Since I’m originally from Germany, clients or colleagues sometimes ask me to translate into German, and are often surprised that I categorically refuse to translate from English back into my “mother tongue”.
The fact is that I have been living in England for so long, and have been involved in proofreading, editing and writing English copy for much longer even than I have been a translator, I just feel much more at home writing in English.
And, aside from having gained my DipTrans Diploma for translation from German into English only, I simply don’t feel comfortable translating into German. I’ve never even got used to the new “Rechtschreibregelung“, which was introduced a few years after I had moved to the UK.
I think my clients appreciate the fact that I have a more comprehensive grasp of the source text than some of my English-mother-tongue colleagues, especially the subtle nuances that are so important in marketing and advertising copy.
So, in a way, they see the fact that I’m mother-tongue German as a strength rather than a weakness, in spite of what the generally accepted industry rule-of-thumb says.