The German language is the most common mother tongue in Europe and ranks 11th in the world for the most widely spoken. It is also sister language to English with many similarities between the two languages. However, it is often viewed as a particularly complex language for many reasons, including the inordinate amount of extremely long words e.g. Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz (which happens to be the longest German word made up of 63 letters translating as a title of a law regulating the testing of beef), as well as its grammar confusion whereby it sends verbs to the ends of sentences and capitalises its nouns. Below you will find five tips that highlight what to watch out for when translating from English to German and vice versa:-
The bottom line; if you want your translation to not look like an eclectic mishmash of made up words, to sound fluent with the right style and level of formality, it will require an expert native translator to find the best solutions possible (like adapting the different forms of ‘you’ in tip one) that will fit within the context of the text and ensure your translation achieves its objectives in the target market.
By Madeline Prusmann, Project Manager, May 2018