First off, I’m highly specialised in marketing and IT. I only accept jobs I’m 100% sure I can do well. I read lots of industry journals and books in German and English – all about economics, IT, architecture, design, marketing, and whatever else I’m currently interested in or working on. This ensures I’m always at the top of my game, aware of the latest goings on, and familiar with key terminology.
I regularly attend talks, conferences, seminars, and other events on relevant subjects, e.g. writing, copywriting, and translation. I also take training in my specialist areas, e.g. IT, UX, high-end marketing, and luxury real estate. All that ongoing professional development means I’m regularly out and about in Berlin, but also around Germany and abroad, especially the UK and London in particular.
This leads me to my next point: language and culture. In contrast to many English native-speakers in Germany, I’m well familiar with the problem of Germglish. Also known as Denglish, I’m talking about that particular kind of language attrition (loss of your native tongue) found here. That’s why I spend a minimum of six weeks every year in my country of birth (except when there’s a pandemic raging). On these trips, I chat and network with fellow professionals, use, and hear my language spoken at a high level. My standard of English is my greatest asset. Without it, I’d not be able to command the rates I do. Like all valuable assets, it needs to be kept in good shape.
Aside from the above, I also work with a highly qualified reviewer on every project (and she’s also not the cheapest). She’s a fellow British translator and is based in New Zealand. She understands German exceptionally well, and her English writing and editing skills are top notch. Her overnight support is especially valuable on urgent projects. Collaboration is a vital component in any translation workflow, because a second expert will always have something valuable to add.
Client style guides are always carefully observed, and where these do not exist, I can work with clients to create them. As a geek, I’m also very familiar with translation tools (please note: this is not machine translation!). Style guides and translation tools help me to ensure all technical and company-specific terms are used consistently.
Where the text will ultimately be used on a website or in a PDF for publication, I always include a check of the final proof in my quote.