A Pond Apart Offers 4 Benefits
That Translation Agencies Don’t
That Translation Agencies Don’t
At home in Germany and the U.S., I translate more than language.
Every culture has not only its own language but also its own way of thinking. It shows in the unique way people communicate. Even when proficient in a foreign language, your mindset and the way you word stay in the culture in which you’re at home. The sentence “On the inside one finds the standard convenience of a changing mat (…)” on the English website of a German bag manufacturer is clearly the translation of a German thinker. Linguistically correct but probably not how an English thinker would phrase it.
Most translators are at home in the culture of the target language—the language into which they translate. What happens when they come across cultural peculiarities in the foreign-language text? They oftentimes translate literally or guess—with incorrect or strange results.
Despite its similar spelling and sound, the American “hotel credit” is very different from the German “Hotelkredit”. And the word “fun”—or rather its German equivalent—is used much more sparingly and sometimes differently in German than in American culture. The literal translation of “a fun makeup” would therefore not work. And a garbage disposal, an active shooter drill, or an amber alert—to name but a few—are probably things you won’t find outside of the U.S. A translator not deeply familiar with life in both the U.S. and Germany will likely not find appropriate translations for these and countless other terms.
As a German who has lived in the U.S. for 17 years, I'm at home in both languages and cultures.
As communications specialist, I translate not only texts but also concepts.
Same company, foreign location? Same product, foreign market? Marketing and corporate communications need to be adapted to the local culture. These types of texts typically don’t lend themselves to a translation but require an expert localization or transcreation.
With a background in marketing and corporate communications, texts from these fields are my specialty. Whether website, product brochure or company presentation, internal information to employees about the change in leadership or employee satisfaction surveys, client invitations to the company’s trade show booth or report to local media outlets about the new factory—
I reword your messages and information so that they are well received by your German or American audience.
I get to the bottom of your text.
An obsession from my former life as jurist—meticulous research. I research thoroughly to ensure I really understand your text: your products and services, your company, your competitors, your industry and market. When looking for the best translation of a word, a glance at the dictionary will rarely do. Definitions, synonym lists, industry media, trend research—in my search for the ideal translation, I consult numerous resources. I check proper names and technical terms in your text for correct spelling and quotes for their correctness and proper context.
Guess work may be the method of choice for many texts but not for mine.
I ask and inform for good decisions.
If I come across wording in your text that I find ambiguous, I'll double-check with you to ensure I translate correctly. Who is the target audience of your article? I request this and other relevant information before I start work to get the tone of your translation right.
After reviewing your product description, I find that a translation is not the best solution—I‘ll recommend a localization or transcreation.
While the decision is always yours, I provide you with valuable information to set you up for the best choice.
Initiative, communication, consulting—for your best results.
Time and expertise instead of quick ‘n’ dirty
You know the saying “You get what you pay for. ” Many translation agencies offer translations for dirt cheap. Their secret? Machine-translated texts or underpaid freelancers who invest minimum time in their translations to make a living. The result: poorly worded texts with errors. If incorrect information or a text with mistakes is published, you have saved in the wrong place.
I devote the time to your text that it deserves. In addition to the qualification “certified translator,” I offer added value: extensive experience with German and American culture and corporate world, with marketing and corporate communications as well as insights into different industries.
Need a quick turnaround? I still use all the time I have available, work diligently, and prioritize.
I care about the quality and success of your text.
Business as usual or not—I cater to your needs, flexibly and on time.
The product packaging for your Christmas edition is approved on Friday afternoon and needs to go to the printer on Monday morning—in German and English. For the coverage of your tradeshow activities over multiple days you need a translator on standby. Your brochure is revised after close of business, and the revisions need to be implemented in the translated text by the following morning.
Upon request, I offer flexible services. Quick turnarounds, revisions, unforeseen events:
Flexibility comes with the territory. And on-time delivery goes without saying.
Tailored services instead of mass processing: personal care on site, customized to the expat‘s needs.
Many large relocation companies offer cookie cutter care. The planning and communication come from an office far from the expat’s destination. Because every expat’s situation is unique, I offer personal care customized to individual needs rather than standardized solutions.
Your German assignee has never lived in the U.S. before and requires comprehensive assistance: dealing with agencies, finding a real estate agent, reviewing the lease agreement, opening bank accounts, choosing a cell phone provider—everything an expat needs to get set up at the new destination. Or he has previously lived in the U.S. for a few years—he’s familiar with many aspects of life in the U.S. but needs help enrolling his kids at the local school. Maybe his family is a bit discouraged because many things are different in the U.S.— from driving, shopping and restaurants over healthcare and pharmacy through to preschool. A bilingual, local guide for his family in the first days while he’s at work would make a world of a difference.
I coordinate with your relocation company and customize settling-in assistance for your German expat assignee.
Taking a plunge? My boat has a dry spot for you.
Moving across the Atlantic? Been there, done that. Because I’ve made the experience of a new start in the U.S. myself, I know the challenges.
I'm familiar with the logistical challenges. I know what it’s like to get used to a new life in a different culture. After a total of 17 years in the U.S., I know the differences between life in Germany and the U.S., between the cultures and the mentality. Naturally, every expat will need to experience these differences herself. But proper preparation with helpful information and hands-on support on site make this process much easier.
Thanks to my personal experience with a move from Germany to the U.S., I support your German assignee with competence and empathy.