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Worksheet Version
General Skills: Version
Translation
Here are some points to watch when you translate from English into German:
Grammar and style
1) Be careful with tenses!! i.e. Present perfect
2) Participle constructions
 present participle:
-ing form of verbs (playing, reading, talking)
 past participle:
3 form of verbs (asked, bought, sold, told)
rd
How to translate participle constructions
Match the examples on the right with the appropriate
technique on the left. Then give a good German
translation.
Übersetzung ……
Example
als Substantiv
Looking out of the window she witnessed an accident
mit “
und”(Beiordnung)
Having picked up some money at the bank, I went
shopping.
als Relativsatz
The man buying the newspaper is a famous star.
als temporaler Nebensatz
Being tired after the long walk, Ann went to bed.
als Kausaler Nebensatz
We sat watching the boats on the river.
Repairing cars is a hobby.
BE CAREFUL!
Oft nicht eindeutig:
The concert being over, we went home.
1) ________________________________________
2) ________________________________________
You can’
t get wrong with: “als, da, weil, indem, obwohl, und –relativ“
Vorsicht bei
But now, with simply too many people crowding in previously
Konstruktionen mit
with + Partizip
unspoiled places, eco-tourism is doing more harm to nature than
many experts may have foreseen.
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
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General Skills: Version
past participle
When told to go, he went quietly.
 passiv
_____________________________________________________
The woman arrested at the airport was a smuggler.
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
This medicine can have dangerous side effects if taken with alcohol!
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
3) The passive voice
…is used more frequently in English, while German prefers the active voice!
She was given a ticket, too.
________________________________________________
In our time rational reasoning is encouraged. ____________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
4) Word order
…is more rigid in English. Keep in mind that when a German sentence is introduced by an
adverb or a(n adverbial) phrase, the verb changes its position, whereas in English the word order
remains S-V-O. This can cause problems when you translate longer sentences!
English
Today English
As we all know, English
is used…
is used…
is used…
5) Comparatives, superlatives
…work differently in German.
more important
___________________________________________
most important
___________________________________________
6) Stylistic differences
 The English language uses more nouns than German (nominal style). German prefers verbs.
It can often be helpful to translate English nouns as verbs.
There was a devaluation of other languages.
________________________________________
It is my personal belief that… ________________________________________________
 Nouns can also be translated as adjectives or adverbs.
We favour a bit of peace and quiet.
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General Skills: Version
 Sometimes it can help to turn the whole thing round completely.
adjective
noun
political
leader
black
male
adjective
noun
 English prefers short and compact expressions.
When you translate from English into German, you’
ll need a larger number of words.
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
They see the spread of English as an
empowering process.
7) Vocabulary
 Be careful with these English nouns. Either they have a different meaning in the singular and
in the plural, or there is a second plural form with a different meaning.
Plural
Singular
cake(s)
cakes
chocolate
chocolates
custom(s)
customs
glass(es)
glasses
drawer(s)
drawers
manner
manners
pain(s)
pains
picture(s)
pictures
 Be careful with ‘
small’words –they often have several meanings.
German translation
since
She’
s been working since 9 o’
clock.
Since he didn’
t know where he was, he turned
around.
for
I’
ve been waiting for three hours.
For I have loved you all my life.
yet
Have you done it yet?
I haven’
t done it yet.
(Am Satzanfang) Yet on a train mobile phones
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are a nuisance.
It’
s sunny but cold today.
but
He didn’
t call her but sent her flowers.
(nothing) but
He left her nothing but an old pair of shoes.
some
Would you like some cake?
He has some ability to annoy people.
English is spoken by some billion people.
He prefers tea with milk.
with
We’
ll stay with her.
With so many people crowding up nature spots,
eco-tourism has done more harm than good.
Have you met his little sister?
little
Little did she know about his plans.
Although it’
s late, the kids are not tired.
(al)though
The report was critical though fair.
His English hasn’
t improved; though he should
continue to attend classes.
Given the fact she’
s never done it before, she’
s
given
already quite good at it.
 Some expressions with ‘
to’can cause problems:
German translation
to be likely to
He is likely to come. = He will probably come.
to be to
The President is to appear on TV.
to be said to
He’
s said to live by himself.
used to
We used to go out when we were younger.
to be used to
We are used to working long hours.
 ‘
Word pairs mustn’
t be overlooked!
German translation
both…and
Both he and his brother forgot to call her.
either…or
You either take it or leave it!
But be careful here: “
I don’
t like it either.”= Ich
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habe es auch nicht gern
Neither his parents nor his teachers knew of his
neither…nor
addiction.
the…the
(bei Steigerung:) The sooner the better.
provided that
It will be a nice holiday provided that we have
good weather.
 The following words are sometimes translated sloppily.
Britain _____________________ , man _________________ , place ___________________ , number
_________________ , student _________________ , would _________________ , will _________________ , the
_________________ , then _________________ , than _________________ , at last _________________ , at least
_________________
 Don’
t mix these words up!
English
German
English
to affect
to effect
beside
besides
desert
dessert
German
to desert
to die
to dye
economic
economical
industrial
industrious
price
prize
 And finally: More false friends to be aware of!
English
German
German
actual
aktuell
betray
betrügen
to become
bekommen
consequent
konsequent
eventually
eventuell
lecture
Lektüre
lime
Leim
meaning
Meinung
moderate
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BUT
English
Moderator
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General Skills: Version
murder
Mörder
ordinary
ordinär
to overtake
übernehmen
provision
Provision
receipt
Rezept
rent
Rente
sympathetic
sympatisch
warehouse
Warenhaus
Abi 1999
Ireland''s" entry into the European Union in 1973 triggered a series of extraordinary
transformations. Market forces, not history, began to shape Ireland and its view of
itself. In the 1990s, prosperity became a confidence builder. A stable democracy,
Ireland grew into Europe's most successful economy. The new prosperity has even
reversed the debilitating cycle of poverty and mass emigration that since 1700
had created an Irish diaspora of 70 million people around the world, 40 million of
them in the United States. During the first half of the 1990s, for the first time on
record, more people came into Ireland than left it.
Over time, the Irish also became less dogmatic about Northern Ireland. Very few
would publicly bury the dream of a united Ireland. But prosperity, a new
confidence in their own identity and a nagging war weariness have pushed the
Irish toward their more pragmatic view of the North. "There is a general
recognition that compromise has to be found - and that may fall far short of a
united Ireland," says Ruari Quinn, leader of the Irish Labour Party. For the
people of Ireland, Northern Ireland is unfinished business - and the new Ireland is
handling it in a businesslike way.
From: Newsweek, 13 April 1998
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