German Language & Translation Challenges

Helping you avoid potential translation pitfalls!

German language

Now dutifully learning your vocabulary lists is one thing - you’ll find the meaning of most German words, phrases and idioms in any good German dictionary - but don’t assume that English and German punctuation, or the use of commas and decimal points is going to be the same. 

If you do, your German translation is going to be full of mistakes!

That's why this section of the website is dedicated to all those additional features of the German language that you might not have considered before.

It provides answers to questions such as:

  1. Where do I find those German umlauts on my keyboard?
  2. How do I write numbers in German?
  3. What are the German rules of punctuation?
  4. What do all those German abbreviations mean - bzw, usw.,?

So to save you time running around looking for answers to questions like these, I’ve worked to put together the following reference source to provide you with answers to these awkward German translation queries.

Just follow the links below - and don’t forget to bookmark this page for future reference!

German language basics...

  • German alphabet in full, a guide to pronunciation, plus a reference list of keyboard commands for German letters ( ä, ö, ü, ß, etc.) on English language keyboards
  • German Numbers – An overview, writing out German numbers, plus the pluses and minuses (mathematically speaking!) 
  • German Currency – A quick overview of the Eurozone, the use of decimal points and commas (e.g. 1,000.00 and 1.000,00 – which one is German, and which one English?!), the “Billion problem”, etc.. 
  • German Holidays - Official German holidays and major holidays in Germany, Austria and Switzerland - the ones you know and don't know!

German language features you might not know about...

  • German Abbreviations – Common abbreviations, their meaning and English translations (e.g. z.B, usw, bzw., etc.), the use of speech marks, a guide to further resources.
  • German SMS language – It's another world out there! An indispensible resource for texting friends and family in German, or at least understanding what's being said! From A to L and from M to Z.
  • German Loan Words – German words such as Zeitgeist and Kindergarten express a term so well that we no longer bother to translate them and have simply adopted them into English.

No one is ever finished when it comes to learning a language, and German is no exception. The more you learn, the more you appreciate the subtleties of the German language.

And it's no different for me. So come back regularly to see how this page grows.

And in the meantime, happy translating!


German Translation Tips & Resources

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Joanna Scudamore-Trezek

I'm a German to English translator living and working in Vienna, Austria. I turn German texts into clear and accessible English, allowing clients to present their stories, ideas and information to a completely new audience. My business and marketing clients rely on me to get their message across clearly and effectively.  How can I help you today?

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