Denglish? Don’t let your German client do the translation themselves.



Our Dutch clients often ask us to translate into English and German. A report, “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy”, from Common Sense Advisory shows that people are more inclined to make a purchase when content is provided in their own language. It is striking that large German companies and international players regularly opt for English language marketing to reach their German target audience. But is the message conveyed to their German target audience in Denglish?

 

Traditionally, our neighbour Germany has been the Netherlands’ most important trading partner. The trade volume in 2013 between the Netherlands and Germany was 178.7 billion euro. Naturally, this provides enormous opportunities for Dutch companies.

 

English is a world language. Many millions of people speak English as their native language. When you include all the people who speak English as a second language, it is the most spoken language in the world. It is the international language for science, automation, aviation, medical industry, international organizations and tourism and advertising also use English a great deal.

 

Denglish

 

In advertising, we see that the English language is appearing more often in Germany. This is probably to reduce translation costs or create some international allure for the receiver of the message. But, is it really so sensible to communicate in English with a German target audience?

 

Research shows that many Germans do not have a sufficient command of the English language. The Douglas advertising message, “Come in and find out”, is a classic example of an English slogan that is often misunderstood. Many Germans thought the translation was “Komm rein und finde wieder raus” (Come in and go out again). Read more about the research at Zeit.de.

 

 

Want to introduce your product in Germany? It is important to know who your target audience is and the best way to reach them. Even though our eastern neighbous resemble us somewhat in language and culture, there are still substantial difference between cultures. On the business front, you are more inclined to use “Sie”, whereas we in the Netherlands are more inclined to switch to “je”. Germans attach a lot of value to formality and will more often use “Sie” than “du”.

 

Translation agency Global textware ensures that your message is understood in other markets as intended in the text.
If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact us.

 

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