From the moment he graced the Red Tape office with his booming, resonant baritone and unconventional passion for recycling, Thomas brought a particular flair to business operations. He kicked a bunch of processes into shape and was known and loved by clients for his signature phrase, “we will gladly handle that for you”. Here are some things clients say when they rave about Thomas:… Read More
Time flies! 6 months have gone by since Fiona Gillespie started her internship at Red Tape Translation. We asked her to contemplate her time at work, her blossoming relationship with Berlin and of course, her future.
What was the highlight of the internship?
There have been so many highlights in my 6 months with Red Tape Translation. I think the main highlight for me has been the variety of it all. I’ve worked on translations from purchase contracts to cannabis permits, booked swimming lessons and law consultations as well as observed declarations of paternity and many appointments with notaries on the Ku’damm. Oh, and also a trip to prison! I never could have imagined how varied each day would be. The 6 months have flown by and I feel like I will leave with a wealth of experience and good tips.
Which situation really challenged you?
At least to begin with, I think German phone calls were the most challenging. There’s something quite daunting about speaking on the phone in a foreign language and not having the luxury of being able to lip read – I didn’t realise how much we read people’s lips and facial expressions when we communicate. With that being said, no phone call was a failure! I set myself up beforehand with all the vocab that could crop up and made sure I didn’t leave a phone call until I had the answers I needed. It’s important to remember a phone call is just two people on the phone and the person on the other end will more than likely be encouraging and helpful. Mission accomplished!
Which achievement are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the volume of documents I’ve translated (with amazing feedback and support from Kathleen). During my studies at university we normally just translate small newspaper articles or website extracts. This meant that coming from university into something professional was quite the leap! I really feel as though I have learned so much about translation and the feedback is something I will carry through the rest of my studies.
What advice would you give to an intern getting started in the translation and interpreting world?
A few tips:
- Stay organised – sometimes there can be a few different projects overlapping. I am a big fan of checklists and to-do lists to keep me on track.
- Always make some time to go over the feedback given on your documents. Even if it took me a week or so before I got a few minutes to go back over a document, it is really important to try to take in as much of the feedback as you can. Try to apply the feedback to your next documents – I am always working on this!
- Have fun! Enjoy the variety of it all and make the most of observing appointments. Ask the interpreters questions about the appointment and also their interpreting style. Everyone has slightly different ways of doing things and there are always things to be taken away from these appointments. It has been a real joy to be a fly on the wall with so many interpreters.
What’s next for you?
After I finish up with Red Tape Translation in mid-July, I then have five weeks to enjoy the summer in Berlin! I know it will be amazing and I have an endless to-do list of places I want to visit in the city. There are a few trips planned to other cities in Europe and then, before I know it, I will be on a plane back to Glasgow to enter my Junior Honours year of MA German and Spanish at the University of Glasgow. I know I will miss Berlin when I get home, so I need to make the most of my time here. In 2020, I look forward to spending a semester abroad in a Spanish-speaking country to try to brush up on the Spanish I have somewhat neglected.
Overall my experience in Berlin has been incredible and I have Kathleen and the amazing team at Red Tape Translation to thank for that. This city has given me so many strokes of luck and it will always have a piece of my heart! Bis zum nächsten Mal, Berlin!
Here’s a collection of all the observations, tips, tricks, anecdotes and commentary written by myself and my British peers, all of whom are entangled in Brexit one way or another.
At the turn of 2019 we gave you Six Tips for Skittish Brits in the wake of the forthcoming Brexit deadline.
Interpreter and singer Suzy Fischer played her cards right for early German citizenship.
Eight months after submitting her citizenship application, Katie Kruse received a curious letter.
Spurred on by her generosity of spirit and emboldened by her dual citizenship, Katie regaled us on how to pass the citizenship test with flying colours.
