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English Speaking tax payers

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Posted

I wonder what the opportunity is for companies producing German language only software? If they were to invest in getting their software localized would it be worth it? This website quotes over 50,000 English speakers but this could include German nationals too, so I wondered if anyone had any inkling of how many foreigners lived and worked in Germany... in particular how many could probably speak English?

Probably tricky to establish as I doubt there is anything collecting this information... but it might be interesting to know from an opportunity perspective.

Regards

Paul

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Posted

Yes, Toytown quotes over 50,000 English-speakers as its membership (certainly not all native), but it doesn't mean that we don't speak German, too. That's the primary logical flaw in your argument.

In general, the people in Germany who don't speak enough German to handle their taxes simply hire an English-speaking accountant who can.

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Posted

I reckon even German speakers would prefer to use things in English given a chance. I know I often lose interest altogether if a website I'm using in English switches to German when it gets to the important parts like paying money, or getting technical help... unless of course I really have to use this website (or software). It takes me far longer to assimilate the information I need when it's in German... and sometimes German native speakers can't explain it either... but that's another story!

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Posted

I reckon even German speakers would prefer to use things in English given a chance.

Why do you think that Germans would prefer to prepare their German taxes in English? :blink: As a native English speaker I prefer conducting all business with the German government in German to avoid any misunderstandings and I would not be interested in tax software for Germany in English.

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Posted

I reckon even German speakers would prefer to use things in English given a chance. I know I often lose interest altogether if a website I'm using in English switches to German when it gets to the important parts like paying money, or getting technical help... unless of course I really have to use this website (or software). It takes me far longer to assimilate the information I need when it's in German... and sometimes German native speakers can't explain it either... but that's another story!

You are telling me that native german speakers would obviously prefer using english language tax software when dealing with their german taxes, or that at least enough would prefer it to make it worthwhile for a company to offer such software?

It's not friday is it?

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Posted

Why do you think that Germans would prefer to prepare their German taxes in English? As a native English speaker I prefer conducting all business with the German government in German to avoid any misunderstandings and I would not be interested in tax software for Germany in English.

I don't... I meant German speaking native English speakers. I imagine you must have excellent German language skills to be happier conducting business in German. That's great... I wonder if this would be the view of the majority?

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Posted

You are telling me that native german speakers would obviously prefer using english language tax software when dealing with their german taxes, or that at least enough would prefer it to make it worthwhile for a company to offer such software?

It's not friday is it?

It's starting to feel like a Friday :-|

I'm not telling anyone anything. I'm merely wondering whether there would be an opportunity for someone interested in localizing their German software (tax software was on my mind but the same applies to anything... even websites that are monolingual) to make it easier for non native German speakers (or german speakers without the skills of some visitors to this forum).

Commonsense would have told me there must be... until I asked this question!

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Posted

There may be a niche market for internationals who want to do german taxes, but I dont see this as an opportunity for german software companies like datev to translate their software. Only a very few specialist cases are going to be feasable as the adressable market is small -- how many people here would do their own taxes if only there were an english language package available? Im guessing less than 10%.

I dont believe there is any market for native germans using this kind of thing.

See also http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=87014&st=0&p=1718549&#entry1718549

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Posted

Deutsche Banks Online Banking site is available in English, so they obviously consider it worth while. I think there could be a demand for Tax software too. It would certainly make the Elster tax site easier to understand. Mind you, they can't even get their softwear to work with a Mac, so I doubt if it will happen soon.

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Posted

According to the 2011 statistics of foreigners in Germany, there are just over 98,400 people from the UK here.

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Posted

There may be a niche market for internationals who want to do german taxes, but I dont see this as an opportunity for german software companies like datev to translate their software. Only a very few specialist cases are going to be feasable as the adressable market is small -- how many people here would do their own taxes if only there were an english language package available? Im guessing less than 10%.I dont believe there is any market for native germans using this kind of thing.See also http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=87014&st=0&p=1718549&#entry1718549

You may well be right... and this is what I was interested to know. If I take Buhl for example, at €35 a pop, this would amount to €175,000 worth of revenue if the 10% and the 50,000 English speakers was correct. I don't know how many words there are in their software, documentation and user interface, but I imagine it could turn a profit in the first year and easily benefit thereafter... as I think they require a new license every year. Might be a small amount compared to their annual revenues... but would be a nice touch.

