Translations services in Berlin

At some point or other, you might need to search for translation services in Berlin to satisfy the requirements of German administration. Sometimes, it’s for really happy moments like getting married and other times to simply get a visa to be able to stay in the country.

This post is aiming at providing you with an overview of what translations services in Berlin can do for you and what bad practices you should avoid when dealing with them.

What do I need translations services in Berlin for?

Certified translations in Berlin are needed mostly for the following three offices:

  • Standesamt: The German civil registration office, which among other things is keeping track of births, marriages and deaths. It’s part of each municipality in the country.
  • Jugendamt:  The office in charge of all child and youth related affairs.
  • Ausländerbehörde: The foreigners registration office, which is in charge of providing legal documentation (and which you might be dreading ;))

Certified translations: what does it mean?

Since the public authorities need trustworthy sources to translate your documents from your native language to German, it’s not possible to translate the documents yourself or by any random translator found on the internet. Translations have to be done by professional translators who have proved their expertise in their particular field with an exam. They need to have also taken an oath in front of the local district court. Their stamps have official value in the face of the law and are able to provide certified translations in Berlin as per § 142 Sec. 3 Zivilprozessordnung (German code of civil procedure).

For which kind of life events?

If you are just arriving in Germany and applying for a visa, there are numerous documents that might need translations depending on your case, it’s often diplomas though. Further down the line, in case of marriage or children, the public authorities will require that from you. Obtaining a local driving license in exchange of your domestic one is also a good example. The German administration is pretty good at making clear when you need those, you just need to pay attention to the specific standards required then.

Outside the realm of German administration:

Translations are also useful when faced with other situations that are not directly linked to German administration. Translations can be done for things like real estate transactions, job offers, applying for subsidies (e.g Gründerzuchuss) or simply for your website. In these cases, certified translations are not needed but you will still need a reputable professional to make sure the translation is high-quality.


Best practices when picking translation services in Berlin

1- Picking native instead of bilingual

Although there are many talented bilingual translators on the market, it’s preferable to stick with native speaker of the target language for best and trustworthy results. A translation often needs a relevant cultural background to be sure that nothing gets lost in translation in the final document. For example: if translating from French to German, pick a native German speaker and vice-versa.

2- Double-check the double checker

This is especially important in the case of certified translations: simple human errors can lead to a flat-out rejection of your application and make you lose time and money in the process. A simple mistake in a case number or birth date is enough. Double-checking small details like this is important. Even professional translators can make mistakes.

3- Don’t just buy the stamp

Some people think that they can save money by translating the documents themselves and only “buy” the stamp from the certified translator. No need to pay for the time of the translator, just the stamp. This is not a best practice because it’s sometimes more complicated to correct your mistakes and to correct them to fit the required standards for the document. Results: loss of time and money there too.

4- Play the national league

Even if you have business in other cities that need certified translations, you can still use a local translator as the certification is recognized “Bundesweit” everywhere in German. That is good for you: you can continue to work with a translator you like or find a better or cheaper one is another city in Germany, if you are not satisfied with the offering in Berlin.

You can find a complete liste of certified translators on this database from the ministry of Justice.

5- Reputation and reviews

We all know it: it sometimes suck to have to put money into administrative steps instead of spending it on a nice weekend on the Ostsee. So one might be tempted to look for bargains and cheaper services.  Although this is a valid strategy, it’s more advisable to look for a reputable company instead. So don’t hesitate to ask around, look at Google/Facebook/Yelp reviews. On this front, SiB can safely recommend Red Tape Translation, which has built a solid reputation in the field of certified translation services in Berlin.

6- Go fast; go online

When you want a faster or more convenient way to translate your documents, you can turn to platforms like Lingoking which has a wide network of certified translators for a very broad set of cases; diploma, birth or marriage certificate, criminal records and a lot more. Simply search for the translation you need for your language to see a price right away. They then send you the certified translations in paper form through the post.

Good luck finding your perfect translator. Don’t hesitate to recommend your favorite in the comments.

