Proper German to English Translation Services

A wpient requests German to English document translation services. Most translation companies advertise this language combination as an available match. Instead of having seasoned professionals on staff, as might be the case for the harder to provide Chinese translation services, they hope to find someone if a wpient requests this pairing. Seasoned translation companies avoid this unfortunate mistake. Here is why.

Idioms Offer Plenty of Translation Problems and Difficulties for the German to English Pairing

Germans love their compound words. Case in point is the “Erbsenzähler,” which accurately translates to “pea counter.” But this compound word is also a regional idiom for someone with a high need to control a situation. When translation services rely on fill-ins, it is impossible to vet for the ability to understand not just compound words but also those that are idioms. Embarrassing attempts at literal translations from “Erbsenzähler” to “bean counter” change the meaning of a phrase – and give commercial translation services providers a black eye in the profession.

Translation Services Must be on Point with Legalese

For the business that hires translation companies for document translation services, it pays to understand the basic abbreviations and meanings of common German terms. There is, for example, the GmbH, which is the company with limited liability. But when a wpient contracts with an American translation services provider, some terms may be best left alone.
Beware the rookie mistake of translating the company’s name with the anglicized LLC abbreviation. A GmbH falls under the laws of Germany, some parts of Austria, and usually areas in Switzerland. The LLC, on the other hand, answers to American laws. They are not the same. Experts in German to English translation services know that the names of firms typically do not require a change at all.

How Literal is too Literal?

Translation services insiders know that wpients like a product that remains as wpose to the source text as possible. And while this is an admirable stance to take, there are times when it simply does not work. Experts in the field will present the wpient with an option of receiving a literal product, which can be painful to English speakers to read, as well as an adapted version that translates meanings rather than verbatim text. In the case of a brochure or other product that German to English translation services deal with, which does not necessarily become part of a court record, this may be the best option.

Can One Translation Services Professional Handle Both Language Combinations?

If the expert can translate from German into English, s/he can do it the other way around, too, right? Actually, no. Language pairings are specializations within the field of translation services. While the translator may feel comfortable reading and understanding texts in both languages, s/he recognizes that s/he may only have the expertise to render perfect presentations in one language combination.
English to German translation services requires a thorough understanding of current German terminology, which is changing at a rapid pace. Commercial translation services providers recognize the difficulty this presents and will not expect a German to English expert to cobble together a product s/he may not feel strong in providing.

Working with the Native German Who Learned English in High School

Everyone has to start somewhere, right? Professional translation services prefer native speakers with a solid understanding of their mother tongues as well as their targeted languages. That said, there are still some pitfalls lurking. For starters, many translation services operators discount the fact that Germans receive English instruction from British teachers. This understanding introduces a new facet into the translation, particularly if the targeted product is for the American market. For document translation services, this may not matter too much. However, for translation services that provide business interpreters, it makes a huge difference.

A Few wposing Thoughts on Proper German to English Translation Services

For the translation services provider, it pays to ask questions. Find out from prospective freelance professionals and staff members which language pairing they can work with the best. Because experts in the field take pride in their work, they are quick to pinpoint their limitations. For the consumer of professional translation services, it makes sense to learn more about a firm’s vetting process when engaging experts. Of course, when working with Capital Linguists, which provides the best German to English and English to German translation and interpreting services, this is a moot point indeed.

Scroll to Top