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See below, what kind of changes to the text might be expected for translations from French to German or vice versa.
Translation from French to German or vice versa entails certain changes in the resulting text. These changes are caused by the inherent differences between the languages. The following things in your order might be affected:
- The layout of the resulting text
- Time it takes to translate
- Translation complexity
Among other factors, these parameters can influence the final price as well. The layout factor is especially important to those, who are interested in our DTP (Desktop Publishing) services.
|Parameter||To French||To German||Difference|
|Writing system||Latin (French alphabet)||Latin (German alphabet)||Same writing system, different scripts: minimal difference|
|Characters per word (average)||6||7||Minimal|
|Text length (characters)||5% longer||5% shorter||Minimal|
Text length and document layout
The main factors influencing the length and layout of the translated document are:
- Writing system of the target language
- Writing direction
- Word length
- Relative lengths of the texts
Both French and German use the same writing system — the Latin alphabet. It means that usually the translated text can be displayed, using the same fonts as the source text. This lack of difference makes it easier to make the source and the target text be the same length. Please note, however, that the languages employ different sub-types (a.k.a. scripts) of the alphabet. Some fonts of the source language may not support all the signs in the target language.
Both languages are read left-to-right, meaning that there should be no significant changes to the layout in terms of the order of text elements.
Both languages have a similar average word length — 6 for French, and 7 for German. Thus, the word length should not affect the layout.
On average, documents translated to French are 5% longer than source texts in German. On the other hand, German texts are 5% shorter than their French counterparts. It means that some formatting differences are to be expected in the translated texts, although they should not present a serious formatting issue. Please note, that the actual visual length is also influenced by the font used.
Depending on your needs, the word order might be rather important for the translation. Things like slogans and brand names may convey an entirely different meaning, if their word order is changed.
The standard word orders of the languages are different. Various sentence structures may still be possible, but they might have a different meaning or change their style. However, it must be noted, that German has a free word order. This implies that translations from French to German will usually allow preserving your desired sentence structure.
Dialects and varieties
French has 2 major varieties: Metropolitan, and Canadian. It is essential for you to choose, which form or dialect to translate to. This is because each variety, from the point of view of the other types, can feel unnatural, misleading, or plainly inappropriate for the text.
If you are not sure, which form to choose for your document, the safe choice is the more widespread one, or the one understood by most speakers. For French, it is the Metropolitan variety.
Translation complexity is partially dependent on how closely the languages are related. The further apart the languages are, the more time and effort it takes to express an idea from one language in another one. As a consequence, it affects the price and time it takes to translate a document between French and German.
Both French and German belong to the Indo-European language family. The French language, however, represents the Romance branch of the family, while German is a member of the Germanic branch. It is not as drastic of a difference as between members of distinct families, but the discrepancy still provides some challenge to the translator.