In what languages should you think?

One of my favorite local wineries surprised me last year. At a local wine event I offered the owner to go through his German brochures, his website and business card for free (or better…for a glass of his Reserve) right before summer, to be prepared for the winery visitors. He told me he didn’t need it, he already has it in English.

I can not emphasize it enough: if you try to sell in a country where the native language is not English, you will increase your sales tremendously if you choose to present your product to the public in their own language.

Over 55% of all content on the Internet is available in English. However, the fact is that not 55% of the world’s population speak good enough English to keep reading information in English.
Do you know what happens with information that people don’t understand? It gets lost. Like a good book or a movie, which you try to enjoy in a language you don’t understand. After a while, you quit trying…

So what languages should you let me translate into? The most spoken languages? No: the language in which you are interested in. No one can tell it better than you. If you have prospected for next year to export to Germany, then the first thing is to have all your numbers, contract drafts, brochures and e-mail templates in German, so you can please your customers, you can point to your website if they ask about it, you can send them your brochure or technical sheets in German.

Do you have a prospect in Vietnam? Don’t try their English, they will be much more pleased if they can talk to you in their own language. A reliable interpreter for the oral communication is easy to arrange, you can have a video chat via skype, viber or even the old-school telephone. You can prepare your questions in advance and go through them with the interpreter. It not only helps you to reflect on what you’d like to say, it is also a good way to ensure that no information escapes, no question remains unanswered. Your interpreter will not ruin your business. Interpreters and translators are used to signing non-disclosure agreements, which can contain restrictions about what they may and may not say.

If you are unsure about what languages would be the most helpful for your business, we are here to help you! A strategic first step will make it smoother for you to approach new clients.

What needs to be translated?

I hate those recipes where it says: add some salt. What measure is “some” at all? Does it equal ten grains or a tablespoon?
When I approach wineries at different industry events and ask them if they work with someone who provides translation of their material, I see the same question in their eyes: what is material? Is it my passport? Is it the tasting note for tasting events?

Well, as there is no person who can define the measure of “some”, there is no person to define what is meant by “your material”. It depends on your winery and your plans.

I show you a typical scenario to help you get a feel for when you might want to contact us for translation.

Elephant-winery” from Cabot Cove, Maine.
Mr. and Mrs. Elephant recently had in their B&B a German guy, who turned out to be a restaurant owner and insisted on taking some bottles to his restaurant to “see how it’s going”. The guy just emailed to confirm that people seem to love the wine, so he will order regularly fifty bottles a month. Mr. Elephant is happier than ever, he knew that his father’s instruction to keep the wine in the barrel ten months longer than those of Mr. Tiger made the necessary difference.
Mr. Elephant only thinks about how he could get other German restaurants to order another twenty bottles of his wine.

This is a typical situation, where you should be alarmed that you need translation.
The German restaurant owner might or might not be able to sell your wine, so you – who knows the wine better than anyone else in the world – should make sure they have everything they need – and even more – to get you known in their town.
I suggest to start translating the label. To get more information place a QR-code on it, which brings to a website where the person can find, for example:

    1. where your products are available for purchase
    1. your contact information, such as email address, telephone number
    1. the dates when you will be in a wine-fair in Germany
    1. the technical wine data sheets

You should send with the next order your translated brochures, which can be placed into the hall of the restaurant, so people waiting for a table can grab it and read on it.

Make sure to personalize the brochure so it gets to the reader’s heart.

Wine is passion, wine is love, you don’t want to annoy the reader with some mediocre story about how many hectares you work on, do you?
Write about your products which are not available in the restaurant, about the unique taste due to the ten additional months in the barrel, and how your father insisted on this decision, put pictures of your B&B and announce the next harvest, which people can enjoy with you!

Once you are in someone’s restaurant, you have a foot in the door. Wait a couple of months to see how it is going, stay in contact with the owner, get his feedback, then go ahead and see the place for yourself!
Organize a tasting one evening, ask a German sommelier to do it for you and send information about your region, possibilities of wine-tourism to your B&B, look for travel agencies in the town, call up the in-flight magazine office of the airline arriving closest to your place to ask if you can advertise your place and wine events in their magazine and let us write an article about you.

