If you have a company website in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, the law states that you must have an “Impressum”. So, what is an “Impressum”? And how do you translate “Impressum” into English? Is there even an English word for “Impressum”?
In this article you will find out how to translate “Impressum” into English correctly, and how you can get your hands on a FREE English translation of your “Impressum”.
What is an Impressum?
If you are based in Germany (or certain other German-speaking countries, such as Austria and Switzerland) and have a website (or publish other printed media, like books, magazines etc.) then there are no two ways about it, you need an “Impressum”.
The German Telemedia Act (or Telemediengesetz) was ratified back in 2007 and states that all published media – whether online (i.e. a website) or printed (e.g. newspapers and magazines) – must include information stating the owner and the author of the information published. This information is to be provided under the heading “Impressum”.
What does an Impressum need to have?
For websites, the “Impressum” must include the following pieces of information:
- The publisher’s name
- The publisher’s contact details: i.e. address, telephone number or email address
- The publisher’s trade registry number and VAT number
- Plus other information, depending on the type of company
Important: It doesn’t matter whether the website has a .de domain or .com domain. If the website is published in Germany, it is classed as a German website and must include an Impressum.
The German word “Impressum” comes from the Latin word “impressum”, meaning “the impressed, engraved, pressed in, impression”. So, what is the English equivalent of the term “Impressum”?
What is the English word for “Impressum”?
Unlike German law, UK law does not require website owners to publish information about who owns the website and their contact details. There is, however, an equivalent UK law for printed media. The Printer’s Imprint Act from 1961 stated that: “any printer must put their name and address on the first or last leaf of every paper or book they print or face a penalty of up to £50 per copy.” Note that this only applies to printed media and not to websites. There is no equivalent of this law in the USA.
The fact that there is no legal requirement for an “Impressum” on most English websites (at least those published in the UK or the USA) means that it can be hard to find the correct English translation for “Impressum”.
Impressum? Imprint? Legal Notice? Legal Disclosure? A quick look on Google and you will find that all of these terms are commonly used to translate “Impressum”. Two of them are incorrect, however.
Here is a run down on these four different translations of “Impressum”, on why they are used in this context and on which word you should be using when you translate your German Impressum page into English:
1) Impressum – Impressum in German, impressum in English? Well, it would be a nice, simple solution, but, unfortunately, it isn’t correct. The word “Impressum” comes from Latin and is not really used in the English language.
2) Imprint – “imprint” is the literal translation of “Impressum”, but the English word has a different meaning: “imprint” is most commonly used in the sense of making a physical impression on something. The term is also used within publishing (see above), but is limited to use in books and other printed media. “Imprint” is not used for the “Impressum” on websites.
3) Legal Notice and Legal Disclosure – we finally come to the correct English translations of “Impressum”. Both versions are possible and widely used, although “Legal Notice” is probably more common and is, therefore, the preferred version here at LEaF Translations.
I need my “Impressum” translating into English. What are my options?
Well, you are in luck! We have created a FREE English Impressum template for you. All you need to do is enter your email address and you will be sent the link to the Impressum template. Then simply fill in your own company details and you are good to go!
If you would prefer a bespoke translation of your “Impressum” then you have come to the right place – we are a translation company based in York specialising in website translations, including translations of legal notices, or “Impressum” texts.
Do you need an English translation of your German Impressum?
If you need any more information about “Impressums”, there is an English-language Wikipedia page on the subject. If you want to know more about the legal side of things, the German website eRecht24 contains a wealth of information about legal matters in Germany.
Before we go, let’s recap with some FAQs…
1) What is an “Impressum”?
“Impressum” is a German word referring to a page on a website, which states the name and contact details for the person who publishes the information on the website in question.
2) Do I need an “Impressum”?
If you are based in Germany and you publish information on a website, then you need an “Impressum”.
3) What is “Impressum” in English?
The correct English translation of “Impressum” is “Legal Notice” or “Legal Disclosure”.
4) How can I translate my “Impressum” into English?
You can either download this free English Impressum template, or you can contact LEaF Translations for a free, non-binding quote for the bespoke translation of your “Impressum”, prices start from just 25 EUR.