German: Translations with certification & interpreting into and from German
The specialist translators and interpreters of the Nuremberg language service provider AP Fachübersetzungen love languages. They offer their customers high-quality translation and interpreting services for the German language. Our qualified and experienced translators and interpreters specialize in the fields of medicine, pharmacy, law and technology. The experts of our Nuremberg translation agency are also happy to support you with certified translations into and from the German language as your competent and reliable partner at any time.
Interesting facts about the German language
- German is notorious for its long single words which can form whole sentences and expressions, e.g. “Grundstücksverkehrsgenehmigungszuständigkeitsübertragungsverordnung“.
- In other languages, there can be very different names for the German language, for example Deutsch (German), allemand (French), tedesco (Italian), немецкий [nemezkij] (Russian).
- In the EU, German is the language with the most native speakers.
- German is the third most frequently learnt foreign language worldwide.
- Among the most widely spoken languages, German even ranks 11th in a worldwide comparison.
- There are a number of German words that are also used abroad because they do not have an equivalent in other languages. The most famous German loan words include schadenfreude, katzenjammer or Apfelschorle (apple juice mixed with sparkling water). But kindergarten, (apple) strudel, poltergeist or the "German Angst" have also found their way into the vocabulary of many other countries, from Brazil and Sweden to Japan.
Where German is spoken - an overview
German is an/the official language of Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. While German is not an official language in South Africa, Brazil, Slovakia and the USA, it is spoken by part of the population. There are approximately 100 million German native speakers worldwide, and another 80 million speak German as a second language. German belongs to the Indo-European language family and is part of the West Germanic subgroup of the Germanic branch.
There are innumerable local, regional and country-specific dialects and varieties of German. Accordingly, linguistic expressions and terms sometimes vary widely. This naturally also influences the translation or interpretation of a text. At AP Fachübersetzungen, we only work with competent and experienced, publicly appointed and sworn specialist translators and simultaneous, conference, consecutive and court interpreters who can master even linguistically complex challenges without problems. In the case of certified translations, we only use publicly appointed and sworn German translators for legal documents who have many years of experience and will certify your translation.
Countries where German is spoken, apart from Germany:
- Czech Republic
- South Africa
History of the German language
The development of the German language can roughly be divided into the periods of Old High German (750-1050), Middle High German (1050-1350), Early New High German (1350-1650) and New High German (starting from 1650). During this development, German was influenced by many other (European) languages, which can still be seen today in the vocabulary and the syntax. In the early stages of its development, there was no uniform German language as such since the peoples that are called German often used their own dialects. A unification (of Middle High German) began in the middle of the 12th century, but it was not until several centuries later that the German (written) language was standardized. The translation of the Bible by Martin Luther in the 16th century and the German dictionary written by the Brothers Grimm in the middle of the 19th century are examples of milestones along this path.
German, a difficult language - German grammar
Not only people who have to learn German as a foreign language, but also native speakers often find the extremely complex grammar of the German language challenging. This is primarily due to the fact that German, compared to many other languages, has some grammatical peculiarities that make it difficult, especially for non-native speakers, to master the language perfectly and fluently.
1. The German alphabet
The German alphabet contains 26 letters. In addition, there are the so-called umlauts, which are formed from the vowels a, u and o, in combination with an e. These are:
- ä (a + e), as for example in the word "Käfer" (beetle) or the plural of "Baum" (tree): "Bäume".
- ö (o+e) is used in the noun "Öl" (oil) or the adjective "schön" (beautiful), for example.
- ü (u + e) can be found in nouns such as "Glück" (luck), "Küche" (kitchen) or "Blüte" (flower), in certain verbs like "fühlen" (feel) or "grüßen" (greet) or adjectives ("grün" - green, "übel" - bad).
In German, one letter can correspond to several sounds. Thus, for example, both "Schere" (scissors) and "Erbse" (pea) contain the letter e, but it is pronounced differently. While the vowel is rather long in the first word, in "Erbse" it is a short e. Another letter typical for the German language is the "sharp" ß, also called eszett. It is used when a long vowel or diphthong is followed by a short, voiceless "s" sound, such as in "Gruß" (greeting), "Maß" (measure) or "reißen" (tear). This rule only applies if the vocal sound is voiceless in all word forms.
2. The correct declension
However, not only the pronunciation, but also the word forms in German are comparatively complex. In addition to the two numbers (singular and plural), German also differentiates between three genders (male, female and neuter) and four cases - nominative, genitive, dative and accusative. Articles, adjectives and pronouns must also correspond to the declension of the noun they are referring to. Unlike in many Romance languages, there are no differences between the individual genders in the plural. The accusative plural form of "mein schönes Haus" (my beautiful house; nominative, singular, neutral) is "meine schönen Häuser" (my beautiful houses).
3. Word expansions (affixes)
Another particularity of the German language is its flexibility regarding (new) word formations. There is an extensive system of word expansions (affixes) for verbs, nouns and adjectives. Word expansions which are used particularly frequently in German are the prefix and the suffix:
- The prefix is always placed in front of the word; thus the verb "fahren" (drive) is transformed into the new verb "umfahren" (drive around sth, hit sth. with a vehicle) by adding "um".
- Unlike the prefix, the suffix is added at the end of the word. In this way, the syllable "-heit" turns the adjective "krank" (ill) into the noun "Krankheit" (illness).
Apart from this, different grammatical rules often apply in German, depending on whether it is a main or a subordinate clause.
Don't take any chances: Trust our language experts
The particularities of the German language often present a challenge even for native translators and interpreters. Inexperienced or less qualified people can quickly get confused or can even completely misinterpret things. That’s why it is only advisable to entrust a competent and reliable language expert with your translation or interpreting job. At AP Fachübersetzungen, we put special emphasis on experience, specialist competence and reliability when choosing our resources to guarantee the impeccable quality of our services. In the case of certified translations, we only employ publicly appointed and sworn German translators for official documents with many years of experience. Our best and friendly conference, simultaneous, court, consecutive and liaison interpreters will be happy to support you. You can absolutely rely on AP Fachübersetzungen.
Our contact details
Do you need a (certified) translation into German or from German into a foreign language? Do you want the translation to be done by an experienced expert? Do you have an important business, notary or court appointment, a seminar, GMP audit, trade fair visit in Nuremberg, a cultural event, conference or training or another important event and you urgently need an interpreter whose expertise and punctuality you can absolutely rely on? Then AP Fachübersetzungen is the right partner for you. You can reach us at +49 (0)911 – 650 08 650 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, you are also welcome to visit our interpreting and translation office in the centre of Nuremberg. Our friendly team is happy to provide you with individual advice and take care of your project.