Some interesting facts about the German language
- The German alphabet has some extra letters compared to English. Although German and English use the same script (Roman), German has three umlauts Ä, Ö and Ü and the ligature ß. This ligature is known as the ‘eszett’ or ‘scharfes S’ (sharp S) and represents double ess (ss).
- English has a 60% similarity to German vocabulary – but watch out for false friends. As the joke goes, “No matter how kind you are, German children are kinder”. Get it? Because ‘Kinder’ in German is ‘children’!
- Germans are well-known for their time keeping, but what if the time gets lost in translation? In English we say half past the hour, but in German it’s half to the next hour. If you agree to meet at half three in English (15:30), you may be met by an angry German friend who’s been waiting for you for an hour (14:30).
- The German language once contained a 63-letter word Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz (the law concerning the delegation of duties for the supervision of cattle marking and the labelling of beef) – but that was too much even for German and has now been made obsolete!
- All nouns are capitalised and can often be stuck together. If you see a really long word (like the one above), it’s likely to be lots of smaller words put together to make up a compound noun.
Native German translators and high-quality translations you can trust
Surrey Translation Bureau is an award-winning and ISO-certified translation agency that has a wide pool of English to German freelance translators specialising in an extensive range of translation areas and subjects.
We have a vast amount of experience with German translation; during the year 2022, we translated 769,350 words from English into German.
We assess each project on an individual basis, so that we can provide a translator who is an expert within this language combination and specialises in your text type and subject area.
A few things to watch out for when translating into German
- Whilst German uses the same alphabet as English, there are also additional letters: Ä, Ö, Ü, and ẞ. Although they are not considered part of the official alphabet, they still have an impact on the way you speak German. For example, an umlaut (Ä, Ö, Ü) indicates to the reader to use a sharper sound.
- Texts tend to increase in length when translated from English into German.
- The German language has agreements and tenses for three different genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. This can be quite difficult for English speakers to grasp. German also has different levels of formality; for example, there are three different ways to say “you” in German depending on who is being addressed.
Identifying these critical differences in language requires an expert approach. Ensuring your project or proposal can be understood down to the very last detail allows any communication barriers to be broken down, building up your organisation’s presence, prospects and potential on both a local and global scale, in the short and long term.
Why use Surrey Translation Bureau for English to German translation?
Here at Surrey Translation Bureau (STB), we think beyond simply translating the text. We also offer a variety of language services to increase the functionality and outreach of your text, including localisation, proofreading, editing, notarisation and legalisation.
No matter your individual or business requirements, the format or purpose of your text, STB’s dedicated and highly skilled team of English to German translators can deliver the perfect text to fit your brief, enabling you to address your target audience effectively and successfully.
Contact a member of our knowledgeable team at STB to find out more about our English to German translation service.