Fachakademie (FAK)
Specialist academy


We offer you

  • a qualified training for the fields of translation, interpreting and international communication (DE-EN-FR-ES)
  • a spezialisation in economics or engineering
  • a diversified study programme
    through projects, workshops, company visits and internships within the EU
  • an international staff 
  • a training that meets future working requirements
  • a school in tune with the times, with mordern technical equipment 
  • the chance to study in the heart of Munich

Training at the FAK

State-qualified translator

Translating involves the written transfer of content from an original written source into a target language.

What is required of good translators –

  • a reliable command of both the native language and the foreign language(s) in question, delivering a totally accurate transfer of meaning; style and tone should be appropriate
  • knowledge of the cultural idiosyncrasies of the language areas in question
  • methods for dealing with complex translation problems
  • a wide general knowledge
  • specialist knowledge relevant to the text being translated
  • sound research skills, including the efficient use of the internet, and the ability to acquire expertise in new areas swiftly
  • a thorough acquaintance with modern word-processing software and electronic translation tools as well as
    the entire range of aids to translation, including dictionaries, works of reference, current publications,
    terminology databases, electronic media and so on
  • the ability to work in a team
  • working at speed and fulfilling translation commissions exactly
State-qualified interpreter

Interpreting involves the oral transfer of spoken material from one language to another.

What is required of good interpreters –

  • a first-class active command of both their native language and the other language(s) involved
  • a good short-term memory
  • sound cultural awareness
  • an excellent standard of general knowledge and the willingness to improve it constantly
  • the ability to prepare oneself promptly and precisely for the topic to be interpreted, such that the
    deployment of appropriate research skills can ensure an effective understanding of the subject matter
    and an accurate use of specialist terminology
  • familiarity with the various types of interpreting equipment and how they function
  • a polite, self-confident manner conducive to a convivial atmosphere for discussion
  • a particularly tactful style and precise knowledge of what behaviour is expected, such as neutrality,
    attentiveness, knowledge of and consideration for cultural differences and idiosyncrasies
  • the ability to work in a team
  • a willingness to travel
  • a resistence to stress

You decide when applying to join the FAK what your major and minor foreign languages are to be, with your major language being given priority in terms of hours and level.
Course work assumes your native language is German.

You should bear in mind that certain language combinations will mean only one specialist field of study is open to you.

Possible language combinations:

Major foreign language Minor foreign language Special subject bias
English French or Spanish Economics or engineering
Spanish English oder French Economics or engineering
French English oder Spanish Economics or engineering

Languages at the FIM (DE)

Instruction at the FIM (DE)


Translators need strong typewriting and word-processing skills.  These skills are imparted and used in training. 


CAT is short for computer-assisted translation.

Nowadays, translators and interpreters can avail themselves of a broad spectrum of digital and multi-medial aids. They can use the most varied electronic systems to organize and maintain their terminological research work and other data.

CAT classes provide students with an insight into the modern world of computer-assisted terminology work and translation.

CAT embraces the following activities:

  • the theoretical fundamentals of terminology work
  • becoming acquainted with various terminology management systems
  • practical exercises with integrated translation systems using TRADOS MultiTerm and TRADOS Workbench
  • translation projects requiring comprehensive internet research and detailed translation-text-related terminology work, archiving terminology results in a term database and creating translation memories.
Other courses

Extra study year at the FIM

Students can opt for an extra year of study at the academy, requiring attendance at the relevant FAK3 classes in either a second major language or a second specialist field of study. Department heads will be happy to advise you.

Year abroad as an assistant

Students at the FIM are entitled to take advantage of opportunities offered by school authorities in other countries to gain practical experience by working as foreign language assistants, usually for a year.
These student exchange years are organized by the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst, or PAD, Germany’s national agency for the EU’s schools programmes.

Studying abroad

World Education Services, North America’s agency for the recognition of foreign certificates, officially recognizes final qualifications obtained at the FIM. The final qualification at the BFS is considered equivalent to a High School Diploma, enabling students to take up places at American universities, while the final qualification at the FAK equates to a Bachelor of Arts. There are similar opportunities for those graduates wishing to continue their studies in Britain, Ireland, France and Spain.

Subject bias

Subject bias

Your specialist field of study encompasses the special subject bias you have chosen to study in depth, expanding your knowledge of the terminology and deepening your understanding of the subject.

At the FAK, you can choose an economics bias or an engineering bias. An economics bias is the only choice available if your major foreign language at the FAK is French.

    The subjects and courses listed here are biased according to your choice:

    • German and bilingual economic or engineering theory and terminology
    • Translation of economic or engineering texts from or into your major foreign language
    • Impromptu (unseen) translation
    • Computer-based terminology research processing and computer-assisted translation, using translation tools
    • Interpreting on economic or engineering themes
    • Class outings and trips (in Germany and abroad)
    • Projects

    Why do I need a specialist field of study?

    The Transforum coordinating committee on ‘Lehre und Praxis’, or ‘learning and using’, explains it thus –

    “Translation training with regard for a subject bias aims to equip a student to reproduce the correct technical terminology in another language. Technical translation falls into a wide variety of specialist fields encompassing text types typical of manuals, product literature, annual and financial reports, technical essays, contracts, regulations and laws, norms and patents. Specialization is therefore essential.”

    Translating and interpreting such material is impossible without an effective understanding of its content. Whether you choose an economics or an engineering bias, the subjects to be studied are combined with one another so as to equip you with a wide knowledge of the subject.

    This should also equip you to expand your knowledge into associated fields as and when translating or interpreting work is required.

    Economics bias (DE)

    Engineering bias (DE)

    EU Programmes

    What about completing a practical or a semester in another EU country? Since 1996 the FIM has been taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme, organizing stays abroad for students from both the BFS  and the FAK .

    Learn more here.

    FAK examinations

    The State Examination for Translators is taken upon successful completion of FAK3, the third year of study at the FAK.

    Examination dates:

    • the written examination in May
    • the oral examination in July

    The examination consists of two principle parts:

    • a written examination in the major foreign language
    • an oral examination in the major foreign language

    Candidates for the State Examination for Interpreters must have passed the examination for translators; it takes place in the same week as the oral examination for translators.

    The examination consists of three parts:

    • consecutive interpreting into the major foreign language
    • consecutive interpreting out of the major foreign language
    • liaison interpreting

    State examination for translators and interpreters (DE)

    Our examination courses