Earthling. Traveler. Musician. Curious. Inspired. Polyglot. Lifelong Learner. Tinker. Tailor. Soldier. Sailor. Professional.

Made in Germany, kindergarden in Japan, studies in the US and Germany, career in Germany, France and South Africa. People, places, the things they do and how they do it are captivating my imagination.

From East to West, the Old World and the New, North to South: It is a great fortune to participate in the diversity of life. Studies and work in different disciplines include tourism, lyrical arts, international mega-events, railway cruises, piloting airboats and language services.

In the journey of personal growth, I learned to be a team-player and a leader. Fluent in German, English and French, I converse and interpret with joy between languages and cultures. Thanks to a lifelong global experience, and now as a company director, CEO and language professional, I also recognize the importance of the unspoken to create understanding.

This journey leads from encounter – connection – understanding – generating purpose to implementation.




SATI member no. 1000226


    • Simultaneous
    • Consecutive
    • Whispered
    • On-Site
    • Remote Simultaneous Interpreting (RSI)
    • Video-Conferencing

    • Business & Management
    • Contracts
    • Documents
    • Marketing
    • Presentations
    • Product Labels

    • Corporate Videos
    • Documentaries
    • Radio Ads
    • Training Videos
    • Multimedia Presentations
    • Webvideos

    • News Articles
    • Marketing Presentations
    • Travel Descriptions
    • Web Content

  • EDIT


    • Incoming – Hosting for Foreign Visitors
    • Outgoing – International Travel support

    • Advertising / Media / Marketing
    • Automotive Industry
    • Business & Management
    • Climate Change
    • Disaster Management
    • Energy
    • International Affairs
    • Labour Unions
    • LGBTQI+ matters
    • Mining
    • Music
    • Nature Conservation
    • Policing, Safety & Security
    • Urban Development
    • Womens’ Rights



Cultural sensitivity, leadership, team work and empathy are essential character attributes to add value in diverse environments.
Eloquence in several languages and experience in diverse fields of activity are some of the building blocks to success. Examples include:

Clean the Crocodile Campaign, from April 2020 ongoing
The Crocodile River is the major tributary to Hartbeespoort Dam,
with the Hennops and Jukskei Rivers as confluents.
Lack of service delivery in human settlements, defective sewerage plants
and uncontrolled industrial waste water lead to catastrophic environmental pollution
severely impacting living conditions and wildlife habitat.
Funded by residential estates, holiday resorts, local business,
volunteer engagement & online crowdfunding, regular waste disposal along the banks reduces pollution and provides work opportunities for local community members.
Hartbeespoort, South Africa

10th World Choir Games, 4-14 July 2018
Local Director: Services May 2017 – August 2018
30 years of INTERKULTUR and the 10th edition of the World Choir Games
were celebrated in 2018 with the first-ever World Choir Games in Africa.
The world’s largest international choir competition brought 16,000 participants of amateur choirs
from 60 nations together in 28 competition categories, numerous Friendship Concerts and major singing projects.
Responsibilities as local director included accommodation, meals, transport, access control, safety, and the Joint Operating Committee.
Pretoria, South Africa

The Mozart Year, January 27 – December 5, 1991
The Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756. A child prodigy at the piano, he went on a concert tour to Munich with his sister Maria Anna when he was six years old. He wrote his first opera at the age of nine and became Konzertmeister to the Archbishop of Salzburg at 13. In 1781 he moved to Vienna, where he died a decade later at just 35 years of age. The young Mozart spent a total of more than ten years travelling through Europe, stopping at about 200 stations. The journey through Europe, which the Mozart family embarked on in 1763, lasted three and a half years alone. Wolfgang Amadeus was seven years old when the family set off from Salzburg. With German as his mother tongue, he learned Latin, as was customary at the time, as well as French, Italian and some English. Mozart’s complete musical oeuvre comprises, according to today’s knowledge, about 1060 titles. In the Mozart year 1991, on the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death on 5 December 1791, several hundred concerts were held in Salzburg and Vienna alone. Research in historical documents and the composer’s personal correspondence allowed me to reconstruct important journeys through Europe and the places visited along the way. This made it possible to create events, historical re-enactments, concerts and performances at their original locations, e.g. the Strahov Monastery in Prague. Furthermore participation in the book “On the traces of Mozart”.
Product Manager: January 1990 – April 1992
La Fugue, Paris, France


hta Harties Tourism Association NPC, 2015-current
growing tourism in Hartbeespoort
networking, destination marketing, lobbying
Hartbeespoort, South Africa

