Refugees in Germany – language service provider lingoking records an increased demand for interpreters and translators by administrative authorities

With the number of refugees in Germany increasing daily, language service providers have noted increased need for professional translators and interpreters

Munich, October 20th 2015 – With an influx of refugees being received in Germany each day, the need for trained linguistic mediators is also growing. A significant increase in the demand for translation and interpreting services has also been recorded by lingoking, the Munich-based language service provider and universal online marketplace for language services. The languages that are particularly needed by administrative authorities are Farsi, Dari, Pashto, Tigrinya and Amharic.

The range of situations that require language services is extremely diverse, reports Friedemann Holland, Head of Sales at lingoking:

"We have been receiving requests from authorities almost daily from across Germany who are in need of competent interpreters and translators to provide efficient communication with refugees. Federal welfare offices are currently having numerous welcome brochures translated into the native languages of the refugees. In addition, telephone interpreting – which is a type of language service that was relatively unknown in Germany until recently – is also being booked quite often based on the costs being lower in comparison to on-site interpreting".

Many municipalities lack the financial resources to allow them to work with professional language mediators. When it comes to translating and interpreting, however, professionalism is essential. The smallest error can have serious, if not fatal, consequences for refugees.

Nils Mahler, founder and Managing Director of lingoking, notes:

"When translating or interpreting for refugees, the expertise of professional linguists is in particular demand as the information being communicated is often highly sensitive. It is necessary to ensure that the information is not simply being transferred word for word, but also that cultural and situational aspects are taken account of and integrated into the work performed by the interpreter or translator.“

The Federal Employment Agency in Chemnitz recently commissioned telephone interpreters from lingoking for the Job Centre in Central Saxony to make it possible to process two initial applications for benefits to cover subsistence costs (SGB II) and to also translate identity documents for refugees from Eritrea. During a telephone conference, the telephone interpreters were connected to the call to interpret between the parties using Tigrinya and German, which made it possible to quickly complete administrative matters.

Gerd Neumann, divisional head of the Central Saxony Job Centre, on the opportunities provided by telephone interpreting:

"Whilst ensuring social data protection, telephone interpreting is an alternative that is particularly interesting for languages that are rarely encountered as it significantly shortens the processing times for initial applications. Otherwise longer periods of time would be required to submit the applications, because an interpreter would need to be arranged. In more complicated benefit cases, telephone interpreting would indeed only be suitable during the preliminary stages, for example when foreign documents need to be translated."

About lingoking

lingoking is the universal online market place for language services and connects people with a professional interpreter or translator within minutes. Every year, lingoking translates over 9 million words, interprets over 6,000 hours on location and more than 9,500 minutes over the telephone, for more than 4,400 customers from all over the world. More than 5,100 registered interpreters and translators in over 840 cities are employed by lingoking. lingoking has its headquarters in Munich and a subsidiary company in the Czech Republic. 

Press contact:

Nils Mahler
lingoking GmbH
c/o Impact Hub
Gotzinger Straße 8
81371 Munich
+49 (0)89 416 12 20 0

nils.mahler at

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