Tag Archives: translation

German Translation: Why You Need It

For any company doing business internationally – and particularly in Europe – translation into German is a must.

Not only is German the language with the most native speakers in Europe, it’s the language of a country with one of the world’s most advanced, stable, profitable economies, with top global brands in finance, technology, automotive, engineering, and more.  Top global companies like Allianz, Deutsche Bank Group, Siemens Group, ThyssenKrupp, Volkswagen, and BMW are all based in Germany.

To put the need for German translation into perspective, here’s a quick question to put help illustrate just how popular German translation is: does the acronym ‘EFIGS’ means anything to you?

If it does, then, the need for this article will be obvious.  If EFIGS sounds more like a dried fruit that belongs in a cookie, then, the following explanation should shift your thoughts from dessert, to languages and professional translation.

EFIGS is the commonly used acronym for English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.  This group represents a list of European languages where, when one is needed, all are needed.

But, if we were to list these in order of which has the most native speakers in Europe, which is among the top 10 languages on the internet, which is an official European Union language, and which is the language of the country with the 5th largest economy in the world, then, all answers point to German.

If your company is interested in being taken seriously as an international enterprise, these services – provided by VeraLanguage International’s German teams – are absolutely crucial: having a German language version of your website, German text in your product manuals, and German voiceover in your videos.  Other necessary services include German interpretation for phone calls, and German cultural analysis and planning for your international brand strategy & business plan.

E-Learning Localization: Vera’s the Best of the Best

Do you use Adobe Captivate? Do your clients need your courses in other languages? (Yes.) That's what we're here for...

Do you use Adobe Captivate? Do your clients need your courses in other languages? (Yes.) That’s what we’re here for…

Why not take this opportunity to discuss e-learning?  Better yet – why not talk about Vera’s skills in e-learning localization?

…we see no reason not to.  That’s good enough for us.

In 2013, we’ve completed a number of multi-language, multi-national e-learning courses.  Not only do we love e-learning and education – our skills in this space are truly unmatched.  Where else can you localize your e-learning courses – in any language – via native linguists, voice artist, and designers, with the accuracy, intelligence, relevance, and passion – all for excellent rates and in record turnaround times?

(The answer is: nowhere else.)

Don’t worry – we don’t give away the answers that easily in our e-learning courses.

So, we’ll be talking a good deal about e-learning translation, voiceover, design, desktop publishing, programming – and localization – as we go on.

Adobe Captivate?  Check.

Articulate?  Check.

Articulate Presenter and Storyline?  Check and check.

And the list goes on and on…

What to do?  Get in touch with us any time, 24/7 – to discuss your E-learning Captivate projects:

info@veralanguage.com or call us at 801.984.3346.

Thanks to all our clients and friends.  We are here for and because of … you.



VeraLangauge International
Any Language. Any Project. Any Time.

Grandpa Ghostbuster Goes to Sea ≈ …

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

(See why here.)


Never was there a better opportunity to emphasize the ≈ in the concept of translation and international marketing / communication. Also, any time we can reference Wes Anderson and Bill Murray, we will.

Thus – our blog series on localization takes us to an examination of the art form of translation, with the help of some of the greatest artistic representations known to man. (Mmm hmm).

First off, this isn’t a commentary about ‘bad’ translation or ‘wrong’ translation. Yes, there are plenty instances of mistranslation out there (or, Lost in Translation, if you will) – but, this is a note about translation as localization, or trans-creation, rather than apples to apples, word-for-word translation. The most accurate translation isn’t always a exact word for word translation.

Of all that there is to consider when embarking on a translation project, a short list would include:

  • Who is seeking localization? (e.g What company?)
  • Why is it sought? (e.g. Marketing, Sales, Instruction, Information?)
  • Who will do the localizing? (e.g. What professionals?)
  • Who will review the localizations? (e.g. An in-house team of the client’s employees?)
  • Who will view the finished product? (e.g. Employees, stakeholders, clients, everyone on YouTube?)

In the case of marketing a product – those who understand more than one language will tell you that between languages, there is a lot of word-for-word, but there is just as much (often more) room for interpretation and new creation of text. Simply put: it’s not always as simple as taking source words like The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and translating them word-for-word.

More specifically, if the purpose is to market a product – and if the absolute, stripped-down purpose is to turn a profit – perhaps a different title or tagline altogether is necessary. Perhaps the translator will give you something that only slightly resembles your source text. It’s not always this drastic, but, any translation is always a version of this concept.

Hence, the use of Grandpa Ghostbuster Goes to Sea as the title to market The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou in another country and language. Want to read more fun titles like this? Check out this website, also linked above, for translations of Wes Anderson titles in multiple languages.

Why such a different title than the original? To understand why, we must consider why the source title makes sense in the first place. Considering that this film was made in and first marketed in the U.S., it makes sense that the title can be artistic. Quirky. Whimsical. Catchy. Fun. And, given the genius and success of Mr. Anderson, the title does what is intended: it disperses a brilliant piece of artwork to an audience who will understand and appreciate (and also, consume) it.

Task number two: selling the film in other countries, to speakers of other languages. The translator, in this case – as in any case – must ask the client: what is the purpose of this translation project? If it’s to be whimsical and artistic, and not to care about the bottom line – then great, we’ll translate the title into something whimsical.

If the goal is simply to turn a profit – then, we’ll give you a title that will sell. We’ll consider that our audience remembers Ghostbusters, and will recognize the lead character from his role in that enormously popular film. We’ll note that he’s now grandpa-aged, and that, well, the movie has something to do with the sea (which is less sellable than the chance to see a beloved Ghostbuster again).

In the end, we may not know the details behind this particular translation project, but, those who understand translation will understand that this title may not just have been a Fail Blog entry waiting to happen; rather, it could have been the best way to market a U.S. movie abroad.

What to do? Watch Wes Anderson films. And, try not to get lost in translation, or worse – get lost thinking all translation must be word-for-word in order to be perfect. Ask yourself: do you want to be artistic, or profitable? Both can be important. Only you know which will be more important for your translation projects. Of course, that’s what we’re here to do – to help you determine which witch is which. Or which Ghostbuster is where. (And so on…)