Take your eco-brand abroad

Taking your eco-brand abroad

In honour of yesterday’s Earth Day we took a little time at AJT to indulge in conversations about one of our favourite topics: Earth-friendly living.

And that’s not just because Anja and I are Germans living in an area of outstanding natural beauty (also known as Cornwall :). But it is safe to say that growing up in Germany has provided us with an environmentally friendly state of mind and a consciousness for sustainable living from a very young age. Several bins at home for recycling and the discussion about whose turn it is to roll the wooden handcart filled with empty glass bottles and jars to the local glass containers was part of our family lives. So was the constant carrying around of cloth bags for shopping – buying a plastic bag is theoretically possible in Germany, but practically it is a bit of a taboo and has been for at least 25 years.

Even though the UK is lagging behind Germany a little when it comes to eco-friendliness, Britain has seen a lot of progress in the development of initiatives and brands that really care about the earth in the past decade. In the 2014 Environmental Performance Index, which evaluates how well countries perform on high-priority environmental issues, the UK ranked 12th out of 178 countries showing a 3.48% improvement in the past ten years, while Germany comfortably rested in 6th place with an improvement of 1.89% over the past decade. These numbers show that eco-friendly innovation is growing fast in the UK and there are many reasons that suggest Britain could actually show Germany the ropes when it comes to making earth-friendly living even trendier. While Berlin is quickly developing as a hub for creativity and design, the UK still has an edge over Germany in most things aesthetic. NB: Our cloth bags in the 90s did not look half as cool as any of the designs you can buy in most fashion and health food shops across the UK today.

Breaking into the German eco-market with an innovative brand

German eco-brands are usually characterised by very high quality standards and plain or simple designs – a combination that is popular with German consumers. Still, there is a lot of scope for eco-friendly brands from the UK and elsewhere to mix things up and break into the German market. Here are just a few reasons why taking your eco-brand to Germany is probably a great idea:

  • Germany has a longstanding awareness of eco-friendly living and many Germans make eco-friendly purchase decisions.
  • Germans appreciate high quality products and are prepared to invest in sustainability and goods that last. A perfect example of this is Jack Wolfskin, a producer of high quality outdoor wear and equipment. They are so successful in Germany that spotting a group of people wearing Jack Wolfskin anywhere outside of Germany has almost become synonymous with “German tourists”.
  • Innovative designs and a creative approach to marketing will stand out in Germany: Imagine the possibilities of a high-quality product with a fresh innovative look and feel to it!

A great partner to help take your eco-brand abroad

Even though translating (unfortunately) doesn’t entail sticking our hands into soil on a daily basis, we love nature and strive to help making this planet a greener place. Working in the cloud means we use virtually no paper in our office and paying our translators a fair wage in turn enables them to invest in sustainable products and living. But most importantly: We love working with brands that care! Whether it’s natural skin food from our local skincare line Beyond Organics or responsibly sourced fabrics from cold water surfing company Finisterre – we are always keen to learn about new, innovative approaches to eco-friendly living and think out strategies to help clients take their messages abroad.

Get in touch with us to talk about all things earthy and how we can help you take your brand abroad.

German idioms

German idioms: It’s all about the sausage

In my family, we lovingly refer to Germany as the ‘land of sausage’. Beyond the simple Frankfurter and Bockwurst there is a whole world of different types of meaty goodness to explore. When I visited my friend Linda in Berlin last year she took me to a big supermarket and I counted no less than three aisles solely devoted to sausages and cold meats! So it’s no surprise that this love for meat is also reflected in language, particularly in idiomatic expressions.

Here’s a list of my favourite sausage-related German idioms:

Das ist mir Wurst! = This means sausage to me!

This popular expression means that the person doesn’t care for or is indifferent to what is being said. An English equivalent might be “This means diddly-squat to me”.

Jetzt geht’s um die Wurst! = It’s all about the sausage now!

This phrase is used when there is some kind of competition (in the broadest sense) and it’s all about making an effort to get what you want. It dates back to the days of country fairs where people would participate in games and the prize for the winner would often be a sausage.

Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei = Everything has one end, only the sausage has two

This is another way of saying that all good things have to come to an end at some point. In 1987, German singer Stephen Remmel released a very catchy hit single named “Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei” and turned this expression into a common saying. To this day, the song is a bit of a party anthem at family reunions, usually around 2am in the morning ;). Have a listen to the song on YouTube.

Jemandem eine Extrawurst braten = To fry an extra sausage for someone

In medieval times, a sausage was a special delicacy for poor people and an extra sausage would be a real treat. The saying refers to giving someone preferential treatment.

