Certification as Translator, Volume II

‘Learn from my miseries, and do not seek to increase your own.’ – Frankenstein, 1818

This is a continuation of the story of my twelve labours towards certification as a sworn German translator. For the purposes of remaining anonymous, I have partially censored a large and frustrating portion of the events following my first blog article, and shall try to refrain from unleashing angry torrents of verbose verbiage on the subject (as tends to be my wont, I’ve realised).

Where I left off previously, I had submitted my translation degree certificate to inspection and comparison with the equivalent state examination. This did not take place without incident due to several wording issues related to my certificate. However, said issues were eventually and painstakingly resolved thanks to several frenzied Mayday e-mails sent to various support staff at my university, to whom I owe no small debt of gratitude for my eventual deliverance.

With this hurdle cleared, the rest of the process was a comparative walk in the park. I was invited to attend the court on a specific date after specifying whether or not I wished religious rhetoric included in my oath. I must admit that I was a little worried by the total lack of indications of expected dress code; as a translator for German I work in shorts and a T-shirt, but in no country, continent or even dimension would that be acceptable in a courthouse. In the end I decided to play it safe with a shirt and jeans, not least because those were the smartest clothes I could muster without going on a detestable clothes shopping trip!

The ceremony itself – for want of a better word – was quick and simple. I met an official at the courthouse, was read my oath and swore it. I was then read a series of laws directly concerning my newfound position and entered into the online database of certified and sworn translators and interpreters. As I had already pre-emptively ordered a translator’s stamp online in a pitiable attempt at alleviating my boredom one evening, I realised I had at last – around four months later – successfully passed through the nine circles of certification and emerged unscathed!