Sources: 1, 2


  • Reply Emal Ghamsharick 07/07/2020 at 11:50

    Thanks for this great post. However, the “go native” tip has two sides. I’ve worked with many translators and have taught translation classes, and I find that German natives have an easier time translating some German terms into English than English native speakers, simply because the Germans are more familiar with the concept and its environment.
    However, German natives may translate “too accurately”, so that the reader no longer understands, while a native English speaker may be better at getting the point across in simple, but less accurate terms.
    So, at least for English as target, I wouldn’t generalize that native speakers are always the better translators – there are many languages like Turkish, Arabic or Russian, where there are very few English native speakers who understand the source language well enough, hence most translators from these languages into English are not English natives.
    People often underestimate the reading comprehension and subject matter knowledge required for accurate translations and focus only on the output.

  • Reply Bhaskar thammali 04/05/2020 at 14:08

    I have two questions.
    1. I have my birth and marriage certificate in English which means international. Tax office and anmeldung have accepted them with out any translation required. Now standesamt is asking for translation of them to register our baby. Is there any case that they don’t accept international version of certificate in English?
    2. Somehow I found a translator, he can do translation but it may take time until I receive paper by post. But they can send me a scanned copy of translation certificate can it be accepted by standesamt?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 05/05/2020 at 15:36

      Hey Bhaskar. It’s best you ask the Beamter/in directly about this. They will be able to tell you best.

  • Reply Aa 10/01/2019 at 20:35

    Would a translation done here be valid in the Netherlands? Or it would be better to get it translated there?
    Not sure about the internationality of sworn translations. Thanks a lot.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 18/01/2019 at 22:39

      Hey, the translator needs to be recognized by the German authorities, so that’s likely not the case.

  • Reply Nicky 28/12/2018 at 13:20


    Nice page! I was wondering if you need to get another stamp on the document, in order for it to be legal, after the translation has taken place? In other countries I had to take this final step, but I’m unable to find out if this is also neseccary in Germany. Could someone help me out? Any idea which body this might be?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 29/12/2018 at 20:53

      Hey Nicky. If you go through a certified translator, their stamp should be enough, unless there is a special case described in your admin process.

    • Reply Emal 22/01/2019 at 15:51

      In some cases you might need an apostille, which is an official stamp certifying that your personal document is genuine.
      Berlin has a German info page here:
      Unfortunately, you have to get this apostille from the country where your document was issued. If you’re a German in Berlin, you can get this apostille at the Landgericht. Best ask the authority who wants your paper if they need an apostille. In Germany, sometimes they want it for birth certificates, other times they don’t.

  • Reply W. Owens 03/12/2018 at 15:37

    I need to have my birth certificate officially translated from English to German, where can i get this done ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 04/12/2018 at 22:46

      Hey there. It’s literally the topic of this post so i don’t know what to tell you 😀

    • Reply Emal 22/01/2019 at 15:55

      It’s not as easy as searching the official directory at
      There are many dead entries in this database or the listed translators will be too busy for smaller projects.
      However, if you search for “certified translator in Berlin” on Google Maps, you’ll find translators who are actively searching for clients in this niche (not all translators do certified translations). Goog luck!

  • Reply Abdul Fatah Ahmad 06/10/2018 at 00:24

    Thank you very much for your valuable advises included in this text.

    Academic Qualifications;

    I hold ph.D in Buisness Administration from USA.

    Languageso Experience :

    Fluency in English Language
    German Language is Level P1..recently I have attended Training Course for four months in the German Language in ( Fazit Getman Language Training Center for Trsnslation )
    and I have a Certificate from the Fazit Center.
    Also I hold a Certificate in English Language too.

    I have a good knowledge in French Language.

    My mother Language is Arabic.

    kindly, could you advise me Where can I Certify my German Translation Certificate in Berlin.

    Hope hear from you.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/10/2018 at 09:14

      Hey Abdul. Well, it’s in the post, isn’t it?

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.