German/English language websites

Get your website in English and German

Get your website in English and German

Language is the essence of communication

Good communication is one of the most important aspects of any business. In fact it helps in all areas of life whether a computer geek, scientist or teacher if one is able to explain ones ideas and understand somebody else’s. It makes for great people interactions. In business there is hardly anything more important. As part of communication language is of course at the top of the list. Sure one can communicate by grunting, signing or facial expressions amongst many forms and types. At the end of the day the written and spoken language is still going to come out tops in the importance stake. This is particularly relevant when communicating via ones website.

Is a dictionary safe to use?

Dictionary for website translation

Dictionary for website translation

Would you call Preiselbeeren cowberry or cranberry? Which one would your English speaking visitor to your restaurant in Berlin understand? Both are of course correct but cranberry is definitely more commonly used. It’s this feeling or experience in what would be the more appropriate word that distinguishes the good copy writers in a language from the excellent ones. Or in other words the people who depend on a dictionary and those who ‘know’ a language. It’s important to use copy writers who know a language rather than those who depend on looking up words. Those that know how to do it have a few special tricks. They read out loud what they have translated to feel the rhythm. They print out their text and read it again on paper. They check for sense. If they have to hesitate to know whether the text makes sense then they know they have a problem. They keep even sentence and paragraph lengths appropriate to the language and always keep their readers in mind. Of course there are instances where words have been taken from another language and now feature as regular vocabulary. As an example the word training in English has been adapted in German to take a plural form as per trainings. For an English speaker this is slightly jarring. However, for Germans it’s correct.

Your website copy is who you are

It’s important to make sure the copywriter who writes your English or German copy has an inherent feeling for the language. For that it’s preferable that the person’s home language is the one which they use for your copy. Use a German to write your German copy and an English speaker to write the copy for the English site. It will stop the cowberries of this world from sneaking into a menu item. How your copy is written and how good the language is reflects on you and your company. Sloppy and even hilariously wrong translations will reflect badly on your company. It’s shrugged off with a smile and laugh when visiting Asian countries but in Europe it’s not advisable. Be careful. It’s worth it.

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Excellent service with excellent response and delivery times, plus definitely met my expectations with regards to the creative side of the project, and making technical issues understandable.

Niki Bilocca

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