by Nick
(Manchester, UK)

Hi Joanna,

I’ve been been learning German as a hobby since I was 18 (I’m now 54). As a chemistry student in my early 20s, I spent a year as a Praktikant in Germany and since them I’ve completed countless German evening classes and distance learning courses. I passed the Goethe Institute’s ZMP exam (C2 level) in 2011 and the first year of a part-time distance-learning MA in translation in 2019. I read novels in German, watch German TV programmes on the Internet and have weekly online 1-to-1 German lessons to practise my conversation skills.

I always liked the idea of becoming a German-English translator towards the end of my working life, as the potential flexibility and ability to work from home is appealing. I’m now wondering whether I should think about dropping the number of hours I work in my current profession to hone my translation skills and work towards the Institute of Linguists Diploma in Translation (I’ve already decided it would be difficult to justify the expense of completing the final two years of the MA).

But I live in the UK and the big question I have is whether, given Brexit, there would be a market for me as a German-English translator?

I would appreciate your thoughts.

Many thanks in advance,

Comments for Brexit

Click here to add your own comments

A difficult question to answer
by: Nick

I guess this is a very difficult question to answer. I still struggle with it. After a lot of reflection I’ve decided to complete the MA after all. Hopefully it will put me on the right path to start thinking about preparing for the Institute of Linguists exam. My shift pattern at work has recently changed and so I have more time for studying. I’m going to give it a go and see what happens.

Good for you!
by: Joanna

Hi Nick
Thanks for writing.
Your question was that if you live in the UK, would there still be a market for German to English translators after Brexit.
The answer is clearly yes, although your clients are very likely to be based in the EU. I think the main worry in the translator community post-Brexit was the potential restrictions on living and working in the EU as UK citizen, but I don't see any problems with billing EU clients while you're living and working in the UK. You'd need to consult an accountant to find out what you need to charge in terms of VAT, etc.
In terms of demonstrating your abilities, the MA will be an excellent qualification, although expensive. I weighed up the cost considerations, too, when I was planning a career in German translation, and went the DipTrans route. You will certainly need one or the other. The MA sounds fascinating and will certainly teach you more about the subject as a whole; the DipTrans is purely a test of your translation abilities under time pressure.
Whatever else you do, join a translator platform such as (free membership available), read the forums for pearls of wisdom about working in the profession, and maybe gain some experience by translating for non-profit organisations via their new pro bono site.
I hope this helps, I'd love to hear how you get on!


Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Q&As - My Free Translation Service For Visitors.

German to English Translation

Joanna Scudamore-Trezek

I'm a German to English translator living and working in Vienna, Austria. I turn German texts into clear and accessible English, allowing clients to present their stories, ideas and information to a completely new audience. My business and marketing clients rely on me to get their message across clearly and effectively.  How can I help you today?

Find this page useful? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.