Start-ups, wherever they emerge in the world, have one key thing in common: connectivity. They are born in the digital age. Nearly every start-up these days has an online presence. Many may even never exist without the Internet. That means they have the potential to reach a global market very quickly, but to do s means taking into account the very important role that translators have to play.
It is probably unnecessary to remind German start-ups of the importance of German translation services. While Germany, and other German-speaking populations such as in Austria and Switzerland, remain huge potential markets for start-ups, a truly global strategy must take into account the fact that German is not an international language. If the start-up is to launch itself on the international stage, it means using German translation agencies to help get their message across to more than a limited market.
The important lesson for German start-ups is to put the needs of translation early into their business plan rather than think about it at the last minute. There is a big difference in the quality of the message the start-up wants to put across when it is properly planned rather than made up ad hoc after realising that there is a huge potential market out there beyond national borders.
Businesses often make the mistake of trying to save on translation costs and start-ups can make exactly the same mistake as those who have been operating for many years. The biggest mistake, especially for an Internet-savvy generation, is to rely solely on computer generated German translation services rather than human translators. The fact is that professional translation agencies often use a number of tools to make their work easier and faster but never rely on computer translation or machine translation alone It is simply not accurate enough at this point in time for professional marketing.
The worst thing that any start-up can do is to ignore the need for professional (and admittedly costlier) German translation and opt for cheaper alternatives which can dent their emerging image very quickly. It’s a lot easier to develop a poor image because of the quality of poorly translated content on a website than it is to battle to correct a negative image once it has developed.
Marketing research consistently shows that the majority of Internet browsers prefer to use the Internet in their own language even if they are bilingual. That doesn’t mean they ignore websites in a language that isn’t their native language but they understand, but this may not be common. There are 1,400 million people in China and nearly that number in India. These markets together are huge and are much larger than the German-speaking market within Europe. It’s a fair bet that very few Chinese or Indians are going to spend much time trying to decipher a German start-up’s website if it is only in German, even if the newly created business really has something that these millions of people want.