Things to consider when translating English websites to German

In this blog post, our team will share some of the things to consider when translating a website from German to English.

While German and English have a common root as they are both Germanic languages, translating any text still poses some challenges and there are some points to be considered.

In this blog post, our team will share some of the things to consider when translating a text from German to English. We especially focused on anything that can help you translate your website from English to German or vice versa.

German words are longer on average

It's not only a stereotype: German sentences and words are traditionally longer than their equivalents in English. To give you one example of an actual German word: "Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz". There are countless more examples of length German words or sentences.

If you translate a website from English to German then this can be problematic, menu entries could overflow and hide other entries, buttons and other call-to-action elements that could potentially not display the whole text.

So you should make sure to check that, especially menu and button elements on your website still render well in the translated version.

If you are translating a website this is something that you need to primarily consider in navigation elements (e.g. menu entries) and call-to-action elements such as buttons.

German is more formal

German texts tend to be more formal and reserved, in fact, in German, you also are supposed to use the formal "Sie" ("thou") when addressing another person. The more informal form "Du" ("you") is only used after people have agreed to each other use this form.

When translating English texts this leads to the problem that you need to ensure which form should be used. Is it targeting a community of friends? Go with "Du". Are you targeting traditional German companies? Go with the "Sie".

German is more reserved

For English texts, it is quite common to use witty puns and headlines. This is particularly done in professional contexts and newspapers in Great Britain.

In German, this is however usually considered impolite and unprofessional. So be mindful when writing your texts to ensure they translate well into other languages.

Translate your website quickly from English to German with Dilingual

These are just some of the challenges posed when translating a website from English to German. There are obviously a ton more, such as the technical challenges.

With Dilingual we have solved all the technical challenges for you. Dilingual enables you to easily and quickly translate your existing website without any code changes. You can also manually adjust any translations using our intuitive user interface.

Get started now with Dilingual and translate your website for free. We also partner with award-winning translation agencies that can make sure all translations are always optimized for your target audience.

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