The story of the company began in the late 1980s, when Tatjana Sassenberg moved to Berlin. She started doing translation and interpreting jobs on a freelance basis before founding the company that would later become GlobalSprachTeam in 1990.
The Berlin Wall had just come down, the city was about to embark on a period of major and rapid transformation. In the company’s early years, it worked from small offices on Friedrichstrasse and later at Potsdamer Platz. Freelance colleagues were recruited via job advertisements in newspapers. Communication was via fax, telephone or face to face. With the arrival of the internet, of course, everything changed.
A new century brought a new home. For over 15 years now, GST has had its office in Kronenstrasse, near U-Bahn Stadtmitte in the heart of Berlin. Technical and scientific translations remain at the core of what GST does, but the company has also translated thousands of documents in fields ranging from education and law to tourism and marketing, and in and out of every language from Arabic to Vietnamese. The core languages, however, are English and German.
A lot has changed in the translation industry in the three decades since the company was founded. The way people communicate, for one thing. Translation has always been an essentially solitary profession, and the invention of the internet has only increased that (which is one reason why we like to organise regular get togethers: to put faces to new names and ensure that we don’t forget the old ones). Technological developments have also had an impact on the way translations are done. Nowadays, translation memory systems help to ensure terminological accuracy and consistency. The development of artificial neural networks is bringing even more radical changes to the sector.
Today, GST has a dedicated in-house team that looks after project management, customer relations, translation, proofreading and technical issues, to name just the core tasks. With employees from Germany, the UK, Ireland, the USA, and Ukraine, the team reflects the highly cosmopolitan city Berlin has become. Meanwhile, the company continues to collaborate with a core group of expert translators and interpreters, many of whom have worked with the company since the beginning and who, as well as being language experts, have additional qualifications in the respective fields in which they translate.
In 2020 GST reaches another major milestone as it turns thirty. It’s a time to take stock, but also to look to the future. The translation industry, like the world around it, never stands still. But in an ever more international and interconnected environment, the need to communicate accurately, sensitively and clearly with one another is more important than ever. GST looks forward to playing its part in this process, to building bridges between cultures, and spreading exciting ideas through the world.