The Profession and the University:

What you learn at university and what you need for your job

DIN norms (German Industrial Standards) or the creation of authentic teaching-learning situations

Most of the students are not familiar with the DIN norms until they start working. They are not only not aware of their rights and duties, they were, moreover, not prepared to deal with these norms as a professional translator.

More about DIN norms

In contrary to working life, the main focus in the course of studies is on translations, done by the students on their own. Unfortunately, skills of working successfully in a team are not promoted. A survey has shown that FASK graduates criticize that 'aesthetic' texts, providing absolutely no idea of the student's future work, are frequently discussed in translation practice courses.

More about authentic projects at the FASK

More about authentic projects worldwide

There are also classes where constructivist principles have already been implemented. Texts or even entire projects that are based on authentic translation projects and working situations, are discussed. In other cases, the students even work on real translation projects, accepted by the lecturer. In this way, students are motivated and encouraged to work independently. They find themselves in a situation where they take responsibility. They produce a text to which they have contributed considerably and which is also ready for the market. These tasks lead to greater self-confidence and make it easier for the student to find a job.

More about constructivism

Many students lack basic computer skills and most of them have no experience with modern translation software. Though computer courses are offered at the university, there is only a very limited number of seats available per semester. In addition, there are not enough computers for the students. However, computers are essential in a translator's everyday life.

More about computers

Neither the grades nor the progress the student has achieved during the semester are recorded; it is only the (final) examination marks that are crucial. The several departments of the FASK (not to mention the whole FASK), do not have a consistent grading system. The grades of written tests do not give clear information about how this mark has been given. When asked by the students, lecturers frequently are not willing to take a closer look on the student's translation proposals they marked wrong and to explain their own corrections. The result is that those students are becoming frustrated with the decisions of the lecturers.

More about grading

Modularization of study programs have lead to a more flexible and transparent study arrangement. Grades that have been achieved at foreign universities can be credited now because of the introduction of the ETCS.

More about modularization


Most of the programs prepare the students to take their final examanation (Diplomprüfung). However, they do not prepare them to work as professional translators.

A short survey
Once, each translator was a university student. Let us learn from them! We would like to ask you to share your experiences with us: what did you experience when you finished your studies and entered working life? What skills and knowledge did you already have (at least rudimentary) and which did you have to acquire yourself to be competitive on the market. We, the students at FASK, would like to act because we are convinced that the translator education shows deficits. Since we are still university students, we frequently do not have more than a vague idea of these deficits. Therefore, we ask you to complete the questionnaire mentioned below and to help us locate the problems.

Complete questionnaire

For further information on this topic see the survey "Is there a life after university?"