German Translation Clarification

When it comes to translating your marketing material (websites, videos, brochures, manuals, etc.), it is important to be aware of stylistic preferences and dialects for the three main German markets: Germany, Austria, and German-speaking Switzerland.

The Swiss and Austrian German dialects differ from High German not only in pronunciation but also in vocabulary and word choices. “Estrich,” for instance, means “attic” in Switzerland and is a kind of indoor floor pavement in Germany. Understanding the dialects can be challenging, even among German speakers, but to avoid difficulties speakers in all countries can always switch to High German (Hochdeutsch) when communicating.

If your brochure or website targets all countries, a text written in High German will mostly fit all. However, if you are targeting an audience only in Switzerland or Austria, you should use a native reviewer of that country after the initial translation to run a final edit on the High German text. (We can do this for you, of course).

The rule is: The more technical the written material, the more likely High German will suit it best. But the more the audience is targeted, such as a PR campaign, the more crucial it is to have a final approval from an expert in the target country/area.