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Posted

I'm merely wondering whether there would be an opportunity for someone interested in localizing their German software (tax software was on my mind but the same applies to anything... even websites that are monolingual) to make it easier for non native German speakers (or german speakers without the skills of some visitors to this forum).

Although there are definitely foreigners in Germany who can't read German and would prefer information in English, I'm not sure how many companies are willing to pay for a proper translation.

A few months ago there was an ad by an agency looking for someone to translate German to English for the Agentur für Arbeit at about 1/10th of the market rate (it is really no wonder that the German and English versions of many websites differ so much).

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Posted

According to the 2011 statistics of foreigners in Germany, there are just over 98,400 people from the UK here.

So double the 50,000 I started thinking of. Do you have a weblink for this statistic?

Thanks

Paul

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Posted

Not all English speakers are on Toytown. This article from the Grauniad claims there are 107,000 Brits, not just English speakers, living in Germany.

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Posted

From the 98,400 .It would be a lost less after taking away the wifes who do not work, the children, harzt4 and those wich have retired

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Posted

I was just out with the dog(its peeing down) when i realised that the Elster software is free, you can download it from its website or do it online

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Posted

It's not a simply a matter of translating the words. If the s/w doesn't have the capacity for localisation, it could be a costly rewrite. This would change the s/w and would need extensive testing. The alternative of running a different branch for just English is also an issue, and remove any profit from your above numbers.

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Posted

Whilst I wouldn't mind using an English version of Elster just for convenience's sake (if it was free and properly, reliably translated), I would much prefer the old Finanzamt to just concentrate on simplifying their tax system, rather than worrying about making it more accessible for less than 1% of their population.

And if you are capable of navigating Toytown then there's no need for English Elster etc. since it's all wonderfully dealt with in the Wiki and the ever-amazing PandaMunich.

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Posted

I did briefly wonder if there was an English language (yet Finanzamt compatible) tax software solution, but figured that dealing with the Finanzamt means I'd have to spit out reports and records in German anyway, or have two copies of everything, one in English for me, one in German for them. Easier to just do it all in German and avoid translation software misunderstandings. Any sort of translated software would have to be completely compatible with the Finanzamt, and I see that sort of attempt as being a recipe for bureaucratic chaos and disaster, as well as a massive undertaking for a very small market share. But hey... sometimes people don't know they need something until it exists. Plus, who are we to trample on dreams here at Toytown? :-)

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Posted

According to the 2011 statistics of foreigners in Germany, there are just over 98,400 people from the UK here.

do you have a source for that?

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Posted

I would much prefer the old Finanzamt to just concentrate on simplifying their tax system,

There is little chance of that happening - there is too much interest (= jobs) tied to how it is.

Remember: the Germans do their taxation system like the French (Citroen) do their cars - why do it simple when complicated also works?

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Posted

The 98,400 will come from the Bundesstatischesamt and will be summed from info.

from the Ländesstatistischesämter (which comes from the Anmeldungs system).

The total will be of people registered with a UK origin.

Probably the figure is a bit high - as not all people leaving the country permanently

de-register (as they are supposed to).

(The boss of the Statistischesamt of one of the Länder was reported

in a newspaper I read some time ago as saying that this is a problem).

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Posted

The EU should have one standard official language for all the documentation, in addition to the countries one.

English would be the obvious choice as it's the business language and spoken by most people.

This would put a end to the army of translators that the EU employs and the endless burocracy/legal hassle.

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Posted

The EU should have one standard official language for all the documentation, in addition to the countries one.

Agree

This would put a end to the army of translators that the EU employs and the endless burocracy/legal hassle.

Disagree, each country would still argue about the translation into their language, or do you propose that each country write its laws in English? Even in the UK there is argument about (interpretation) of laws written in english!

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Posted

When in rome do as the romans do it, learn german

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