The subtleties of translating a diploma into German

The subtleties of translating university diplomas into German in general and a programmer in particular. How to tell a good translation from a bad one.

An acquaintance recently decided to look for a job in Europe. Several years after graduation, he worked as a programmer in Moscow, he says, he earned good money, but after well-known events and the rapid fall of the ruble, he decided to take the chance.

There are two reasons. The main thing is the desire to earn money, to solve the housing problem of the family. The second is to gain experience. Most of his experience was engaged in programming in the SAP system.

An error in compiling a package of documents

An acquaintance made a competent resume, attached a translation of the labor, diploma in English, as well as certificates of SAP courses. Then, as advised by senior colleagues, he began to send a letter to potential employers. The main focus was on Germany.

Reasons for choosing Germany:

  • having friends,
  • unemployment is lower compared to other EU countries,
  • SAP is still a German company.

After several months, the programmer was surprised to find that he had not received a single answer. Only automatic – the letter has been received, we will contact you shortly. Desperate to get an answer, he started calling companies, since he speaks English well. I phoned a dozen offices. Several HR employees said they only consider applicants’ documents in German. It turns out that the potential immigrant immediately started with a mistake.

The importance of correct translation

First you need to decide which country to go to and prepare documents in the language of this state. A German is pleased when the CV and diploma of a foreign applicant can be read in his native German.

After analyzing the guy’s case, I decided to talk about the translation of a programmer’s diploma into German.

Programming is a specific area in which there are a huge number of professional terms and concepts. Many people know them, but often you think that what you say is correct, but in fact you are talking nonsense. Example: what we call a “flash drive” from the English flash or flash card, the Germans call Memorystick, just like that, in English. If you tell the German Flash-Karte, he will hardly understand that we are talking about a drive.

Therefore, I immediately warn potential hunters for euro salaries: do not translate documents yourself or ask for help from a friend of a fifth-year student. The proverb “they are greeted according to their clothes, but they are seen off according to their minds” is excellent for this situation: a diploma translated into German is the very “dress” here. It is advisable to make the diploma beautiful, attracting attention, it is imperative to translate it with high quality. After all, the document will be read by a specialist who will try to understand from the list of subjects what disciplines the candidate studied and thus assess his knowledge.

How to tell a good translation from a bad one

The document should look attractive. Here psychology works – everything that stands out from the general mass attracts attention. Therefore, you should not translate all entries in the diploma and the appendix line by line. Better to try to keep the look of the original.

Translation quality. As described in the article about the vocation of foreign education in Germany , you need to use the Anabin database. There is a list of the names of universities, as well as specialties, with a note whether diplomas are recognized in Germany. There is a translation of qualifications – Abschluss – and areas of study – Studienrichtung – of popular professions.

For example, “Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI)”, qualification “Engineer” in the specialty “Computers, Complexes, Systems and Networks” should be written as: Nationale Forschungsuniversität für Kernkraft “Institut für Ingenieurwesen und Physik Moskau”; Abschluss: Ingenieur; Studienrichtung: Rechenmaschinen, -komplexe, -systeme und -netze.

A list of subjects with grades is important. According to the grades, the potential employer evaluates the knowledge and qualifications of the applicant. Subjects should be translated accurately to convey the specifics of the material studied.

Information about the internships passed, about the topic of the thesis shows not so much a theoretical basis as practical experience. It is worthwhile to translate the title of the thesis carefully. This plays a huge role in showing what project the candidate worked on independently, what topic he developed, and what he eventually achieved.

It is necessary to name the files correctly so that the employer, having received the letter, will see what exactly was sent to him. Usually they send a diploma with an attachment. The file can be named like this: Diplom + Beilage. The German diploma is called Hochschulabschlusszeugnis – a certificate of higher education.

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Igor Smith/ author of the article
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