Mit der Wurst nach dem Schinken werfen = To throw the sausage after the bacon

This idiom dates back to the Middle High German times and plays on the fact that bacon or the flitch of bacon is more valuable than sausages. So this expression means to say that you invest or sacrifice something of lower value to gain something of higher value. You can also turn this phrase on its head (throwing the bacon after the sausage) to describe spending or investing a lot for little return.

Die beleidigte Leberwurst spielen = To play the sulking liver sausage

This is one of my favourite sausage-sayings. It refers to a person who is sulking, most likely about trivial things – or at least their disposition isn’t being taken seriously. Although the idiom only dates back to the 19th century, it actually refers to beliefs from the middle-ages and up until the 17th/18th century, that people’s spirit and particularly anger originates in the liver.

Have a look at the website of Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle for more German idioms and as always, feel free to get in touch with any questions, comments or suggestions.

inhouse translator job cornwall

Wanted: Excellent English to German translator for full-time position

Job description for English to German Translator (in-house position)

Anja Jones Translation is a boutique translation company in Cornwall, Southwest England. We have a team of 40 freelance translators specialising in website translation, app translation and brand translation in German, French and UK English.

We work closely with Smartling Inc., a NYC-based technology company that provides us with advanced translation management software. Through Smartling, we are privileged to provide German, French and UK English translations for clients such as GoPro, Foursquare, Hightail, Jive Software, Vimeo, Kobo and many more.

On our home turf in Cornwall, Southwest England, we provide translation services for tourism & hospitality businesses as well as for local manufacturers that are looking to export their products.

This is a fantastic opportunity for a graduate English to German translator to work from our Newquay office (we like to call it AJT HQ) and become part of a team of motivated individuals, with the chance to work with some great high profile clients.

We are looking for a talented English to German translation graduate with either a BA or an MA degree in translation to join our in-house team on a full time permanent basis. The position would be ideally suited to a recent graduate looking for experience as an in-house translator. You will be working alongside the German project manager and be responsible for translating a wide variety of written documentation. Working within a small office-based team is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience and develop your translation skills.

Job description:

  • Location: Newquay, Cornwall
  • Starting salary: £18,000 GBP per annum
  • Duration: This is a full time, permanent position and we are looking for someone who would like to commit long-term (at least 1 year)
  • Working hours: 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, including 30 minute lunch break
  • Holidays: 20 days paid holidays per annum + public UK bank holidays
  • Sick pay: 6 days paid sick leave per annum
  • Start date: 1st July 2015

Key Responsibilities include:

  • Translate a wide variety of written documentation covering subject areas appropriate to experience/training, and as agreed with the Team Leader
  • Edit and review translations completed by other translators
  • Ensure all translations meet the clients’ expectations and the requirements of the target market
  • Responsible for maintaining the highest level of quality translations, and contributing to linguistic quality control processes and procedures
  • Provide assistance in running day-to-day operations
  • Report back to the team leader as appropriate

The ideal candidate will have the following attributes:

  • German native speaker with a perfect command of the German language (written and spoken) and keeps current with the way the German language evolves
  • Excellent oral and written English language skills
  • Passionate about languages and different cultures
  • Graduate with a degree in translation
  • Ability to work to deadlines
  • Ability to read through material and rewrite it in the target language, ensuring that the meaning of the source text is retained
  • A flair for transcreation
  • Self-starter with a positive work attitude
  • Flexible work attitude
  • Enjoys to work as part of a team
  • Computer literate (Mac, Microsoft package)
  • Adaptable, fast learner

This is a great opportunity to join a highly skilled team in a dynamic and exciting industry where no two days are the same!

Anja Jones Translation will offer a full training and support program with competitive rates of pay and the opportunity to be part of a young, dynamic team.

If you believe you have the necessary requirements to fit the role and would like to be considered for this opportunity, please send your CV and covering letter to jobs@anjajonestranslation.co.uk, quoting reference JOBDE01 in the subject line.

Closing date: 31/05/2015

My life in Cornwall: A translation intern’s dream

“A stone’s throw away from the sea” I thought with amazement when I first stumbled upon Anja’s website.  Even though I didn’t have a clue how to pronounce the town name “Newquay” – an utterly unnatural sequence of letters from a German perspective – I sent off my application for a translation internship without delay. Long sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs and dreamy little coves – I couldn’t imagine a better place to spend my semester break than Cornwall. Those who have watched the German Rosamunde Pilcher film adaptations know what I’m talking about – although reality is definitely more breathtaking. You can imagine my excitement when I received a positive reply!

Two months later Anja, the Managing Director, and Jenny, the Project Manager for German, welcomed me warmly at the tiny Newquay Airport, the windiest place I’ve ever been to. On that first evening in the pub I also met Jasper, Anja’s cookie-brown labrador, with whom I fell in love straight away. I spent the next few weeks exploring the incredibly beautiful landscape around Newquay together with my favourite companion, Cornwall’s most energetic dog.

