“Arm aber sexy”: it’s been a while since former Berlin Mayer Klaus Wowereit declared the German capital “poor but sexy” — but the label has stuck. Berlin is still considered hip and happening, but maybe not the best place to make a living. Because of its former island-like location in the East of a divided country, there didn’t use to be a lot of industry here, and traditional jobs aren’t as plentiful as in the rest of Germany.
But this reality is changing quickly: Berlin is gentrifying at an alarming rate, and while there still aren’t as many traditional jobs in manufacturing or industry, the digiterati have arrived in the capital. In some neighborhoods, you can’t throw a MacBook Pro without hitting someone launching a startup.
What does this mean for translators, a notoriously nomadic bunch who can do their work anywhere in the world, provided they have a laptop and a working Internet connection? Here are five great reasons to be a translator in Berlin:
1. Berlin is a truly multinational city
Berlin is home to half a million non-German residents from 190 countries. This multicultural melting pot makes it a perfect place for someone whose job it is to connect cultures and languages. For English-language news and international connections, follow Exberliner or Internations.
2. Berlin has one of the most vibrant cultural scenes in Europe
From music to art, dance, theater, literature, and film, Berlin is one of the most dynamic cities in the world. For translators, it’s crucial to recharge the creative batteries, and Berlin offers hundreds of fascinating events on any given night. Zitty is a good place to start exploring.
3. Berlin has amazing outdoor spaces
From the Tiergarten to the Wannsee, Berlin offers great green spaces and escapes. After a busy day of translating, why not hop on your bike and take a spin through Tempelhofer Feld, a gigantic park created from a repurposed airport?
4. There’s wifi everywhere in Berlin
We know just how dependent translators are on the Internet — after all, that’s how we connect with clients and agencies, how we research and look up online dictionaries. Berlin is blessed with a huge number of comfortable libraries, cafes, restaurants, and co-working spaces that all feature wifi connectivity. Additionally, many spots around the city feature free wifi.
5. There are great food options in Berlin
The days when curry sausage and döner kebab were the only choices in Berlin are long gone — now you can get sushi, Thai, outrageous burgers and homemade vegan ice cream on almost every corner. For tips, check food blogs like or Berlin Food Stories.