German English translation is an important industry in Australia. Most professional translators in Australia are accredited with a national body called the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). This is because a lot of translation work needed for employers and government agencies must be completed and certified by a NAATI accredited translator. It doesn’t mean that a non accredited translator cannot find work in the German translation industry, but the work available would be more limited and less lucrative.
Why is German Translation so Important to Australia?
It might come as a surprise to outsiders and possibly many Australians as well to learn just how close the two countries are in terms of shared culture, tourism and trade. The following is a brief outline of how the two countries share a common interest and therefore why communication between German speakers and English speakers is important.
- Ethnic background
Nearly a million Australians boast a German background in their ancestry. 100,000 Australians were actually born in Germany or a German speaking country and have made Australia their home. For those Australians who were born in Australia but can count on having German parents, grandparents or ancestors from further back, many can speak some German and may have developed close ties to their ancestral homeland. German migrants came to seek a new life in Australia in waves of migration as they did to other places like Southern Africa, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay and North America.
- Tourism and working holiday visas
Germans are relatively affluent and love to travel. Every year, 200,000 or so German speakers visit Australia on holiday and 25,000 come to Australia on working holiday visas which allow young Germans to live and work on a temporary basis in Australia. Most of these young people have finished their studies in a university or college in Germany and are taking time out to explore the world before settling down back at home. Some find more permanent employment while in Australia and eventually become permanent residents.
Australia has a significant international education industry. German-speaking students are the fourth most important group of students from Europe after Italy, Britain and Spain. There are about 5,000 German students studying in Australia at any one time.
- Business links
Germany is the world’s fourth most important economy and has dozens of leading businesses that are based there, but have a strong presence in Australia. Some of the largest German businesses that operate in Australia include Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Allianz, BOC, DB Schenker and Heidelberger Zement. Australian businesses also operate in Germany including CSL Behring, Sonic Healthcare, Macquarie Bank and IVF Investors.
- Bilateral trade
Australia has a very significant trading relationship with Germany. Imports include pharmaceuticals, medication, cars and other vehicles to the tune of 16 billion dollars. Exports include coal, gold, oil seeds and minerals and amount to about 4 billion dollars. In terms of relative size, Germany is Australia’s tenth largest trading partner.
- Scientific and R & D links
There are strong scientific and research links between German and Australian institutions. For example, around 500 individual partnerships between Australian and German universities exist. Australia’s main government scientific body, the CSIRO, has strong links and input from German scientific bodies. The German organizations, the Max Planck Institute and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft are important research and scientific partners.
In terms of fields of common interest, collaboration between the two countries centres on solar technology, ICT, aerospace, materials science and engineering, food safety and crop science, just to name a few.
German English translation is an important niche in the Australian translation industry as can be seen by the importance and variety of the links between English speaking Australia and German speaking Germany above. German translators are needed to translate personal, educational and professional documents for immigration, study or work purposes. Translators are needed to translate marketing material for Australian businesses and the tourism industry. Business, legal and scientific translation are important fields of the Australian German translation industry, largely operated by NAATI accredited professional translators.