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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Untranslatable – if there is no translation

Again and again translators are working on a text and come across a word that cannot be translated. The English word has no counterpart in the language to which it is to be translated. What to do? If a translator encounters a English word that does not exist in the target language, that does not mean that the word is untranslatable. There just isn’t a single word to translate it with. What does a translator do in this case? Susanne Borgwaldt of the weekly newspaper Zeit answered this question : The linguist, also known as a linguist, who works at the University of Bamberg, explained that the translator then uses several words or even a whole sentence to explain the “untranslatable” term. As an example, Susanne Borgwaldt gave the newspaper the term “Schadenfreude”. In the majority of foreign languages, there is no suitable counterpart for him. And so the translator is forced to find an explanation for the English word Schadenfreude. For example: the joy felt by someone who has harmed others or witnessed them being harmed. And because, for example, the English language does not have a single word of its own for Schadenfreude, although its speakers are not unfamiliar with the feeling, many English-speaking native speakers use the English word Schadenfreude for it. The term “Schadenfreude” was therefore simply taken over from English into English. untranslated. Such adopted words are called “loan words” in language research. What is exciting is that a loan word is adopted and then frequently adapted in pronunciation to the adopting language. It is sometimes hard to notice that the loan word originally did not belong to the adopting language. Are you looking for experienced translators who are so articulate that they always find the right words to correctly translate even supposedly “untranslatable” terms? Then feel free to contact us!

More words that should only exist in English

Elsewhere , Die Zeit explains 19 words that only exist in English, including: supper, bridging day, need for explanation, wanderlust, tact, foreign shame, aberration of taste, mental cinema, sorrowful bacon, crazy idea, last minute panic, make it worse , anticipation, world pain. One reason for a lot of “untranslatable words” in English could be that our grammar allows us to form a longer term from several words of different parts of speech to describe a complicated thing. Most other languages ​​would need multiple words for this. Most of the examples above are such compounds.

English words as loanwords in other languages

There are quite a number of English words that have made a career as loan words, some even in several languages:
  • English loanwords in English
Fear, Autobahn, occupational ban, blitzkrieg, bratwurst, kindergarten, sauerkraut, marzipan, pilsner, world pain, the economic miracle
  • English loanwords in French
Biedermeier, Blitzkrieg, dictation, cosiness, Art Nouveau, Rollmops, Stollen, Sturm und Drang, forest dieback, zeitgeist. Does the zeitgeist speak its own language?
  • English loanwords in Hebrew
Dachshund, dowel, gourmet, insulating tape, kohlrabi, ball bearing, sip, schnitzel, momentum, spatula, plug, strudel, room

Loan words from other languages ​​in English

Conversely, we also use loanwords from other languages ​​in English or Italian translation services. Incidentally, many come from Arabic, English, French, Yiddish and Latin.
  • Loan words from Arabic in English
Admiral, giraffe, carafe, mattress, saffron, sofa
  • Loan words from English into English
Turn off, backup, e-banking, fan, fashion, gag, nerd, sandwich
  • Loan words from French into English
Avenue, Attack, Charm, Dessert, Commitment, Invasion, Awning, Research
  • Loan words from Yiddish in English
Bambling, well-heeled, turning blue, hosed, broken neck and leg, haggling, mess, Zoff
  • Loan words from Latin into English
Advent, Antique, Window, Chamber, Channel, Lamp, Street In every language there are words that cannot be translated with one word. There are various lists of such words that explain them circulating on the Internet. The Süddeutsche Zeitung provides a list of particularly good examples from many languages . professional simultaneous translation and interpreters who work for us around the world are native speakers and, in addition to the language skills, also have the necessary cultural knowledge to translate every word, every feeling so that it is correctly understood.

Jaxson henry
Jaxson henry
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