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Become an online translator and interpreter – conveniently from home

by Nathan Zachary

As a professional simultaneous translation service provider, the next generation of translators and interpreters is particularly important to us. From time to time we provide information here on the blog about career paths. And something is happening there: the pandemic has changed teaching and learning a lot. The New Normal living and working world, the development of which is being accelerated enormously by the pandemic, also offers new opportunities for the training of translators and interpreters, for example from the comfort of the sofa or desk in the home office.

New normal

The pandemic is transforming our world: it has the effect of slowing down and accelerating at the same time. After 21 months with the virus, the New Normal, which can be translated into German as “Neuse Normal”, is finding its way into all areas of life – including professional training for translators and best certified interpreters.

While learning a profession before the pandemic was something where the presence of vocational trainers and trainees, teachers and students was normal, this is different now. In the New Normal, vocational school and studies no longer only take place face-to-face, but also partly or entirely online. The part-part option, which is also described with the hybrid attribute, attempts to reconcile the advantages of full presence with the advantages of full distance learning.

If you want to become a translator and interpreter in the New Normal, you can now complete the training from home thanks to offers on the web. One provider writes that the online vocational training takes place in five foreign languages:

  • Arabic
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish

you can get also polish translation services from LST agency.

Who can complete online training to become a translator and interpreter?

According to the provider, the training courses are aimed at people from Germany and abroad who want to learn quickly and flexibly in addition to their job and who want to use their very good foreign language skills professionally. The online lessons are therefore interactive and take place live in a virtual classroom for all five foreign languages ​​mentioned – according to the timetable three times a week in the evening and also on Saturday mornings. On one day every six months, face-to-face seminars are held, in which one primarily practices impromptu translation in order to prepare for the oral exam.

The future translators and interpreters should already have very good language skills for the online training to become a state-certified translator – both in German and in the foreign language in which they want to specialize. At least at level C1.

Excursus: What does language level C1 mean

The Council of Europe’s “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages” (short: European Framework of Reference, even shorter: GER ( S )) describes in great detail different levels that indicate how well one speaks a language in different areas (speaking, reading, hearing) mastered.

  • In addition, the Eur Difficulty level A (A1 and A2) therefore stands for “elementary language use”
  • Difficulty level B (B1 and B2) therefore stands for “independent use of the language”
  • Difficulty level C (C1 and C2) stands for “competent use of the language”, with C1 referring to an “advanced level of competence” and C2 to “almost native language proficiency”.

Open reference framework divides all important European language tests into six different levels of difficulty:

This categorization can be compared with the language levels that used to be common in Germany and are still common today

  • Elementary (A)
  • Intermediate (B)
  • and high school (C).

For C1 , the CEFR(S) stipulates that at this language level one can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts and also grasp implicit meanings. In addition, one can express oneself spontaneously and fluently without often having to clearly search for words. The language can also be used effectively and flexibly in social and professional life or in training and studies. And one can express oneself in a clear, structured and detailed manner on complex issues, using various means of linking texts appropriately.

How does the online training to become a translator work?

In the online professional translator training mentioned above, participants would log in from home to follow the live on-screen lessons. They would learn together with other participants in a study group. In addition, the trainees would be guided by native-speaker teachers who moderated the lessons in the respective foreign language, explains one of the providers.

During the courses there are regular performance checks and homework. The webinar then serves, for example, to compare translations that have been done independently at home and then to agree on the best linguistic solution with the group.

What degree do graduates of the online translator training course get?

According to one provider, the graduates of the online training would be trained to become specialist translators for business and law. Those who pass the state examination can also be authorized by the courts.

After successful completion, the training center awards a certificate. The state examination, which enables membership in the Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (BDÜ), can then be taken, for example at the Hessian Teachers’ Academy in Darmstadt.

What else should you bring with you for online training as a translator and interpreter?

Learning in the New Normal requires a high level of self-organization, self-motivation, and self-discipline. In addition, communication skills via video call and email and social media are required. Because the majority of the interactive exchange with fellow learners and teachers takes place online.

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