Shongololo Express, 2001-2006
16-day train cruises through 8 countries in Southern Africa
3 trains, 276 beds, kitchen, restaurant & bar
excursion vehicles on board
Johannesburg, South Africa

Incentive Touring, 1997-2006
Inbound tourism to Southern Africa
coach tours, agriculture, mining, choirs
Johannesburg, South Africa

03. CEO

Airboat Afrika, 2007-current
Providing airboats and services in Africa & Asia
· Tourism, Safaris, Birdwatching, Fishing
· Nature & Wildlife Conservation
· Film Shoots, Music Videos, Advertising, Fashion, TV Shows
· GPS Mapping, Bathymetry
· Water Sampling, Weed Control & Environmental Management
· Flood Relief, Food Distribution
· Search & Rescue, Medical Evacuation
· Recovery, Construction, Cargo & Personnel Transport
· Law Enforcement, Border Patrol, Security Services
Johannesburg, South Africa




It’s all about making things happen.
Fast, uncomplicated, correct and complete.
Being decisive, prioritizing to save time and cost is what enables me to create added value.



People, places, the things they do and how they do it – everyone’s needs are different. One thing we all have in common: dealing with people. And that’s where I add value.

“Chris has the most important skill in our industry, a dominance in English, French & German, both as a simultaneous and consecutive interpreter. His experience ranges from infrastructure development, women’s rights and climate change to international corporate affairs and international relations.”

Sales Executive
Congress Rental, South Africa

“Your knowledge of French and rapid grasp of project parameters has enabled our mission to the National Hydrocarbons Corporation of Cameroon to create a sustainable and beneficial partnership.”

Managing Director and Founder
Kulani Engineering, South Africa

“We would like to thank you once again for your support during the IndustriALL seminar.
We frequently have workshops with our colleagues in PE and will need your language support in future.”

European Group Labour Council and Global Group Labour Council
The Secretariat General
Volkswagen AG, Germany




Find answers to your questions about language services, project management, availability and pricing.
Why do I need an interpreter when I already have bilingual staff?2020-04-26T20:12:56+02:00

Just speaking another language is not enough. You must of course be perfectly fluent to speak, read and write in both languages.
You must also have knowledge of the subject matter terminology, vocabulary, terms and phrases.

To convey meaning accurately requires in-depth familiarity with a language and its cultural background.
And finally, interpreting demands utmost concentration – something that is trained for through years of practice.

Simultaneous” means right now, live, as it happens. And that requires a special skill, in addition to language proficiency as such.
After all – you don’t just let anyone with a driver’s license race a formula 1 car…

What’s the difference between interpretation and translation?2020-04-30T17:52:05+02:00



Spoken or Signed

Interpreters convert spoken or signed (SASL) expressions from one language into another


Translators convert written expressions from one language into another

Real Time

Interpreters work in real time
they interpret at the same time as the original is spoken = simultaneous
or they speak in pauses in between = consecutive

Scheduled Delivery

Translation takes time to be completed

Both Languages

Interpreters are fluent in both languages

Target Language

Translators often specialize in one direction only

On The Spot

Interpreters work in real time without additional resources


Translators use dictionaries

Example: Business Meeting

Interpreters ensure smooth communication flow

Example: Marketing Material

Includes brochures, website content etc.

Conference Equipment

Interpreters use headsets with microphones,
or speak freely


Translators use laptops and CAT software

Out there

Interpreters come to wherever they’re needed.
Conferences, hospitals, courts, meetings, factories etc.

Home Office

Translators work mostly from home,
sometimes in an office environment


Interpreters are more likely to be extroverts


Translators are more likely to be introverts

Business Attire

Interpreters being usually embedded with their clients,
the dress code is more formal


Essentially working on their own,
translators tend to dress casually

What is simultaneous interpreting?2020-04-26T22:52:52+02:00

Simultaneous interpretation (also known as conference interpretation, or real-time interpreting) is when the speaker’s voice is interpreted without interruption as he/she is speaking. The interpreter listens to one language and speaks in another, simultaneously, the two voices speaking at once.

Research has shown that 23 cognitive skills are involved in simultaneous interpreting. Simultaneous interpretation usually requires specific sound equipment.

Why do interpreters work in pairs?2020-04-26T23:07:06+02:00

Simultaneous interpretation demands utmost concentration and is very stressful and tiring.
Research finds concentration and energy levels of jet fighter pilots, air traffic controllers, formula 1 race drivers and simultaneous interpreters to be similar.
At least 2 interpreters are needed per language pair to work in 20-30 minute shifts.

