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Market Your Business in the German LanguageIt may be disconcerting, but if you intend expanding your sales anywhere else apart from your own national base, you will need to seriously invest in translating all marketing material into the language of the place you wish to sell to. This means making sure you have a website translation tool, or preferably a whole version of your website translated professionally into the language(s) you need to use. Assuming that your main business language is English, don’t assume that international customers and clients will automatically be able to or wish to view marketing material of any particular kind in a language other than their own.

There are very good reasons for targeting the German speaking market. This encompasses around 100 million people in Europe, including the nationals of Germany itself, Austria, a good proportion of Switzerland and smaller minority communities in some other European countries. This is potentially a huge market, one that is well educated, sophisticated and affluent.

How to translate your marketing material into German

When considering how to translate your marketing material into German, it is worth spending time searching for a specialist German translation agency, i.e. one that uses German-English translators. It is also worth choosing an agency that specialises in marketing translation. This is because whatever you have used in your own national base doesn’t necessarily translate well if it is literally translated into German.

Marketing material in particular tends to focus on language that will engage potential customers. It is usually highly idiomatic and rich in colloquialisms. Humour is a typical marketing ploy as are well chosen images, graphics, colour and slogans that emphasise your brand. What works well in your own home base, in English, isn’t necessarily going to resonate in German, or at least when aimed at the German speaking market.

For a start, you may need to do some research of your own before you launch your German market expansion. What are you selling? Who is your potential market? Age, gender, educational level, ethnicity, socio-economic status, etc. are all criteria that can affect the language you use when marketing a new product. When you start to develop a relationship with a German translation agency, these are the things you will want to discuss so that the translator can craft your messaging appropriately. Marketing translation is a particular niche field of translation which uses a technique called localisation. Localisation is an extension of translation which takes into account the nuances of the specific market you intend exposing your products to. You may have a good idea of who you think might be interested in your products but you lack the language skills and familiarity with the cultural nuances that you need to fine tune your marketing messages.

As with many other languages, including English, note that German as a language is far from being completely uniform, especially the spoken version of it. Modern, standard German is of course used throughout the German speaking world when it comes to use in schools, government departments, for technical and scientific use, etc., but this isn’t necessarily what ordinary people speak. Vocabulary and accent vary quite a lot from the Northern parts of Germany itself through to Switzerland and Austria, so it might even mean adjusting your marketing translation so that it targets different communities in the German speaking world. This is something that you should discuss with your German translation agency.