Why choose ITC for your German translation projects?

Over the years, ITC has developed a strong network of translators whose native language is German. These linguists have passed several rounds of tests and are evaluated regularly. In addition, the ITC project managers have drawn up language guides to help translators follow the specific rules that apply to German.

History of the language: translation into German

German is a West Germanic language. Most of its vocabulary stems from the German branch of the Indo-European languages, with many of its words derived from Latin and Greek, some also from French and English. The languages most similar to German include Luxemburgish, Dutch, English, the Frisian and the Scandinavian languages.

There are around 100 million native German speakers – it is therefore the most widely spoken language in the European Union. German is the only official language in Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein and one of the official languages in Switzerland, Luxemburg, and Belgium. It is an important language in the sciences, business and culture and the second most common language on the Internet. One tenth of all books (including e-books) in the world are published in German.

Specific features of German

Different variants of German are used in the various countries where it is spoken, and there are many dialects, each with their own vocabulary, pronunciation and even grammatical idiosyncracies. There is also one variant referred to as Standard German, which is the “official” variant used in the media (in Germany) and some regions and understood generally. The variation among the German dialects is quite considerable, with mostly only neighbouring dialects being mutually intelligible, and most dialects are not intelligible to people who only speak Standard German.

German has four cases (nominative, genitive, dative and accusative) and the nouns are inflected by case, gender and number. German has three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter). In German, nouns and most words with the syntactical function of nouns are capitalized, a characteristic which is almost unique to German today. Unlike English, where compounds of nouns are written with a separating space, German forms compound words without spaces: for instance, “kitchen door”, with the German words “Küche” for “kitchen” and “Tür” for “door”, becomes “Küchentür”. Such noun compounds can have more than two parts, which can result in very long words.

German spelling and grammar is determined by the rules in the dictionary of the German language, the Duden, which is updated regularly.