What is consecutive interpreting?2020-04-26T23:12:51+02:00

In consecutive interpreting, the interpreter waits until the speaker completes an idea (a passage of speech, a sentence, a shorter part of a speech, or logical unit) and translates it into another language. Therefore, consecutive interpretation requires pauses between passages for the interpretation to be spoken. First the interpreter listens to the entire phrase then she/he interprets it into the target language.

What information will I need to provide for interpretation?2020-05-04T17:33:16+02:00

In order to prepare optimally, the following elements need to be submitted:

  • Dates & Times
  • The exact location of the event
  • The program of the event
  • The required mode of interpretation: simultaneous, consecutive, escort, etc.
  • Nature of assignment (conference, business talks, etc.)
  • Topic(s)
  • Languages
  • Will there be any overtime (e.g. dinner functions)?
  • Any documents or presentations relevant to your event
  • Any other special requirements
What information will I need to provide for translation?2020-05-04T17:16:46+02:00

I will need to see the original text to be able to assess the task.
If no text is available, I will need:

  • Topic of the text
  • Level of difficulty (general, technical, etc.)
  • Audience for the document
  • Languages
  • Deadline
  • Amount of words
  • Formatting (DTP) requirements
  • Any other special requirements
When should I book an interpreter?2020-04-27T10:52:18+02:00

As early as possible. For experienced interpreters, the schedule fills weeks and months in advance. That is why you should book as early as possible: it is common to book interpreters for major events 6 months before they happen and a year in advance for annual events.

What if I need a face-to-face interpreter right now?2020-04-27T11:21:17+02:00

If you need an interpreter for an emergency, I will do my best as quickly as possible.
When you cannot wait, I will endeavor to assist you on the phone until the on-site interpreter arrives or throughout the entire emergency.

How do you guarantee confidentiality?2020-04-27T11:45:21+02:00

Confidentiality for language professionals is a basic given of the ethics we adhere to.
There must be doubtless confidence that trade secrets, sensitive negotiations or legal matters remain under wraps. International top level summits always involve interpreters, who are held to convey meaning truthfully, accurately and comprehensively, and preserve absolute secrecy about the participants and content to any third parties.
Signed acceptance of the Code of Ethics is a prerequisite for membership of the South African Translators’ Institute.

What is Escort Interpreting?2020-04-27T12:10:48+02:00

No, it’s not what you’re thinking.

Have you ever been surrounded by a language or culture that you do not understand? You’ll probably have experienced the frustrations and difficulties that come with encountering a language barrier. These frustrations can be multiplied when you are traveling for business without the aid of a local expert. In this instance, hiring an escort interpreter will be to your advantage.

In escort interpreting, the interpreter is there to interpret (or orally translate) everything back and forth.

An escort interpreter functions as an assistant, helping clients to navigate while they are traveling on business trips. These interpreters may accompany clients to a single or a number of meetings.

Escort interpreters are not just interpreters, but often act as cultural liaisons, responsible for everything from ordering food to closing multi million dollar business deals.

An escort interpreter may be hired for an individual or a small group of people. An escort interpreter may be hired when you are planning to travel to a location where there is a language barrier, or by you when hosting visitors who speak another language.

When hiring an escort interpreter, make sure your interpreter is a knowledge expert on the local language, culture and locations.

You typically have a lot of contact and close interactions when using an escort interpreter. It is important to choose an escort interpreter who is friendly, personable and whom you trust, since you will be depending on him to be your mouthpiece as you travel. You will also want an escort interpreter who maintains professionalism throughout the interactions.

An escort interpreter will help make your international trip a success, giving you the self-sufficiency and confidence to focus on your business.

Where are you based?2020-04-27T12:34:00+02:00

I am based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Are you available to travel?2020-05-03T19:43:22+02:00

Working for a variety of clients who are not based in my home town, I frequently travel.
Around South Africa, regionally throughout all countries in Africa, and overseas to just about any destination in Europa, Asia and America.

What languages do you work in?2020-05-03T21:18:51+02:00

German is my mother tongue, and I master English and French fluently both orally and in writing with excellent negotiating skills.
Any combination between those languages is possible.

What if I’m looking for other languages?2020-04-27T13:12:06+02:00

Language professionals are a tight-knit community, as we often work together on the same events.
This allows me to confidently source my most experienced colleagues in languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Kiswahili, Spanish and Portuguese.

