Language/translation jobs in Berlin – 14 Apr 2019

Here’s the latest picks from Berlin. If you have questions about a particular company or job description, e-mail me or write a comment. Companies EVS translation – solid financial translation company with various in-house / freelance jobs Various jobs at mid-size agency Gemino – Mitte (DTP, EN>DE translation, project mgmt.) Text & Form – established … Continue reading Language/translation jobs in Berlin – 14 Apr 2019

Depersonification and implied human agency

German sentences will often have a human acting in the background for no semantic reason. Many Germans will avoid personification in formal writing, although there’s no rule against it. For example, few Germans would write “Zäune dichten alle Wege ab.” They would use the passive – not to avoid naming the agent – but to … Continue reading Depersonification and implied human agency

Danglers of impersonal German

German is feared for its impersonal style. But look close and you’ll see the persons meddling in the background, which makes translating from German even sneakier than you thought! There’s two types of nouns: living and dead ones. German likes dropping the human agents, but it doesn’t like inanimate objects taking their place, so it … Continue reading Danglers of impersonal German

Warning on writing rules

As Orwell famously wrote, “break any [writing] rule sooner than say anything outright barbarous.” Barbarous is a cute exaggeration, but what it really means depends on who’s reading. Always keep the audience in mind, whether you write or translate. Say you’re translating a text by Julius Caesar for a Germanic audience – here you might … Continue reading Warning on writing rules

Dictionaries under Generalverdacht

Some German terms look like they have an official meaning but don’t. Colloquial German tends to use a higher register than colloquial English, which is why translations often sound stilted. Small time business people and bureaucrats love meaningless bridge words like “beziehungsweise,” “dementsprechend” or “im Rahmen von.” Even though all of these have dictionary equivalents, … Continue reading Dictionaries under Generalverdacht

Dissecting German compounds

Translate this into English: “Dieses Jahr erhielt die Presse vier Berichte von Leichenfunden.” German writers use compounds as abbreviations for noun + verb combinations. Instead of saying “Dieses Jahr erhielt die Presse vier Berichte von Leichen, die gefunden wurden.” or “…Berichte von gefundenden Leichen” (which both sound like the corpses were the ones reporting), they … Continue reading Dissecting German compounds