English to German Translation Services :: Annika Neudecker - Certified/Sworn Freelance Translator - MS in Journalism

Annika Neudecker - English-German Translator - English to German Translation
Offering English to German translation services in the following fields: website translation/localization; tourism,
travel & hospitality; marketing, advertising & public relations; culture, humanities & the arts; non-profit issues.

FAQ — English-German Freelance Translator

  1. What are your credentials?

  2. Did you study to become a translator?

  3. What is a certified translator?

  4. Do you offer proofreading services?

  5. Could you just translate this tiny little paragraph - for free?

  6. I need a translation for a charity project/non-profit website. Can you help?

  7. One of my employees is bilingual and says he could translate my text. Do you think I need a professional translator?

  8. How much do you charge per word/line/hour?

  9. Can I pay by credit card or bank transfer?

  10. Can you translate 5,000 words by tomorrow?

  11. Are you a translation agency?

  12. I sent you my text to translate. Why do you still have questions? It's all in the text!

  13. Do you enjoy your job?

  14. Why the name Lighthouse Translations?

1. What are your credentials?

I am a freelance translator, proofreader, writer and web designer. As a native German speaker, I hold an English-German translation degree (from a language school in Munich, Germany (Sprachen- und Dolmetscher-Institut München) as well as a master's degree in journalism from a US university (Quinnipiac University, Connecticut).

I translate from English into German.

2. Did you study to become a translator?

Indeed, I did—in various forms. I studied to become a bilingual secretary, graduated after two years (receiving the German equivalent of an Associate's degree), and realized that I didn't want to be a secretary.

Armed with that degree, I applied to a translation program in Munich, Germany, was accepted, studied there for two more years and graduated with the title of "certified translator".

I also hold a Master of Science in Journalism from an American university (Quinnipiac University, Connecticut). Because of my writing skills and my interest in creative writing, I specialize in the translation of creative texts (tourism, travel, journalism, public relations, marketing, advertising etc.).

3. What is a certified/sworn translator?

Anyone can say, "I'm a translator." However, there are degree-granting programs all over the world that actually award you a "degree in translation" and "make" you a certified translator. I graduated from such a program and was awarded the title of "state-certified translator" (i.e. certified by the state of Bavaria, Germany).

Furthermore, I am a court-sworn translator. That is to say: I had to sit in a small room with a serious-looking guy, read a serious-sounding text from a piece of paper, raise my hand and swear an oath. The result of this oath is that I am now allowed to put a stamp on your translation for official purposes (should you need a stamp, that is).

In Germany, you can only become a court-sworn translator if you become certified first (i.e. complete a degree-granting translation program).

4. Do you offer proofreading services?

Yes, I do. However, please don't send me any machine-translated texts and ask me to "proofread" them. There is nothing to proofread there. Computer-translated texts aren't "real" translations and thus need to be worked on and translated from scratch.

5. Could you just translate this tiny little paragraph for free?

No. Next question ...

Okay. That might have sounded a trifle cold. So, let me clarify this with a little more warmth in my voice: if you are a friend of mine (and I presume you know if you are), then I'd be happy to help you out and translate a small amount of copy for free.

If you aren't a friend of mine but simply someone who is looking for a cheap deal, I'm not it. I'm sure you'll appreciate that—like most people on this planet!—I have to make a living. If, on the other hand, you need a volunteer translation for a charity project, please read on.

6. I need a translation for a charity project/non-profit website. Can you help?

I can, and—if I'm not too busy—I would be happy to do so. I offer reduced rates for charity-related translations, and might even offer a free translation if I'm personally interested in supporting your work.

7. One of my employees is bilingual and says he could translate my text. Do you think I need a professional translator?

Yes, I think you do. If quality is important to you ...

That's a bit like saying, "My Aunt Guinevere dabbles in the healing arts. Do you think I need a professional physician?" Granted, a translation isn't as important as your health, but it still needs to be dealt with by a professional.

Being "bilingual" isn't a profession and doesn't necessarily mean that the person knows how to translate. Please consider this: bilingualism is just one of the prerequisites for applying to most degree-granting translation programs. If you only needed to be bilingual in order to be able to translate, language schools wouldn't make bilingualism one of several application requirements.

Having already been awarded the title of "bilingual secretary", I was technically "bilingual" when I started my translation studies. However, I had no idea how to translate well.

Translating is a skill—and it’s hard work. What's more, a translator needs extremely good writing skills to compose a good translation. We don't just replace words; we create a completely new piece of work.

You might want to check out a few translation agencies online and read their career opportunities sections. You will find that most agencies only hire "qualified" freelance translators (i.e. translators with a degree in translation) as well as translators with translation experience.

Another example: in Germany (and in other countries as well), only a certified translator is eligible to become a court-sworn translator. And only a court-sworn translator can put a stamp on your translation for official purposes.

A bad translation can have long-lasting, negative effects on your business. Translating is a profession that requires training. If you don't believe me, try your "bilingual employee", and let me know how things go :-).

8. How much do you charge per word/line/hour?

My rates vary depending on your source text (your original), i.e. its length, degree of difficulty, topic, format (Word, Excel, HTML etc.). Your deadline also plays a role in my pricing scheme.

Translation rates: I charge per word, using the number of words in your source text as a basis. A flat-rate fee may be negotiated under certain circumstances.

Proofreading rates: I charge per hour. Again, the price depends on all of the above-mentioned factors. Please e-mail me for a free quotation, providing as much information as possible about your source text.

9. Can I pay by credit card or bank transfer?

You can pay by PayPal (using your credit card), by cheque (within the EU) or via bank transfer. If you are based in Germany or the EU, I prefer payment via bank transfer. If you live outside the EU, a payment via PayPal might be best. Any foreign bank transfer fees will have to be paid by you.

10. Can you translate 5,000 words by tomorrow?

No. I usually translate 1,500 to 2,000 words a day. This is a rough estimate, though. I might not be able to translate anything for you by tomorrow if I have other jobs lined up. Also, my output varies, depending on the degree of difficulty of your source text.

11. Are you a translation agency?

No. I am a freelance translator, and Lighthouse Translations is my freelance translation service.

12. I sent you my text to translate. Why do you still have questions? It's all in the text!

Well, no, it's not all in the text. Sometimes a source text can be quite ambiguous. I don't like guessing, and I do want to make absolutely sure that you get the best possible translation. Please work with me, and the results will be satisfying for both parties!

13. Do you enjoy your job?

Very much. Every project I take on becomes, in a way, "mine". I care deeply about my work, and you will never get anything less than a first-rate translation from me.

14. Why the name Lighthouse Translations?

I love lighthouses. A lighthouse always signals a safe harbor in the midst of a storm. There are so many undependable translators and translation agencies out there—in the rough seas of the Internet. I'd like to be a "safe harbor" for those who are in search of a reliable English-German translation solution.

 

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