Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About Translation

Do translators translate German words to English?

The answer is both yes and no. A translator will aim to preserve the meaning of every single German word in his or her English translation. Languages are very complex things, however, so there might not be an equivalent word in German for every single word in English and vice versa. Some German words may have to be divided into multiple English words. Other German words might have no translation in English whatsoever and will have to be communicated using an English phrase or an explanation. It may even be possible to condense multiple German words into a single English word in some cases! What truly matters is that the exact same meaning is conveyed in both languages.

What competencies does a good translator need?

A good translator should be a native speaker of the target language, have an advanced academic degree, have experience living in the country where their foreign language is spoken, and have expertise in the professional field your translation will be used in. To learn more about how to find the best language translator, read my article on Finding the Best German Translator or check out my article Choosing the Best Language Translator for Your Needs.
 

What is the difference between a translator and an interpreter?

A translator translates written documents from one language to another. An interpreter helps two people who speak different languages communicate through talking and verbal communication.

What is machine translation?

Machine translation is the translation of a text from one language to another using advanced computer software. Modern machine translation software can write somewhat fluently, but is still incapable of producing the same quality as a human translator. Visit my blog for an analysis of machine translation samples or an overview of machine translation quality.

Questions About the German Language

What are the German capitalization rules?

Nouns are always capitalized in German. Much like English, the first letter of a sentence is also capitalized in German. Unlike English, German titles are not subject to special capitalization rules. They follow the same rules as the sentence. Visit my blog for more information on the differences between German and English writing conventions.