it noses to the grindstone during the day, or are there also lighter moments?

My boss is quite strict, but I get on very well with two of my other colleagues, who are around my age. This photograph was taken this Christmas. I am the one in the middle. I think it well represents the fun side of our office community, and how integrating Germans can be to foreigners.

Want your German career featured on The Local? Contact us at: news@thelocal.de.

Interview conducted by Pippa Wentzel

The Local (news@thelocal.de)


Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article:

The comments below have not been moderated in advance and are not produced by The Local unless clearly stated. Readers are responsible for the content of their own comments. Comments that breach our terms and conditions will be removed.

ADD YOUR COMMENT   (YOU MUST LOG IN OR REGISTER TO MAKE A COMMENT)
Your German Career
Germany's Federal Employment Agency has identified the job sectors the country is most short of workers for. JobTalk looks at where the vacancies lie.
Students at German universities have shown themselves to be a risk-free lot in a survey by Ernst & Young. The civil service is their most popular choice of future profession, while job security is valued above all else.
Jenny Core, originally from Bolton, England, shares her tips in this week’s My German Career on being an artist in Berlin. The 27-year-old exhibits her work regularly in the city, including next to a Turner Prize shortlister.
In this week's JobTalk, Tanya Schober, who is originally from India, talks us through her journey to German citizenship.
In this week's My German Career, Anupama Gopalakrishna, who is originally from Bangalore in India, tells The Local about her new life in Frankfurt.
In this week's My German Career, US pastor Jeff Ingram, 54, talks about life in the church and the advantages as well as the downside of Germany's desire for order.
German Employment News
Germany’s Labour Minister Andrea Nahles has given her backing to an anti-stress law, announcing a study into workers' mental health on Tuesday.
Germans could foot the bill for unemployment benefits in other European countries under an EU plan to tax the union's richest states.
What do Germans do in their spare time? More and more of them are working a second job, according to one study. Is work no longer paying enough and can your boss stop you taking a second job?
More young people are choosing university degrees over vocational training, leaving firms scrambling to find qualified new hires.
Despite the ease of work visa regulations for non-EU citizens with certain job qualifications, few potential immigrants are taking advantage.
Stress at work is resulting in more German employees than ever before stopping work before they reach retirement age, a new study shows. So what are the main triggers to watch out for?

IT Officer (Hardware/Networking)
VFS TasHeel, leaders in Visa Processing and Delivery, is looking for an IT Officer (Frankfurt Office) who will be primary responsible for User Level Support of all VFST/VASCO systems
FULL JOB AD »

Assistant for distribution process management
You will be working in conjunction with our wholesale retailer partners and will be responsible for managing and distribution process of various consumer products. As an effective assistant for distribution process management you will organize product delivery to domestic and international customers, ensure that our clients will receive excellent service experience that we are known for.
FULL JOB AD »

NonStop Recruitment Ltd
hesse
Careerbuilder
Added 08/29/14

Altigi GmbH Goodgame Studios
hamburg
Careerbuilder
Added 08/29/14

Altigi GmbH Goodgame Studios
hamburg
Careerbuilder
Added 08/29/14

Altigi GmbH Goodgame Studios
hamburg
Careerbuilder
Added 08/29/14

Altigi GmbH Goodgame Studios
hamburg
Careerbuilder
Added 08/29/14

Altigi GmbH Goodgame Studios
hamburg
Careerbuilder
Added 08/29/14

Altigi GmbH Goodgame Studios
hamburg
Careerbuilder
Added 08/29/14

Schuberth Group
sachsona
Careerbuilder
Added 08/29/14

Altigi GmbH Goodgame Studios
hamburg
Careerbuilder
Added 08/29/14

Da Vinci Engineering
bawu
Careerbuilder
Added 08/29/14