What assignments do you accept?2020-04-29T11:17:38+02:00

You’ll see it all right here:
Language Services

When are you available?2020-04-27T13:44:53+02:00

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and in some years even 366 days

What kind of project management do you undertake?2020-05-03T20:42:51+02:00

Individually, as a team member or a team leader, my work experience is broad and ever growing in the most diverse fields, cultures and languages. For examples see more here.
And then just get in touch – let’s talk.

What are your rates?2020-04-27T14:39:30+02:00

Interpreting services are paid by the day. Subject matter, degree of difficulty and the type and duration of the assignment determine the actual pricing. Provisions for travel will be made.

Translations are charged per word. The price per word depends on the degree of difficulty of the translation, the language combination and also on the volume and urgency of the order.

Due to this dynamic, it is not feasible to make a general statement on final prices here.

Voice Recordings are paid per minute.
Often, it is more appropriate to speak about “recording and broadcast” fees, depending on the intended usage.
What’s the medium – online, radio, TV?
Is it commercial, for profit?
Will it be used only inside the client organization?
Will access to it be free of charge or behind a paywall?

I am happy to establish an individual offer that is tailored to your needs.

Talk to me, I look forward to hearing from you!

What methods of payment do you accept?2020-04-27T14:43:03+02:00

I accept credit cards, debit cards, domestic and international bank transfers.
Payment is requested in advance.

What is your standard operating procedure?2020-04-27T14:48:37+02:00

I collect input from a potential client, prepare an estimate, obtain approval, sign a contract with the client, generate an invoice to receive payment, prepare for the event and provide my services. A contract will be established for every service.

What information do you need for a language service costing?2020-05-04T18:10:54+02:00

For translations, see here.

For an interpretation costing, the following elements need to be submitted:

  • Dates & Times
  • The exact location of the appointment, including the name of the business, the building address, and the location within the building (for example: Caring Hospital, 1234 Street, City, Province, Oncology Department, 3rd floor)
  • A contact name and phone number on site
  • The program of the event
  • The required mode of interpretation: simultaneous, consecutive, escort, etc.
  • Nature of assignment (conference, business talks, etc.)
  • Topic(s)
  • Languages
  • Traveling requirements
  • Will there be any overtime (e.g. dinner functions)?
  • Do you need simultaneous interpretation equipment? (Can be provided, a separate quote will be created. Additional information will be requested.)
  • Will you need audio services (PA system, microphones, etc,)
  • Any documents or presentations relevant to your event
  • Any other special requirements
I only need an interpreter for an hour. Do you charge by the hour?2020-04-27T14:59:01+02:00

We can always discuss your project and customize prices for you, however, interpretation is usually charged by the day.

Even if I interpret for only an hour, it still requires preparation, getting there and back. It will not be possible to sell the rest of my time on that day to anyone else. Therefore, as a standard practice in the industry, a sustainable minimum is required.

Why a Cancellation Fee is Not “Free Money”2020-05-03T20:37:06+02:00

Assignments do get cancelled sometimes, unfortunately. In that case, a cancellation fee paid to interpreters is common, and here is why:
Interpreters prepare diligently for an event. Sometimes, it takes several days of reading agendas, reports, glossaries, and online sources to prepare for a 1 hour event. Preparation time is required even for seemingly simple topics and is included into interpreters’ daily rates. It would be grossly negligent and highly unprofessional to come to an assignment unprepared.

If an event is cancelled or dates are changed, “lucrum cessans” (lost income) practice dictates that interpreters receive a cancellation fee for the time they spent preparing and for the income that was lost.

The amount of the cancellation fee is stipulated in the contract and can reach 100%. The reason being that it is next to impossible to find a replacement assignment at short notice.

Cancellation fees can be progressive depending on when the event is cancelled or postponed.

I will in any case inform the client if I have been able to find a replacement job and will reduce the cancellation fee accordingly.

Why should I / we work with you?2020-05-03T21:02:11+02:00

In addition to good looks and a charming personality?
My expertise and professional ethics build on years of business experience around the globe, in the most diverse fields of activity.
Thanks to my rapid grasp of changing environments I am able to act with flexibility and recognize opportunities in face of the unexpected.
I have come to experience the need for top quality engagement and absolute confidentiality first hand throughout my career.
I therefore take my assignments and their preparation very personal – also, because my only capital as a freelance language professional is my reputation.
Resulting repeats and referrals are what secures future contracts for me.
Take a look at a few examples of the companies and organisations who put their trust in me here.




You need an interpreter or to translate documents.
You need support with your project or your mission.
Call +27 (0)82 857 7408,
Email mailservice@chrisgrosch.net or
Talk to me here ↓

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