Did you know German is the second-most spoken language in Europe, and the most widely understood language across the continent after English?
Approximately 95 million people in Europe speak German as their first language, second only to Russian.
German is the sole official language of Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein, and it is a co-official language in Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
On top of that, German is the most widely understood language in Europe after English. And it’s popular as a secondary language in Denmark, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Poland, Finland, Hungary, and several other European countries.
German translation is therefore key for any business or organization looking to grow its scope, especially if the focus is Europe.
Despite German being so widely spoken, translation does not come easy. We are here to outline why you need the best possible translators to assist.
Why Hire a German Translator
One of the apparent advantages of translating German to English is that both are popular languages, and the job can be done with relative ease.
Translating between the languages does require a translator, though. Even if you know the language enough to substitute word for word, capturing the correct meaning of the original text is equally important.
A prominent example would be the usage of the German word ‘Kuche’. English has two words for it: kitchen and cuisine. The onus is on the translator to determine which would be best in the given context.
German is also famous for some incredibly long words. For example, ‘Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung’ describes vehicle insurance. German grammar lends itself to tacking on parts to make single words stretch across a page. These compound words do not translate easily, especially if not used in a literal sense.
The most effective German to English translators will have experience with a variety of documents that require a balance between language and meaning.
Having decided bringing in a professional is the wisest route, you can elect to hire a translation agency or an independent consultant.
German to English Translation: Company vs. Consultant
There are pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to hire an established translation agency or work with a consultant.
While a small translation consulting firm may have vast experience with one or two areas, an established agency will have a team of translators to help cover all the bases.
Hire a German translation consultant if…
You are more comfortable dealing one-to-one and want a single person to go through your translation projects, then consultancy is right for you.
A German to English translation consultant usually works alone or has one or two people under them. Hiring a consultant is much cheaper, but they may not be capable of handling every type of translation.
If you are looking for a translator for a specific purpose, then you can choose to go with a German to English translation consultant.
Hire a German translation agency if…
You need a team that can effectively handle medical, financial, economic, and legal documents, and that is just for starters.
Agencies can also support other languages, develop technology-enabled solutions, offer more flexibility, and offer deeper specializations like localization. Agencies also benefit from computer assisted translation programs that interpret any language to German within minutes.
For bigger projects, choose a more established company with a bigger team of professionals that can handle anything you throw their way.
What to Look for in a German Translator
Choosing the right translation agency is crucial for the success of any company with global aspirations. Good translators will help grow your business around the world, taking your products and services to new audiences.
Since German is the most widely spoken native language in Europe, the need for translating your message here is high. Before partnering with an agency, be sure to check the following key points:
- Experience: Your translators need considerable experience in translating English to German and vice versa. Ask to see a strong sample size in order to gain a sense of the quality of work. Ask about the project manager specifically. As the individual in charge of overseeing your work, their personal knowledge and experience is vital to your success.
- Testimonials: Past customer reviews are a good indicator of a company’s quality of work. Be sure to check online to see what they are saying and ask for specific references that you can check.
- Quality guarantees: Work with a firm that guarantees translation quality. Look for the means and methodologies that a firm employs to ensure the best in quality. Certification matters as well. Look for agencies that are backed by proper accreditation and certifications and that offer round-the-clock customer support.
By focusing on these three key areas as a starting point, you can secure the right German translation agency and get your company’s messaging delivered in this wide-reaching language.
Grow with German Translation
We take care to provide the highest quality, accurate translation and ensure your translated text expresses your intended message.
Get in touch to deliver your message around the world today.
Hieroglyphs to Microchips: A Brief History of Translation
The history of translation has nothing to do with a revolution; it’s an ongoing evolution. Here's how we g...
How to get Hired (and Hired Again): Advice for Linguists
In the past several years I have hired lots of translators. While many of them continue to work with us fo...