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Don’t Short Cut German Translation
New business players hoping to penetrate the huge German market are often unaware of just how important it is to use a professional German translation service rather than relying on cheaper, but less accurate translators or worse still using internet-based or automatic translation technology.
Business aimed at the German-speaking market is too potentially lucrative to shortcut good German translation. The number of German speakers tops 100 million in Europe alone, with Germany itself and Austria being the main native German-speaking nations. Many people overlook the fact that there are many other smaller German-speaking communities across Europe such as in Liechtenstein, Switzerland, France, Poland, Denmark and the Czech Republic.
In addition, there is a minority German-speaking population in countries as widely spaced apart as the USA, Paraguay and Argentina, Namibia and Australia. These smaller communities may very well speak the main language in that country well, but will certainly respond to the rich cultural context of their native language.
The German language is distinctly different from many other languages, even if it is related to others in the Indo European language group. It has its own spelling and grammatical nuances which if translated incorrectly may turn an important document into something which at the least may seem clumsy and badly worded but at the worst may result in incomprehension.
It cannot be stressed enough that spending wisely on professional and experienced German English translation services is money worth spending and an investment in a potentially rewarding business initiative.
English German translators should be aware of the now standardised orthography used across the German-speaking nations. This goes a long way to help in effective translation even if regional pronunciation, like with many languages, can make understanding the spoken word more difficult. The translator basically has an easier job than the interpreter!
One aspect of German translation that can present a problem is the use of “imported” vocabulary into German. As with French, Russian and Spanish, it is inevitable that a lot of words borrowed from other languages have crept into common usage in German, especially amongst certain subcultures that as a business you may very well be trying to reach. In the past this fremdwörter, as they are called in German, were untouched when used in a specifically German context, but there has been a trend towards converting their orthography to make them easier to integrate with standardised German.
German as a whole has few problems when it comes to confusion between words that sound the same (unlike English), but German grammar is considerably more complex than English and even little mistakes could be misinterpreted by the German reader. That’s just another reason why you should insist on good quality German English translators.