One idea stitches into the other. You could have a YouTube channel with subtitles, contracts to translate, Season’s greetings, a poll about how your guests stayed at your place, a website, e-shop…

If you have one idea, your business will grow! Make sure we will be your speaker in your target market. We could have the next “ten months more in the barrel” idea for your wine’s words.

Die happy for a good cause celebrate Mr. Yeast at Halloween!

Och, the Dom Perignon! And Dom Perignon himself. The monk, who should be sanctified! A monk, who knew his way to keep the unwanted bubbles in the bottle. (You should notice, a bottle of Champagne is under 6 bar pressure – your car’s tire around under 2,5 bar – and even so, if you open a bottle, the bubbles come up so smoothly, so persistent, it is an art!) Do you know how to get traditionally bubbles into the wine?

It is Mr. Yeast, who after being added into a bottle of still wine starts eating the also added sugar, transforming it into three things: carbon-dioxide – aka: bubbles – alkohol and heat. While eating, his only goal is to reproduce. Bubbles are actually only the side-effects of his eating an reproducing.

Och, lucky Mr. Yeast, who lives to reproduce himself and at the end of his life dies in a bottle of wine…

Since the region of Champagne keeps for himself the most famous denomination for this bubbly wine, let us see, how you say sparkling in the different languages:

Italians use spumante:

Germans say Sekt

Hungarians pezsgő

Ach, by the way: Dom Perignon doesn’t need translation:


We all know, what the skin of a grape is good for. During the wine-making process the time, until the juice is in contact with skin, can determine the identity of the wine. In the skin is aroma, colour and the beloved tannins. Beside all these facts though, if you are on your wineyard and are simply pointing the grape, no one will understand, you mean the skin.


Listen to the German word!

The Hungarian pronunciation is also available

Listen to the pronunciation of the Italian word!



The German word “Haut” has nothing to do with the French “Haute”. The French word means fashionable, high class.

Why do you need a professional translator at all?

Few months back I founded this new business, called Message in a Bottle, which aims to translate any wine-related material (written or said) into some languages to help small – or big – wineries, wine producers, cellars, restaurants to sell their product in foreign markets or foreign guests.

There are numerous studies, which prove that you sell better, if you speak the mother tongue of your customers, so it is not up to me to show this. Just think on the very popular sign of “We speak your language” in hotels or restaurants and everywhere really, just like the article says (the article talks about doubling a business “just” by hiring native salespeople in a car dealer shop….wow!!!).

I still find though so many potential clients, who look at me, like I would sell fried air to them, when I start my sales pitch and want let them understand that wine sells best in a foreign country, if the material, which introduces it is perfectly translated.

I started MIB, because I was sure that if there is a business, which never compromises on quality, it is wine. The price of two wines from the same producer, carrying the same varieties can depend on the year or the amount of sun or rain, when the product has been bottled, so I was sure, I don’t have to tell, why it is so important to have any marketing material in the mother tongue of their customers translated by a professional translator.

Just like every grape counts, every word counts too. I will buy a bottle of wine for over 50 € if I am sure, the wine is worth it. During this year’s London Wine Fair I listened to a seminar saying that 33% of the wines this year has been bought with a mobile device.

They haven’t said: you need a website, you need to translate your labels or you should have someone taste your wine in the language of your market and publish it for God’s sake, if you want to convince people to buy it – it says that wines are sold while we wait for a bus, while we go to work, while we sunbath on the beach and I am sure that wine is sold, which characteristics the buyer understands.

It is the way of life: people have smartphones and tablets and most of them already by setting up the device link their credit card to it to buy anything they want through the internet.

You want to get to their credit card? Let them know, you have something for them!

Let them know in the best of ways, hire a pro to give the message you would like to share. Do not give your website to your friend, who happened to live for 6 months in Venice, give it to someone, who translates thousand of words every day and who is willing to weigh the words just to make your message sound as perfect as your wine is! Hire Message in a Bottle, and be sure to make the right investment for your market!