Challenges in German Translation: Why the German Language is Difficult?

You’d think translating languages in a similar family, like English to German, would be easy. It’s not quite that easy. Let’s learn what are the challenges in German translation that you’ll face.

There are in total 134.6 million people who speak German and not only in Germany. The language is spoken in more than 42 countries.

For example, German and English are classified under the Germanic family and not under Latin-based romance languages such as Italian, Spanish, and French. The Germanic family has 47 languages now, such as Danish, German, and Swedish.

You may already have awareness of the words such as delicatessen, schadenfreude, kindergarten, or Über. You’ll view similarities between German and English, specifically in alphabet, vocabulary, and culture.

Then, where is the problem? What challenges will you face while performing accurate German translation? Let’s find it out.

5 Major Challenges in German Translation

If you’re translating from English and German, you’ll see a lot of similarities in sentence structure and vocabulary. But, because of a few dissimilarities, here are the challenges that you’ll be going to face.

1- German has extra letters

German utilizes a similar alphabet as English, with a couple of letters: Ä, Ö, Ü, and ẞ. These letters are not counted in the official alphabet, but they hugely impact the way you speak German.

These symbols are very common as well as designated just for a few words, so they don’t have a great impact on translation.

But, you have to ensure your website can accommodate them by undergoing the internationalization process. Typically, this happens prior to any important translations for corporation as well as prepares the back-end code of your website to handle different languages, such as, various accents and characters like these.

2- Complex German Grammar

In German, you need to learn tenses and agreements for different genders: feminine, masculine, and neuter.

This increases the complexity for English speakers, as English hardly include gender in nouns.

For example:

There are three simple ways to state “you” in German. But for English speakers, the word “sie” is a pronoun also utilized for singular “she” as well as plural “they” forms.

The German language is considered to be among the most complex languages. German-English translation comprises grammatical complexity and needs strong quality assurance to ensure effective translation for market research.

3- German Modifies English Text Dramatically

German is renowned as among the longest languages, expanding English text dramatically while translating. This is not actually because German is quite expressive. As a matter of fact, Germans are quite direct and concise as English speakers.

Ask any designer that works closely with global translation, and they’ll explain to you that German is one of the languages that lead to the most headaches. Around 35% expansion implies various lines of more copy.

This can affect website designs or mobile-friendly email and make it very impossible to work within the restriction of document translation work for fixed-character projects such as PDFs.

4- German Needs More Specificity

It’s good to give some context to your translators with any language, specifically a language well-known for accuracy.

Your team has to understand what type of content or page they’re actually looking at, the goals for the page, and notes on layout, design and images, so they perfectly translate your documents.

This is because you will lose huge credibility points with your audience if you mention something overenthusiastic or inaccurate in German.

5- German is Highly Reserved

Culturally, English speakers are well known to be expressive and enthusiastic. On the other hand, languages such as German are more reserved and polite, and repeating phrases and words can come across as highly pushy, bold, or self-serving.

Even if you want to write copy in a marketing context for English speakers, this is an outstanding example of localization at work.

Value added Localization helps not only in transforming the words of a provided piece of content; it’s likewise about making it feel the same as it was written by a local.

Any marketing copy has few goals, whether they be transforming from email subscribers into paying customers or driving awareness of several products and features. Translators have to hit a balance between those objectives as well as what resonates culturally with a German audience.

In Conclusion

So, these above-mentioned challenges are few that you will be going to confront for sure when you will translate English into the German language. If you can’t handle these difficulties, then give this task to an experienced translator to get your content translated effortlessly.

Hiring an exceptional translation company in Gujarat is a wise decision because the company has experienced German translators who can efficiently translate your document, market campaign accurately in the German language.

Do you need a German translation? Let our professionals help you. Give us a call now at +91-8527599523 or simply request an free quote.

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