Here at AJT, the atmosphere is very personal, friendly and professional at the same time. We work with modern Apple Macs and use one of the most cutting-edge translation technologies on the market – Smartling. It’s extremely flexible compared with say SDL Trados. Smartling’s interactive user interface allows customers to connect with translators and editors and questions regarding translations can be posted right next to the relevant string. The user interface also includes a style guide and glossary for each project, which is provided by the customers, to ensure translators always use the right tone of voice, terminology, etc. It didn’t take long to utterly convince me of this great tool. And in between: We joke around a little, make rounds of coffee for each other and indulge on little sweet treats that always seem to be around.

The kinds of projects I translate are completely new to me. I never even thought about “app translation” before I discovered the service on AJT’s website. In the past weeks I’ve learned that Facebook-like social media apps are unraveled into phrases such as “{xyz} is following you now”. With these kind of translations it is particularly important to pay attention the correct use of placeholders – not always an easy task because German has such a different sentence structure to English. It felt like I was offered a glimpse into programming as well. Especially when I had a chance to look behind the scenes of the AJT website, which is built on Word Press! The platform is very user-friendly, stylish and offers a lot of formatting options.

At AJT we work with a wide range of texts from marketing translation to creative website translation for a hotel in Panama or caravan hire in Canada. There’s also a bit of law (General Terms and Conditions) which I – at the risk of sounding weird – particularly enjoy. It’s safe to say: It never gets boring. The languages we use are English, French and German. This may be less than other large agencies offer, but AJT is more about being really good at what they do rather than trying to do everything. This ethos creates a focused yet relaxed atmosphere which really appeals to me. Anja and Jenny support me in everything I do, make a lot of time to answer my questions and make sure I can work independently. Outside of work they ensure I have a great time, for example while learning to surf at Fistral beach in Newquay. And they surprised me on my birthday in February with a bunch of roses, a labrador card and some other lovely presents before we all went to Falmouth after work to feast on some amazing burgers and meet some friends for drinks in a traditional pub.

Time in Cornwall passes quickly and next week it’s back to studies in Germany. I’m going to miss it all and will take a lot of fond memories home!

Are you a translation student looking to hone your skills? Get in touch with us.

Oh how very British: 5 charming cultural quirks

As a translation agency we don’t only specialise in translating one language into another. We also love cultural diversity! And we believe that it’s sometimes the little and quirky, and sometimes the truly vast cultural differences, that make a trip abroad all the more worthwhile and build our fondest, or at least funniest, memories. Like having to giggle when you think of that time you tried to squat on a French public toilet without “sprinkling” on your shoes!

Even though I’ve lived in the UK for almost 10 years I vividly remember first arriving as a student and learning about some of the many British charms and quirks.

Here are 5 of my favourites:

1. Separate taps for cold and hot water

I’m still not quite convinced of the benefit of having a very cold and a very hot tap rather than one adjustable tap – but I’ve become very skilled at levelling water temperature in my hands and exploiting that perfect moment a few seconds after turning on the hot tap before it turns boiling hot to quickly wash my face or wash up a cup.

2. Pub culture

Ordering at the bar, standing around chatting to random people, local brews … I really fell in love with British pub culture when I first arrived. And I still think the way people socialise after work or on the weekends is one of Britain’s greatest charms. If you’re new in the country, British pubs are great places to meet people and make friends whilst trying one of the local ales. (NB: Most ales have no fizz or foam, but they’re still worth trying)

3. Carpets in the bathroom

Have you ever heard of the “schwäbische Hausfrau” (Swabian housewife)? Lets say they like to have things clean and a lot of Germans carry a mini-schwäbische Hausfrau within them – that’s just part of who we are. I guess the slight worry about fixed carpets in the bathroom is: you can’t pick them up and throw them in the washing machine. They are comfy though and so soft on your feet :)! Read this excellent Guardian feature for further info about the schwäbische Hausfrau.

4. Apologising

There’s a lot of apologising in Britain, for example when you sneeze, when someone else steps on your foot, when you haven’t offered visitors a cup of tea within a few minutes of arrival. This took me a little time to get on top of when I first arrived. But I think I’ve mastered the art and starting a question with “Sorry,…” comes quite natural to me now.

5. “How are you” instead of “Hello”

This one is quite interesting because it really illustrates one of the cultural differences between Britain and Germany. Germans can be quite “straight to the point” and when asked how we are, we like to give an honest, sometimes more or less elaborate answer. In Britain “How are you” is more of a “Hello” and the conversation often needs to unfold further to get to the nitty gritty.

Growing up with parents from both countries (British dad, German mum) I feel so thankful to have an insight into both of these fascinating cultures and love using translation (literally and culturally) as a bridge between the two. If you have any comments or would like to talk culture or translation with us, please get in touch.