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English translation: Chamber of Trades and Crafts


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German term or phrase:Handwerkskammer
English translation:Chamber of Trades and Crafts
Entered by: Kim Metzger
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09:35 Oct 9, 2001
German to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Education / Pedagogy
German term or phrase: Handwerkskammer
This is a report about transatlantic cooperation in the field of professional education. Among other things the corresponding program of the "Handwerkskammer" in Koblenz. Most of the project has already been translated by someone else and the person translated it as "Chamber of
Handicrafts", which, quite frankly, gives me the creeps. I was thinking more in the line of "trade corporation".
Any suggestion/comments?
Thanks in advance.
Chamber of Craft; Chamber of Handicraft
"Chamber of Craft" yields 265 Google hits.
"Chamber of Handicraft" yiels some 65 Google hits.
Selected response from:

Sven Petersson
Local time: 12:18
Grading comment
It's a continuous learning process!
Thanks for doing my homework. It won't happen again.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer


Summary of answers provided
5 +3Better late than neverDan McCrosky
5Chamber of Craft; Chamber of Handicraft
Sven Petersson
5Chamber of Arts and CraftsMartin Schneekloth
4Chamber of Tradecochrum
3Chamber of Craft Trades or Artisan Association



7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Chamber of Craft; Chamber of Handicraft

"Chamber of Craft" yields 265 Google hits.
"Chamber of Handicraft" yiels some 65 Google hits.

Sven Petersson
Local time: 12:18
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
It's a continuous learning process!
Thanks for doing my homework. It won't happen again.
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5

15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Chamber of Craft Trades or Artisan Association

My dictionary (Duden)gives "Chamber of Crafts" for this, but that may be too close to your correct but creepy original. Your second idea "Trade corporation" does appear in Collins; so you could probably use it if you like.

Good luck!

United States
Local time: 03:18
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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20 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Chamber of Arts and Crafts

I know it is too late but this is definitely the correct translation. I have to disagree with all the other suggestions because I know this one for sure.

    Native German full-time in-house translator in US (IT, civil engineering)
Martin Schneekloth
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
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2 days18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Better late than never

Coming from Germany, you know that the HWKs are rather powerful organizations that are only found in a few countries, most prominently in Germany. We cannot say that there is a standard translation because these organizations are local in cities and districts here in Germany and their sphere of operation is also local with little international contact or international interest. For this reason they are much different from the Chambers of (Industry and) Commerce. In most cases, the HWKs do not publish much in English so they have rarely given much thought to naming themselves in English. In Greece, they usually translate their designation as "Chamber of Arts and Crafts" as does the HWK for Lüneburg as well as the HWK for Munich and lower Bavaria. There are also a few references to the translation "Chamber of Trades and Crafts" (for Hamburg, for example, but not officially from the chamber itself).

There are other popular translations that are absolutely dead wrong, such as "Chamber of Handicrafts". I have a mental picture of grandmothers sitting in a circle in front of the fireplace making quilts or a Native American pounding leather with a rock to make it soft.

NODE – The New Oxford Dictionary of English gives this (correct because of the word "domestic") definition for "handicraft":

"a particular skill of making domestic or other objects by hand"

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000. gives these definitions of "handicraft":

"1. Skill and facility with the hands. 2. A craft or occupation requiring skilled use of the hands. 3. Work produced by skilled hands."

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary agrees with the other two dictionaries:

"1 a : manual skill b : an occupation requiring skill with the hands
2 : the articles fashioned by those engaged in handicraft"

In spite of the two latter definitions and coming from the US, I would never speak of the work of an electrician, dispensing optician, dry cleaner, photographer, or a car mechanic as a "handicraft". These types of work are too technical for such a description.

"Chamber of Craft Trades" (whatever that might be) should not be used because there is no such thing as a "Craft Trade".

As you of course know, the function of the HWKs is to control the apprenticeship programs of the German "Dualsystem", offer continuing training programs, organize, administer and provide examinations for master's certificate programs, as well as many other activities for a long, long list of crafts/trades/occupations varying from electricians to furriers to car mechanics to chimneysweeps to goldsmiths to photographers to bakers to opticians to plumbers to radio/TV technicians to bookbinders to bike mechanics to roofers to watchmakers to butchers and so on and on and on. The various individual crafts/trades/occupations are also usually organized into associations or guilds (Innungen), for which the HWK serves as a sort of umbrella organization. Some of these German guilds are 500+ years old and still going strong. Here is a partial list of the guilds for Hamburg, other cities or districts may have more or fewer guilds:

Innungen = Guilds

Bildhauer- und Steinmetz
Boots- und Schiffbauer
Bürsten- und Pinselmacher
Gold- und Silberschmiede
Graveure, Galvaniseure und Metallbildner
Holz und Kunststoff
Kachelofen- und Luftheizungsbauer
Karosserie- und Fahrzeugbautechnik
Kupferschmiedehandwerk, den Apparate- und Rohrleitungsbau
Maler- und Lackierer
Parkett- und Fußbodentechnik
Radio- und Fernsehtechnik
Raumausstatter- und Sattler
Rollladen - und Jalousiebau
Sanitär Heizung Klempner
Schneid-, Schleiftechnik- und Büchsenmacher
Uhrmacher (Uhren, Schmuck und Zeitmesstechnik)
Vergolder-, Rahmengestalter- und Einrahmer

Which occupations/trades/crafts are controlled by the HWKs is more a matter of historical evolution than of logic, but for those occupations/trades/crafts controlled by the HWKs, the control is absolute. In Germany, one may not legally work in one of these occupations/trades/crafts without the registration with, approval of, and usually training and testing by, the local Handwerkskammer. One need not be a member of the less official guilds.

After looking at the above list, you can see that the words "crafts" and "trades" fit very well. The words "arts", "occupations" or "professions" appear to me to be less suitable. I would never, never write the terms "handicrafts" or "craft trades".

Although we are again trying to translate something we don't even have in any English language countries that I know of, my choice would be:

"Chamber of Trades and Crafts" – 17 Google hits


"Chamber of Crafts and Trades" – 25 Google hits

but definitely not

"Chamber of Arts and Crafts" – 26 Google hits

and also definitely not

"Chamber of Handicraft" – 54 Google hits

I received my master photographer certificate from the Hamburg Handwerkskammer in 1983 and was a member of the same chamber for many years after that.

Sorry this is so late but I hope it is of some help anyway.


Dan McCrosky
Local time: 12:18
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Andrew D: Later still, but its the correct one ;-)
2625 days

agree  Paul Cohen: Better late than never!
3817 days

agree  Johanna Timm, PhD
4117 days
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