We can translate a wide range of materials into German, from technical documentation and annual reports to sales and marketing materials. Our qualified EHLION translators apply their passion for language and sharp eye for detail to all your content, creating high-quality, professional translations from and into German. We also offer additional services to support you in other areas, for example by helping to create specialist terminology databases and company-specific glossaries and dictionaries.
Do you need a professional interpreter who works from German into English or vice versa? We’ll help you find the best tailor-made interpreting solution to meet your needs.
Well, those of you who studied German at school probably have a very good idea of what it sounds like! But for those of us who didn’t, we have put together a fact file including an audio sample. Not just for German, but also for other languages we offer. So now you can listen to find out exactly what they sound like. And in this case you’ll be listening to the words of one of Germany’s greatest writers.
Our audio sample is an extract from the first chapter of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s “Italian Journey”. The German poet and philosopher was born in Frankfurt in 1749 and died in Weimar in 1832. On September 3, 1786, he set out on a journey to Italy that took him from Karlsbad across the Alps to Bolzano, Verona, Padua, Venice, Bologna, Florence and other cities in the Tuscan region before finally arriving in Rome. He stayed there until April 1788, apart from excursions to Naples and Sicily.
One of the people Goethe met during this journey was the German painter Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein. This meeting inspired Tischbein to create his most famous work – a portrait of the great German poet: “Goethe in the (Roman) Campagna”.
German is considered to be a very difficult language to learn. Mark Twain was so frustrated in his attempts to learn German that he wrote a whole essay on the subject: “The Awful German Language” (1880). Among other things he criticized the way nouns are classified as masculine, feminine or neuter, which to his mind was often illogical or absurd. He found it particularly amusing that “in German, a young lady has no sex” because the corresponding noun – das Mädchen – is neuter. His timeless essay is still fun to read – especially if you, too, are struggling to learn German.
If you find yourself in that position, don’t despair: at least there is some comfort in knowing that one of America’s greatest authors encountered similar problems! As for Mark Twain, he came to the conclusion that he had finally figured out what eternity was made for. “It is to give some of us a chance to learn German.”
There are somewhere between 90 and 95 million native speakers of German around the world. Whatever Mark Twain might say, German is actually closely related to English. Both languages belong to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family. Plenty of English loanwords have made their way into modern German (see examples below), but far fewer German words have crossed over into English. Of those that have, our personal favorites are “angst”, “doppelgänger” and “strudel”.
In Germany, the Duden dictionaries are the authoritative reference work on German orthography and grammar. The Duden is a national institution that has preserved the integrity of the German language for the past 130 years and has the last word (no pun intended) when arbitrating controversial language issues. Today’s series of Duden dictionaries has its origins in the first “Complete Orthographic Dictionary of the German Language” published by Dr. Konrad Duden in 1880. Similar to the OED and Merriam Webster, the Duden is an explanatory dictionary that describes the observed usage of the language rather than prescribing rules.
New entries are only accepted once they are deemed to have passed into common usage. Hence, the latest edition of Duden can be used to check the correct spelling of newly created words such as “App” and “Flashmob”. How do the editors decide which words to include? Well, in today’s digital world, the Duden’s collection of words is stored in a computer referred to as “the memory of the German language”.
The Duden editors feed all kinds of text material into this impressive machine. It devours novels, speeches, interviews, operating instructions, and whole annual editions of the daily newspapers. Based on this collection of material, regular checks are carried out to determine how often each word occurs in the various media. That’s how new candidates are selected for inclusion in the dictionary – and some redundant words earmarked for removal.