Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS

+ Are your translations certified?

Yes, my translations from and into German and English are certified. As I am a NAATI-accredited translator, they are suitable for any official use here in Australia and in New Zealand.

+ I was told I need a NAATI-accredited translator - are you one?

Yes, see above. You will receive your translation with my official NAATI stamp and signature.

+ Why should I choose you? What are your credentials?

NAATI-accredited German < > English translator since 1991. Memberships include:

  • AUSIT (Australian Institute of Translators and Interpreters) - (profile link available on Contact page). Senior Practitioner and member of several committees, Queensland Branch secretary, very active CPD and industry involvement
  • GABA (German Australian Business Association)
  • ProZ - Certified PRO-Network (profile link available on Contact page). Anyone can be a member of ProZ, the largest online translation community, but admission to the Certified PRO network is subject to stringent guidelines and includes ascertaining of translation competence as outlined in Industry Standard EN 15038, peer review and industry credentials.

  • GSQ - Genealogical Society of Queensland

I have studied at universities in both Germany and Australia where my subjects have included English literature and linguistics, history, ethnology and political science. My M.A. from the University of Sydney is in Australian Literature. My background is German (father) / Australian (mother). I have spent equal amounts of time living in both countries and am therefore in a unique position to understand both languages and cultures intimately.

+ I just need parts of my document translated, not the whole. Do you do that?

Yes, an extract translation is possible for long texts as long as it doesn't jeopardise the integrity of the whole. Please indicate clearly on the document which area you would like to omit when you send me a scan to receive a quote.

+ What about a summary of my document translated into German or English?

Some documents are suited for summary translation, i.e., I summarise the text in the other language. I will send you a quote on request.

+ Do you translate anything from/into German and English?

No, no-one can be good at every area when it comes to translation. In order to deliver quality every time, translators need to specialise. My expertise lies in:

  • Personal documents needed for official purposes (e.g. immigration, courts). This includes certificates like birth and marriage certificates, police checks, licenses and transcripts.
  • Work contracts, CVs, qualifications, educational certificates and work references
  • Medical letters, reports and invoices for insurance claims
  • General legal documentation and correspondence (e.g. court transcripts) and wills & estates
  • Old German documents, e.g. for genealogical research (see below), especially those written in Kurrent/Sütterlin script or Fraktur
  • Christian texts (e.g. sermons, biographies)
  • Historical and/or archaeological texts

If your document does not fit into any of the above categories, I can still look at it and, if necessary, refer you to another colleague who might be able to help you.

PROCESS

+ I would like to get a quote

Simply click on the Upload Files button at the top of the website and upload your documents. I will reply as soon as practical with a firm, no-obligation quote which is valid for 30 days.

+ I have decided I want you to translate my documents, what happens now?

Generally speaking, to go ahead with the work I need a confirmation in writing (usually by email) that you agree to my fee, payment terms and delivery timeframe.

+ How long will it take to translate my document(s)?

This depends on my workload and the length and complexity of the text. I will give you a firm deadline with my quote. Personal documents usually have a very fast turn-around time (1-2 days for one- or two-page documents).

+ What file format should my document be in? Can I simply email you a scan/photo?

Yes, although it is always easiest for translators to receive a Word file, most people send their documents as PDFs or JPEGs. If you are sending picture files please ensure all the information is legible.

+ What's the best way to send you large files?

You can upload your files now. Simply click on the Upload Files button at the top of the website and upload your documents, up to 10 MB each. Additionally, you can send me a USB stick or CD with the files on them by mail. I will return this together with the hardcopy of your translation.

+ How will I receive my translation?

You can receive your translation as a PDF file and/or have the hardcopy sent by post. The hardcopy will include a stamped and signed copy of the source document you sent me. You can then have this copy certified later if required.

+ Can I pick up my translation in person?

Yes, please ring ahead to ensure I am here.

+ I want you to use specific terms/expressions in my translation

One of the things that makes translating so interesting is that there are very often several options that can be used to transfer the same meaning into another language. If it is suitable, I am more than happy to include your preference.

PAYMENT / COST

+ What will my translation cost?

I will send you an obligation-free quote stating the exact fee and delivery time. In order to do so you will need to send me the document/file in question, so I can be as accurate as possible. I will get back to you with a quote asap, usually within a few hours.

Simply click on Upload Files and send your documents.

Regular postage within Australia is always included in my fee. Overseas, registered or express mail is charged at cost.

+ What payment methods do you accept?

Payment methods are PayPal or electronic funds transfer to a bank account in Australia or Germany. If you prefer to make a cash deposit you can do so at any Australia Post Office or Commonwealth Bank. You can also send a cheque or money order. Please advise the payment option you would like to use.

OTHER

+ Do you hold professional indemnity insurance?

Yes, just as I believe it is important to adhere to a Code of Ethics as a professional translator I believe it is important to fully engage in the industry, holding professional indemnity insurance is part of this.

+ What are your Terms & Conditions?

My T&C can be viewed via the T&C link found at the bottom of this page.

+ I don't live in Australia or Do you work with international clients?

Yes, many of my clients are located overseas, e.g. US, Canada, NZ, Germany & Japan. The time difference (+10 GMT) often works to the client's advantage. I work while you sleep!

+ Where do I find a JP to certify copies of my document?

You can go to www.australia.gov.au/topics/law-and-justice/justices-of-the-peace to find a JP in your state.

+ My translator will have to sign an affidavit. Do you do this and what will it cost?

Yes, your lawyer will usually give you the affidavit to send to me together with the document to translate. I will need to go to my local court to have it signed. The costs for this will be added to my fee.

+ How do I know that the translation I've received is accurate?

I have translated for many years and take pride in my work. I always aim to deliver the best outcome for my clients. However, if you are not happy with the translation you have received, for whatever reason, I will re-check it and have it revised by a colleague at no cost to you if necessary.

+ My documents are confidential

I hold to the Code of Ethics as set forth by AUSIT (Australian Institute of Translators and Interpreters). One of the tenets of this Code is confidentiality. You can rest assured that your document will be kept safe. I would only share your document with others if necessary for quality assurance and only with your previous express consent.

+ What do other people say about your services?

You can read what others have said about my work in the Testimonials page which can be found at the bottom of this page.

OLD HANDWRITING AND GENEALOGY

+ I find it hard to decipher, official documents written in Old German script - will you be able to read them?

I'll do my best! Reading certificates and official documents does get easier with practice. Please send me a close-up or enlarged copy as well as a picture of the whole page if possible.

+ How much would it cost?

A very rough guide would be to calculate $25 per 100 words, although this could vary.

+ I have old German handwritten letters and postcards I'd like to read. Do you do this?

Yes. Please note, as some handwritten letters are "crossed" to save paper, it is very important to send a clear copy.

+ Can you help me with my genealogical research?

Although I am a member of my local genealogical society and enjoy looking up my own ancestry, I cannot offer this service at the moment.

+ I have an old German book and would just like to know the gist of it.

In the past I have provided a translation of the first and last chapter of the book and a summary of the other parts (to a previously agreed length). This can give you a very good idea of the style and content and whether you would like to have the whole book translated or not. I'm also happy to provide just a summary translation of the whole.

+ What is the difference between Sütterlin, Kurrentschrift and Fraktur?

From the 1700s right up to 1941, various forms of old German Script were taught in schools. Kurrentschrift was used until about 1920 when it was superseded by Sütterlin, which was itself only used for a relatively short time. Fraktur is the name given to a special typeface often called "German alphabet". Most books in German were printed in Fraktur from the middle of the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century.