Estrel Berlin #8

My primary job at the Estrel Hotel is to translate material from German into English. I had always known translating was difficult, because, when switching between languages at home or for school work, I had frequently found myself unable to remember the word I was looking for or unable find to an equivalent and equally well-sounding expression. I had gotten by in those instances by code-switching or paraphrasing, but, here, I have to translate word-for-word as accurately as possible. You don’t realize until then just how much meaning we pull together from a string of words altogether or accompanying tonal and facial hints than from singular words. It takes a wide, thorough vocabulary and concentration to do it quickly and correctly! For this reason and also because translating makes use of my language knowledge, something which I really enjoyed studying in high school and spent a significant amount of time learning, the final products I produce here at the Estrel always fill with me a small sense of pride.

My mother always advised me to pair that language knowledge with some sort of technical knowledge so that it could be more marketable. I think it’s good advice and many people do this with business, for example. But, after a few classes and my experience in the sales & marketing department here, I can’t say that I particularly love business, so stories like that of a Texan man who had no medical degree but now teaches English medical terminology at the Hungarian university interest me more. Something similar to this would be a great way for me to combine my interest in education with my interest in translating!

One thought on “Estrel Berlin #8

  • August 31, 2018 at 9:15 am
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    Katalin, thank you for sharing your experiences about your internship along with the culture and language in Germany. I am happy to hear that you took the initiative to gain the language skills you wanted to develop. Even though this was not a skill you could develop at your internship, your dedication led you to utilize other resources like online websites to meet people and have conversations in German. It is great to see that you were able to accomplish what you wanted. I was also impressed that you translated during a live radio show. If there is a recording of it, I would love to share it with the staff at the Hub. I enjoyed following your internship and time spent in Germany!

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