How Do I Become a German Interpreter?

N. Madison
N. Madison

A German interpreter works to translate oral speech from German to another language and vice versa. The exact steps you'll have to take to become a German interpreter may depend on the employer with which you seek a job, but you will have to be fluent in German and another language to qualify. Learning two languages at a young age can be helpful, and you can improve your language skills by taking opportunities to immerse yourself in your second language. Earning a college degree in your second language may also prove helpful, and courses in interpreting can be beneficial as well. Additionally, earning certification from a translation and interpretation organization might increase your chances of landing the job you want.

The German flag.
The German flag.

To become a German interpreter, you will need to be fluent not only in German, but also in another language. This is because this job calls for translating and interpreting a particular language into German and vice versa, usually without much, if any, delay. For this reason, language experts often assert that interpreters need more advanced foreign language skills than translators. Learning two languages at a very young age can often help a person prepare for this job, so having a bilingual family may help. You can develop foreign language skills through education, however.

Immersion in a second language is often beneficial when you want to become a German interpreter. This means spending time in places in which people are only speaking the second language. If German is your native language, you could choose to take an extended trip to a country in which people speak another language and learn more about how the average person speaks. This can prove important, as immersion can help you discover differences in dialect that help you prepare for work as an interpreter. Foreign exchange programs and language immersion clubs are often helpful for this purpose as well.

A college degree can also help you when you want to work as a German interpreter, though it may not prove important for all jobs. To prepare for this career, you could choose to earn at least a bachelor's degree in a foreign language. For instance, you might earn a degree in German if your native language is English, or in Spanish if your native language is German. Taking courses in various types of interpretation may prove helpful as well.

You can also seek certification when you want to become a German interpreter. Often, national and international translation and interpretation organizations offer certification programs. You may find a job or project without certification, but earning a credential might improve your chances of doing so.

N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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