Irish B&Bs – A simple idea to improve your web presence

Cloisters-BB-1Cloisters B&B in Kinsale have now launched their bi-lingual website.

I had encouraged them to add a German language part to their already existing website and they took me up on that suggestion and ordered a translation from me.

They are regularly rated Number 1 on TripAdvisor which is hardly surprising as offering a bi-lingual website demonstrates a large degree of forward thinking that is often not prevalent in the traditional market of Irish B&Bs and guest-houses.

I strongly believe that offering a German language part to a B&B website is a very effective and low cost opportunity to attract extra visitors from one of the most important markets for Irish Tourism and have now added a special translation part to my website focusing on website translations for B&Bs.

More info is available there but the biggest benefits of adding a German language part to your site are as follows:

You promote your property in one of the key markets

Outside of the English speaking countries (US, UK etc), German tourists make up the largest group of visitors to Ireland. They are well travelled and generally have enough income at their disposal to spend it well when in the country. German tourists may be cost conscious but they value good service. And from all visitors to Ireland they generally stay the longest.

For a full overview of the German Market Profile, please visit Tourism Ireland.

You are a market leader

Very few of your competitors currently have a German language website. So if you offer a site that presents your house in German by default you’d have a major competitive advantage over all the others. If German visitors browse through the online offerings they’d be automatically drawn to your website.

Search engines will love you 

Guess what property will feature when potential German visitors enter their German language key words in preparation of an upcoming stay? It is only natural that visitors search for information in their own native language first before possibly switching over to English. You are effectively adding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to your web presence.

A translation will cost less than you may think

Most of the websites are not all that text heavy and usually feature property description, room rates, menus and general facilities. As such a translation can be done relatively fast.

That means that for a typical B&B the average cost would be somewhere in the region of about two room nights. So if you only attract one single extra German visitor, the translation may have already paid for itself!

If you’re a B&B or guest-house owner in need of a translation, please contact me.

Feeling blue?

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Interesting how connotations can change in different languages.

Though the colour blue does indeed translate as “blau”, this colour is associated with different emotional states in both languages.

“Blau sein” means being drunk. “To be blue”, however, can be translated as “traurig/melancholisch sein”.

Der Peter war gestern wieder einmal ziemlich blau. (Peter was pretty drunk again yesterday.)

Heute fühle ich mich ein wenig melancholisch. (I am feeling a little bit blue today.)

Robbing bankers, stolen meanings

Bertold BrechtI recently came across this quote by Bertold Brecht from his Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera):

„Bankraub ist eine Unternehmung von Dilettanten. Wahre Profis gründen eine Bank.“

In the light of recent global events I thought it quite succinct given that this was written 85 years ago.

As I wanted to share it with my social network I looked for the proper, commonly accepted English translation online and discovered those two versions:

“It is easier to rob by setting up a bank than by holding up a bank clerk.”

“What is robbing a bank compared with founding a bank?”

Can you spot the differences?

I leave it for the readers of this blog to explore these versions more in depth but just some pointers:

  • The gist (bankers are criminals) remains in all three versions but what is unexplored in the English versions is that both bankers and bank robbers are considered “professionals” involved in a venture (“Unternehmung”).
  • The German version doesn’t mention anything about the apparent ease. The unstated implication focuses instead more on the larger return gathered from those two ventures.
  • Bank clerk? What bank clerk?

It is clear that if you really want to expand your horizon and learn about a country’s culture it is imperative to become familiar with its language. All too often nuances are lost in translation, never mind the fact the some works simply have never been translated.

Poetry still remains virtually untranslatable and one of these days I will need to pen a blog post about the subtleties in Rammstein lyrics.

For now though I’d encourage you to try and explore as much of German literary texts and quotes as you can given your current language skills. And if you’re sitting on the fence with taking up lessons, what’s holding you back? A whole new world is waiting to be discovered by you.