Pupils in Germany get ‘Zeugnisse’ from their schools. These are called ‘school reports’ in Britain and ‘report cards’ in the US. And an ‘Arbeitszeugnis’ from an employer is a ‘letter of reference’ or ‘letter of recommendation’.
Read this German (!) article in the FAZ to find out how difficult it is to translate references and why you won’t find references in a lot of countries. And if this topic interests you, carry on reading in the sueddeutsche.de.