Translating Employment Contracts from German to English

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If you’re working as an independent contractor or an employee of a foreign company, you may be required to sign an employment contract written in German. Employment contracts can seem daunting, and they are often written in concrete legal terms that don’t make sense to non-native speakers. For anyone who is translating employment contracts from German to English, here are some top tips on how to make the process easier.

Types of employment contract

One of the most important things to remember when translating an employment contract from German to English is understanding the different types of employment contracts. In Germany, there are typically two types of employment contracts: the Arbeitsvertrag and the Tarifvertrag. The Arbeitsvertrag is the most common type of employment contract and is used for most full-time positions. The Tarifvertrag, on the other hand, is a collective bargaining agreement that is typically used for positions that are covered by a union. It is essential to be aware of these different types of contracts so that you can adequately translate the terms and conditions.

Awareness of key terminologies

Another essential tip for translating an employment contract from German to English is knowing key terminology. There are a few key terms that are often used in German employment contracts, such as “Kündigungsfrist” and “Urlaubstage.” It is essential to know the meaning of these terms so that you can accurately translate them into English. Additionally, there are a few key phrases that are often used in German employment contracts, such as “arbeitsvertraglich vereinbart” and “gesetzlich vorgeschrieben.” Again, it is essential to know the meaning of these phrases so that you can accurately translate them into English.

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Parts of the contract you don’t need to translate.

Most people think that every word in a contract needs to be translated. However, this is not the case. There are certain parts of the contract that you can leave in German. These include:

-The company name and address
-The names of the parties -Names of additional persons involved (e.g., representatives)
-Names and addresses of third parties or documents mentioned in the agreement (e.g., law firms)
-Language used throughout the contract (e.g., if only German)
-Specifics about dates (e.g., day, month, year)
-Information about signatures at the end of the contract (usually where each party signs their name and any witnesses sign their name as well).
-Names of organizations that play an essential role in the agreement (e.g., unions, employer associations)

Yes, contracts in Germany can be in English. This is because Germany is a signatory to the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, which stipulates that contracts can be in the business language of the buyer or seller or in an official language that is mutually agreed upon by both parties. In addition, Germany has many English-speaking residents, and many businesses there use English as their primary language of communication.

german employment contract

The parts you do need to translate.

When translating an employment contract from German to English, it is essential first to identify the key points that need to be solved. These key points include the names of the parties involved, the date of the contract, the duration of the agreement, and any special clauses or conditions.

Once you have identified these key points, you can begin translating them into English. It is essential to remember that employment contracts are often particular and technical documents, so it is necessary to use accurate and precise language when translating them. In addition, be sure to check with a lawyer or other expert if you are unsure about any part of the translation process.

A few things to keep in mind: do not try to guess at words or phrases you do not know; make sure your translation reads naturally and is free of mistakes; and read your translation aloud to ensure accuracy.

For some portions of the contract, such as dates or terms, an equivalent may not exist in English. In this case, it may be necessary to adapt those parts of the document, so they accurately reflect what was written in German. However, where possible, try not to introduce errors by changing something that would have been said differently in German.

For example, in the sentence die Verhandlungsführerin wird für die Dauer des Vertrages, the word für could be translated as for but should not be translated as during. The word für indicates a duration, whereas the word during indicates time.

The same applies to das Vertragsverhältnis. It means employment relationship or arrangement, while during means time. So you should translate this sentence as the negotiator will represent us during/for the duration of our employment agreement.

A sample letter

Google Translate can be a helpful first step when translating a document from German to English if you want to translate some sentences quickly and don’t require professional service. However, it’s essential to remember that Google Translate is not always accurate.

For more accurate translations, it’s best to use a professional translation service. Many online resources can help with translating specific words or phrases. When translating an employment contract, it’s essential to be aware of any legal terms that may need to be accurately translated for the contract to be legally binding.

One such term is Kündigungsfrist, which refers to the period an employee/project manager has before he/she can be terminated. In Germany, this period typically lasts two months; however, regular employees must be given at least one month’s notice before they can terminate their contracts without consequence. It’s also necessary to understand how this information would affect a lawyer in their work – do they need to know how long someone has before they can terminate their contract?

If so, this needs to be included in the translation because there could be significant consequences due to misinterpreting these details (such as being terminated without warning). However, as with all translations, it is always better to translate all text on the source document than leave something out that you might regret later on.

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If you need to translate a document for work or school, there are a few things you can do to make sure the medical translation is accurate and professional. First, try to find a translator who is a native speaker of the foreign language you need the document translated into. This will help ensure that the translation is accurate and idiomatic. If you can’t find a native speaker, try to find a translator who is at least fluent in the target language. Second, make sure to provide context for the translator.

Please explain what the document is about and who will be reading it. This will help the experienced translator choose the correct register and tone. Finally, give the translator any background materials that might be helpful, such as a glossary of terms or a list of key concepts. By following these tips, you can ensure that your translated document will be accurate, professional, and appropriate for its audience.

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Helpful tools

If you’re looking to translate a contract from German to English, there are a few helpful project management tools that can make the process easier. First, it’s essential to have a native speaker of both languages review the contract.

Additionally, using technical translation software can help ensure accuracy. Finally, it’s always a good idea to have someone familiar with legal terminology look at the translated contract to ensure that nothing was lost in literary translation.

These five tips will help give you an overview of what needs to happen before translating employment contracts from German to English and how the process should go.

How much does it cost?

The cost of translating an employment contract from German to English can vary depending on the length of the document and the complexity of the official language. Generally, a German translator will charge by word or hour. For a document that is a few pages long, you can expect to pay around $50-$100.

If you have a longer document or one with complex legal language, you can expect to pay closer to $100-$200.  It’s essential to find out how much your prospective translator charges before you start working together, so there are no surprises later. Ask for quotes from various translation agencies and compare what each has to offer, the prices, and their professional experience translating German to English.


To ensure accuracy and protect the interests of both parties, it is essential to use a professional translation service when translating employment contracts from German to English. Here are our top tips:

1. Make sure the translator is a native speaker of both languages.
2. Choose a translator with experience in translating legal documents.
3. Review the translated document carefully before signing off on it.
4. If possible, have someone else who is fluent in both languages review the document.
5. Ask the translator to explain any unclear terms or phrases.
6. Finally, compare the translated text against your original document to ensure they match up completely.


The short answer is yes; you can use a scanner to translate a document. However, the quality of the translation will depend on the quality of the scanner and the native language you are translating into. If you need a high-quality translation, it is best to use a professional German translation service.

If you need a document translated from German to English, there are a few different ways to go about it. You can hire a professional translator, use an online German translation service, or try a machine translation tool. Each option has its pros and cons, so you’ll need to decide which one is best for your needs.

If we can help you with any questions, please feel free to contact us


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