What do I need to start translating real world text?
Not sure exactly what you're looking for, but you need some real world text (as supplied by Duolingo) and an English/German dictionary (virtual dictionary supplied by Duolingo) and then work away at the real world passages that Duolingo gives us. Everything you absolutely need is supplied online by Duolingo. Of course, having your own English/German dictionary might also help, as with some translations Duolingo doesn't give you access. The more skill lessons and practice sessions you complete, the better you'll get.