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Who may call themselves a translator?

Anyone can call themselves a “translator” if they think they are able to transfer a text from one language to another – regardless of their training, abilities or other qualifications. So how can you tell whether a translator knows what he or she is doing?

In many countries it is possible to take a university degree in translating. In Germany someone with such a degree is called an Übersetzer MA or Diplom-Übersetzer (equivalent to an MA in Translation). It is also possible to pass a state examination and obtain the German title of staatlich geprüfter Übersetzer or staatlich anerkannter Übersetzer (accredited translator) without going to college.

To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is a good idea to check a translator’s experience and qualifications in detail.