Berlin-based startup Kitchen Stories has been cooking up a storm on the international app scene since 2015, when three million users downloaded its collection of recipe ideas. Four years later, the app has been downloaded 18 million times and the videos rack up an average of 100,000 views, making Kitchen Stories one of the most successful app providers in Germany. The key to its success? High-quality, professional content, created in-house and localized into three languages.
Preparation is key: the translator casting process
In the early days, Kitchen Stories translated all its content in-house. But in order to keep pace with its incredible growth, the company soon had to look elsewhere for assistance. And in 2018, it found the perfect partner in its home city. Supertext – also a successful startup – had already proven its expertise with multilingual food content such as localizations for Dr. Oetker. A comprehensive casting process then allowed Kitchen Stories to cherry-pick the right linguists. Not only did the selected translators possess impressive industry expertise, they also had an easygoing writing style that perfectly suited the brand’s image.
Here’s a taste of their skills (an ironic introduction of a post about meal prepping):
German (source text)
Es gibt viele Arten, wie man sich einen ganzEs gibt viele Arten, wie man sich einen ganzen Tag lang ernähren kann. Hier ist eine Idee: Du trinkst hektisch deinen ersten Kaffee auf dem Weg zur Arbeit, schnappst dir einen Apfel aus der Büroküche, suchst kurz danach Snacks für deinen knurrenden Magen und rennst in der Mittagspause zur Salattheke im Supermarkt. Die Zeit bis zum Feierabend füllst du mit weiteren Süßigkeiten und Snacks, um zu Hause anzukommen – geschafft vom Tag und ohne Motivation, jetzt noch mit dem Kochen anzufangen. Aber da klingelt zum Glück ja schon der Lieferdienst an deiner Tür.
There are many ways to feed yourself over the course of a day. Here’s one: drink your first coffee of the day en route to work, grab an apple from your office kitchen, look for some snacks a little while later to stop your stomach from growling and sprint to the supermarket’s salad bar during your lunch break. Fill the time until you go home with more sweets and snacks, only to arrive home utterly exhausted from your day and with zero motivation to cook anything. But as luck would have it, the delivery driver is already ringing your doorbell.
Supertext translates recipe ideas, menus and cooking tips for Kitchen Stories’s platform, blog and social media channels in German, English and French. A style guide provided by Kitchen Stories helps ensure that the translators always strike the right note.
The app has now been localized for the Chinese market, and Supertext will be translating content on an ongoing basis as it expands. Around 35% of downloads are already coming from China. The app’s insights into western cuisine have been part of the appeal for users: Kitchen Stories’s recipes are the same across all languages, allowing aspiring chefs anywhere in the world to whip up authentic schnitzel and potato dumplings.
Around the world in SRT
Over in the US, Kitchen Stories boasts big-name fans – particularly at Apple. The humble iPad app that launched the company’s success enjoyed multiple stints as the App Store’s download of the month, prompting CEO Tim Cook to pay a personal visit to Kitchen Stories’s Berlin cookery studio in 2017.
The company’s instruction videos have proven particularly popular among its community of users. And, of course, global fans want to get in on the fun. So Supertext transcribes and subtitles the videos, providing time-coded SRT files for easy processing. This means that viewers can follow the instructions for favorites like mac and cheese – in their own language.
“Never been so happy with an agency”
Localizing Kitchen Stories’s videos and content means taking into account local nuances such as measurement systems and product availability. Supertext’s transcreations offer the perfect solution. The app company has “never been so happy with an agency before,” says Content Operations Manager Lenja Marten. “We look forward to working together even more closely with Supertext in future.”
Video via Kitchen Stories