Professional German Translation of a Business Letter

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Professional German Translation of a Business Letter

February 24, 2013

By Ofer Tirosh

Document Translation for International Business Correspondence

Global brands, corporations and international professional services very frequently have share-holders and partners and/or investors from two or more international locations.  Even if there is some ability to communicate in English, French, German or some other language known by both parties, all professional business documents, records, meetings, correspondence and other important brand documentation should always undergo professional language translation.  In other words, even if German business partners speak English as a second language, something like a formal written business letter between English and German partners still demands professional German translation.  Not only does the professional translation demonstrate a professional attitude, atmosphere and level of respect, but it ensures that all communication is accurately and precisely shared between partners.

Recently we translated a formal business letter between German and UK business partners.  The letter was directed to the German partners, therefore needing English to German translation for a total of 3,891 words.  Additionally, urgency was an issue, so our German translators and proofreaders churned out the completed document translation within 5 hours.  For whatever reason, about 50-60% of the business document translation requests submitted to us by clients require rushed translation services.

Sensitive Business Documents? Make Sure You Get Professional Translation

It also happened that the subject matter of the business letter translation was a delicate one.  After all, not all business correspondence is happy, celebratory brand acclaim, or a pat on the back.  Often business correspondence, especially between share-holders, partners and/or investors - is sensitive, critical or even borderline reprimanding.  This is another huge reason for professional business translation.  If the subject matter is already somewhat touchy or sensitive, and a business partner fluent in German takes it upon himself to re-write the letter and uses a wrong phrase, term or word - the results could be disastrous. 

Need an example? Let's say a letter is being sent from business investment partners to the CEO - one that is critical of business production lately, and instructs the CEO to focus more on top and bottom lines.  If an English to German translation changes it even slightly, it could have a totally different meaning.  This phrase illustrates the neccessity for translators with experience in  German and business translation services, in order to accurately translate "top and bottom line revenues" - an example of a phrase that would lose meaning if it were translated literally, or word for word.

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