I was born in 1979 in Friedberg/Hesse and grew up there as a bilingual Franco-German with both citizenships. I left Augustinerschule Friedberg secondary school to pursue German, French and Spanish Literary and Cultural Studies at Justus Liebig University Gießen and peppered these with an extracurricular interest in Computer Linguistics, a programme that had started only after my enrolment. After an “excellent” master’s degree, I supplemented my credentials by completing the Hessian State Exams for Translators for French and English at Hessische Lehrkräfteakademie Darmstadt. This formality was necessary to acquire “certified translator” status from Landgericht Gießen (Gießen district court).

BDÜ member logoSince 2013, I am a member of Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer (BDÜ)’s regional association of Hesse, where I was elected on the board in March 2016, re-elected in 2018 and will likely continue my honourary work from 2020. My responsibility there encompass the initial and further development of the BDÜ regional association’s online and social media presence, media contacts and coordinating events and trade fair participations, as well as member management tasks. Member of Gesellschaft für Technische Kommunikation – tekom Deutschland e.V.I inform stakeholders and the wider public about the profession and represent the interest of over 650 Hessian translators and interpreters. Since 2017, I am also a member of the German association for technical communication, Gesellschaft für Technische Kommunikation – tekom Deutschland e.V..

DeFrEnT, my translation office established in 2011 meanwhile has over 100 satisfied customers – many of whom have become returning customers relying on me for their international communication. The company name, pronounced just like “different”, is a wordplay on the language codes for German, French and English followed by a “T” you can read as “translation”, “terminology” or ”texts”, as best fits your demand in language services.

DeFrEnT C. Köbel - LogoBeing different from my competitors is at the core of my philosophy: I like to discuss metrics like target audience and the goals of a translation with my clients. If the deadline allows for it, I take the time to research and understand my clients and their customers instead of blindly translating everything one to one. For returning customers, I build a client-specific terminology to make sure I use their unique corporate language. I also make the effort of indicating possible errors or inconsistencies in my clients’ source texts and offer them wording options to create crystal-clear statements and the strongest possible argumentation – if they are interested in an external opinion, of course!

In short: I am at my client’s disposal and listen to them to deliver spot-on translations. This added value comes free of charge with each translation, because I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to right Germany’s reputation as a “service wasteland”.

And now… let’s tackle your project together!
Christopher Köbel

Enquire now about your translation or terminology project!