German Translation Online

Useful German translation resources available online

I come across a lot of German translation online resources in my work, and German websites which cover many German translation-related topics.

In addition to all the information about specific resources I explore on this website (index here), this page highlights others I think are good, where I know who’s behind them, or think they may be of help:

Learning German

Still fighting with German? Peter Heinrich has a great way of making learning German much easier by inviting students to spend time with a real German "Gastfamilie"

Each month Peter, Birte and Maynard explore a different aspect of life in Germany, giving you access to vocabulary you wouldn't find in standard textbooks. It's a novel approach to language learning, and Peter says it's getting loads of great feedback.

  • If you want to hear how a word is pronounced in German, or you want to compare with the pronunciation you get with Leo, you can always try Forvo.
  • German Verbs Improve your German grammar knowledge and learn everything there is to know about German verbs.
  • Learn German Easily with Lucas Kern, a guide on how to learn German easily using the storytelling method, plus his question and answer technique.

Professional online resources

German as it lives and breathes...

  • Redensarten Redensarten = expressions, and here is a great collection of German expressions and sayings. Discover the meanings and boost your colloquial German!
  • Zitaten = quotes, and here is a large collection. Search by name or subject area and impress your friends!
  • A dictionary of phrases, sayings, expressions and idioms in German and in English.

Fun German - take a walk on the light side

  • The Austrian Dictionary (in German). OK, German is Austria’s official language, but try asking for “Schlagsahne” or “Quark” in Austria and people will think you’re “Deppert” (Look it up!) Invaluable for anyone planning a trip to Austria and wanting to impress the locals!
  • Schüttelreime. Schüttelreime are created by swapping the initial letter(s)of words to create new word combinations. They’re a bit more than Spoonerisms (e.g. “teapot” = “peatot”), which are usually nonsensical, as the skill in schütteln(shaking up) is in creating real word combinations – Schicker Duft/Dicker Schuft) – and then putting them into verse. The website is in German, hope you’ll enjoy!

Not-such-fun German...

German was subjected to a Rechtschreibreform(orthography reform) in 1996, with the aim of simplifying spelling ( more –ss- and less-ß-, etc.). Not surprisingly, a fair amount of confusion has resulted. Here is the official version in PDF format (German), most recently updated in 2018, issued by the Institut für Deutsche Sprache in PDF form for you to download. (For general background info in English see this Wiki entry.) Enjoy!

English writing skills - key to a good German translation!

These are the only 2 style guides I could find which offering free, online access:

  • The BBC Style Guide by John Allen is a must for anyone using English professionally – e.g. German translators. Well set out and well written (well, obviously!), and you can download the guide in PDF format.
  • The European Commission's English style guide is a handbook for authors and translators in the European Commission, available in PDF form to download. British English!

Do you know of a good German translation-related site which would be of interest to our visitors? Do you think your own German website be included in this German translation online resource centre?

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German Translation Tips & Resources

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German to English Translation

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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