Unfortunately, no. We don’t sit in an office all day. We are frequently out and about interpreting. Translators often work from home offices or remotely. Some translators also prefer to translate a document, sleep on it and then proofread it the next day – it’s easier to catch errors that way, and accuracy is paramount, especially for certified translations. Also, we have a whole bunch of deadlines, so we’ll be fitting in your project among them. But you can be sure that we stick to deadlines, and we’re pretty good at handling last-minute requests.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between an interpreter and a translator?
Translation is written and interpreting is oral. A translator translates your CV whereas an interpreter goes with you to a meeting and makes sure both parties understand the conversation. Having said that, the word “translator” is more commonly used for both types of work.
You might notice I encourage you to “take a translator” to your appointments. Yes, I am deliberately using the wrong word because it’s what most people understand and can relate to. But don’t worry, I will definitely send an interpreter on the day!
In which cities does Red Tape Translation operate?
I am based in Berlin. I work with interpreters in Munich and Frankfurt and can sometimes find people in other parts of Germany too. You can get a coaching, use Telephone Time or order written translations from anywhere in the world.
What is a certified translation?
A certified translation is completed by a qualified translator who has passed a state examination and been sworn in by a court as a certified translator. It also gets called an “official translation” or a “sworn translation”. The translator follows specific national standards and includes a declaration at the end. They then attach the translation to a copy of your original document and stamp over the top so that the copy of your original document and the certified translation can’t be separated.
Red Tape Translation can organise certified translations for you, from English, Spanish, French, Chinese and Dutch into German and from German, Dutch and French into English. They can be posted to you or you can pick them up in person in Berlin at a mutually convenient time.
Which languages do you offer?
I can organise regular translations from German to English, English to German, French to German and English to French.
I can organise certified translations from:
- German to English
- English to German
- French to German
- Spanish to German
- Italian to German
- Chinese to German
- Dutch to German
- Dutch to English
Other language pairs might be possible – call and ask.
What topics can be covered in a coaching?
It’s flexible, but here are some topics in which I have loads of experience and expertise:
- Settle in Germany: a step-by-step guide of what to do when
- What type of residence permit can I get to stay in Berlin?
- Preparing for your visa appointment in Berlin (any type of permit)
- Setting yourself up as a freelancer in Germany
- Filling out the form to get a freelance tax number (this one usually takes around an hour)
- How to get married in Berlin
- Applying for the Gründungszuschuss (a government grant to get out of unemployment by starting your own business)
- Filling out paperwork (Künstlersozialkasse, ALG I, ALG II or Hartz IV, health insurance, pension system, Elterngeld, Kindergeld, etc)
Can you coach on other topics too?
Coaching is very flexible. If you have specific questions, I am happy to answer them and you can use your time however you wish! If I don’t know the answer, I will be able to find someone who does. But I’ll never say yes to a coaching if I don’t feel confident in my knowledge on the topic. I can’t help with complex tax questions or legal issues and will most likely send you straight to an expert instead.
Can you make phone calls on my behalf?
I am happy to make calls on your behalf if it’s appropriate. Some matters can only be handled with a conference call, though. For example, it won’t be possible to call your bank or speak to the Agentur für Arbeit without you being on the line. In these cases you need to identify yourself and give permission to have me talk about your case.
How much advance notice do you need to book an interpreter?
You can only book and pay online for appointments that are at least 2 working days in the future. I am pretty good at accommodating last-minute requests, though, so it is worth sending an enquiry for urgent appointments to see if a translator is free. If someone is free, I’ll send you a quote and instructions for instant payment. If not, I’ll respond to let you know.
Are your certified/official translations accepted all over Germany?
Are your certified/official translations valid in other countries as well?
The office/institution who told you to get translations probably has requirements that they need met. Our certified translations will most likely meet them, but it is best to contact the office/institution directly and ask them exactly what they need.
I’ve bought an hour but I don’t need all of it. What happens to my leftover time?
You’ve got a year to use up your Life Admin credit, so if we speak for 15 minutes, you’ll have 45 minutes remaining and twelve months to use it. Just keep in mind that if you need to schedule a time to discuss anything with us or be on the line for a three-way call, you’ll use a minimum of 15 minutes per session.