Back in 2014, I visited a handful Kitas while 5 months pregnant. I signed up at a few. I emailed my desired Kita every 8 weeks for a year after the initial meeting. I applied for a childcare voucher (Kitagutschein) 9 months early, the earliest possible date you can apply. When it arrived, we emailed it directly to our Kita of choice. It was a full-time voucher (7-9 hours). It seemed we ticked the right boxes, for a day after doing this, my daughter got an offer for a full-time spot. In the weeks that followed, we were offered a place in three other Kitas for the upcoming summer. I patted myself on the back for my superior organisational skills and that was that. But that was then and this is now.
November 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berliner Mauer, the wall that divided Germany’s capital city for around 28 years. Berlin will host a whole series of events throughout 2019, in particular throughout November, to take a look back at the events that unfolded. If you plan to be around in the fall of 2019, it’s going to be a pretty special time to be in Berlin. … Read More
A minimum wage (Mindestlohn) has already existed in many European countries for quite a while. Despite this, its introduction in Germany only happened very recently. In 2015, negotiations between the CDU, CSU and SPD saw a minimum wage of €8.50 introduced to Germany in accordance with the Act Regulating a General Minimum Wage. Over the following years, it increased gradually. Right now, it is 9.19 EUR per hour. As of 1 January 2020, it will increase to €9.35 per hour. Some industries have been given a transition period before becoming compliant.
In April 2012, I became a bride. My honeymoon trip to my native Australia was going to be particularly special – not just because I got to spend two weeks of wedded bliss with my dashing new groom, but also because we were going to be two of the first customers to set foot in Berlin Brandenburg airport. We were scheduled to depart from Tegel and return to BER 20 days later. Well, kids, I’ve now been married for seven years, I have two children, though I am yet to set foot in Berlin Brandenburg airport. Here’s what happened.
By guest author Katie Kruse
Citizenship application sent off? Then it’s time to hit the books!
Brexit is still looming; come Hallowe’en, the ghosts and ghouls won’t be the only thing making you quiver with fright. Lucky for you Brits, 31st October is still a way off, which means you can still get your citizenship application in before Britain departs from the EU for good.
by guest author Katie Kruse
On a sunny morning in May, a day so wholly unexceptional that I expected nothing more than the customary rising and setting of the sun with the filler that is life in between, a letter dropped into my mailbox. It was no bigger or smaller than your average letter, the little window was neither shiny, nor dull, nor did it instill any particular hope that this letter should be different to any other letter I have received since living in Germany. I did not know at this point just how special this letter was.
You have spoken and we have listened. We’re happy to announce we’ve now made it even easier to pay for translation, interpreting, admin and coaching services with Red Tape Translation. Now along with the usual suspects: Paypal, TransferWise and a regular bank transfer, as of April 4th you can now pay with your credit card at no extra cost.
We understand that many of you wishing to take advantage of Red Tape Translation’s services have bank accounts overseas and there are usually teething problems with access to accounts when you move to a new country. With that in mind, we’ve taken this step toward making access to our array of expat expertise simpler and, hopefully, making your transition a little smoother.
Happy shopping and happy Friday!
Katie from Red Tape Translation
This post is written by guest blogger and interpreter Suzanne Fischer.
Fellow Brits, this post is written with you in mind. Have you lived in Germany for 6+ years? Do you speak terrific German? You have the chance to gain German citizenship earlier than the usual 8-year period of unbroken residency. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to retain your status as a European with dual nationality. No promises, of course – it’s all dependent on providing a stack of extra documentation.
The idea of taking on an intern had never even crossed my mind. But Fiona had just the right combination of initiative, drive, skills and impeccable timing to motivate me to find a way to make it work. Mentoring is very rewarding, and having her around inspires me to create all sorts of interesting projects for her: translation, interpreting, shadowing, marketing, translation project management, research, networking and everything in between. So far she’s handled everything from real estate law and finance to custody matters and cupcake toppers and managed to stayed as cool as a cucumber. A short interview with Fiona Gillespie at Red Tape Translation.