If you are looking for translation services in order to conquer the German market you should consider some of the characteristics of German language and culture business. First of all, in business you need to speak the language of your target market in order to establish successful business relationships. So, you would have to rely on translation agencies in Ottawa, Vancouver or anywhere else, to offer you high quality German translation of your documents. In order for you to understand the business mentality and characteristics of the German language, here are some explanations.
German is an Indo-European language that belongs to the western branch of Germanic languages. With more than 105 millions of speakers, it is the most spoken language within the European Union. In Europe, it is an official language in Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and more. German is also spoken but has no official status in Denmark, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and more. In Africa, it is spoken in Namibia, Togo, South Africa and Tanzania. In America, German is spoken in North American countries and in South America (Paraguay, Chile, Argentina and Brazil). As you can see from these numbers, German translations are important in reaching this huge market.
The German language uses 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, three vowels with an “Umlaut” (kind of dieresis) “ä”, “ö” and “ü”, and a special graphic symbol “ß”, “eszett” (both “s” and “z”). Until the 1940’s, German was printed in gothic characters (Fraktur) and written in “sütterlin”, which are different versions of the Latin alphabet. The spelling of the German language is generally based on the pronunciation and should not present a major problem. But the strong regional disparities of pronunciation may present greater difficulties. The main orthographic difficulties of German reside in:
- The “Fremdwörter” (foreign origin words), they are most often written with their original spelling in the foreign language, but the recent orthographic reform allows the germanisation of imported words;
- The letters “ä” and “e” in some cases are homophones and in other cases with similar but slightly different pronunciation;
- The distinction between simple consonants and double consonants which, in a limited amount of words and unlike the general rule, has no influence on the length of the vowel;
- The separation between the words and the non-capitalisation of some expressions.
In order to delete some of the difficulties described above, the German, Swiss and Austrian representatives have agreed on an orthographic reform. It has been in effect since 1998 in Germany and has been compulsory since the mid 2005. The main changes are:
- The homogenization of the written form of words that belong to the same family;
- The use of “ß” solely after the long vocals and the diphthongs;
- The systematization of the capitalization of nouns;
- The simplification of the punctuation and the use of comma;
- The simplification of terms coming from Greek and replacing “ph” with “f”.
Unlike languages such as English, classic German has a quite conform pronunciation regarding the written text and contains very few exceptions except for the words coming from foreign languages. Almost all vowels are clearly pronounced even if they are not followed by a mute letter used to insist on the previous letter. The difficulty comes into play with grammar as German is considerably more complex than English. Therefore it is best to approach reliable translation services provider in Ottawa or any other place.
In addition to linguistic complexities, German culture is also unique and German businesses decision makers generally are influenced by general German mentality characteristics. In order to successfully enter the German market, you need to select professional translation agency that will properly represent you and your company’s materials in this sophisticated market.