differences between German and English

Many German articles contain very long, complex sentences, which is a long-term German cultural issue. Consider splitting the English into short sentences, as is preferred in modern English.
Similarly, for stylistic reasons, some German words or phrases may be longer than absolutely necessary. Modern English style tends to prefer concise expression in general.
Formal German makes heavy use of impersonal subjects and passive verbs, both of which are considered detrimental to understanding and to reading pleasure in English. Translate using active verbs and concrete subjects. For example, translate Es wurde nach einer Lösung gesucht (literally comparable to “There was a solution searched for”) as “Engineers [or whatever subject fits the facts] sought a solution.” Note that a personal subject must be provided where the German sentence had none!
A number of abbreviations are common in German at all stylistic levels, including z.B. for zum Beispiel (“for example”), bzw. for beziehungsweise (like “respectively”, but with different placement in the sentence), u.a. for unter anderen (“among others”), and more. Your first impulse may be to substitute “e.g.” for z.B. and “i.e.” for d.h. (das heißt), but English does not use the corresponding abbreviations except in very formal academic style. Hence it’s usually better to write out “that is” (between commas) than to use the Latin “i.e.” Furthermore, English does not use the corresponding expressions, whether abbreviated or not, anywhere near as frequently as German. So consider translating z.B. as “including” or “such as”.
The German beziehungsweise or bzw. is a special problem: it is often misused for und (“and”) or oder (“or”), and should be so translated. Even where it is correctly used in German, you should restructure the sentence in your translation rather than use “respectively” in English. For example, translate Peter Weiss’ “Hölderlin” und “Der Prozeß” wurden 1971 bzw. 1975 uraufgeführt as “Peter Weiss’s Hölderlin premiered in 1971, and Der Prozess in 1975.” Modern use of the term in English is very limited.


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Beware of “false friends”. For example, Handy means “mobile phone”; aktuell = “current”; eventuell = “maybe”; Fotograf = “photographer”; irritieren = “confuse”; Lack = “paint”; Roman = “novel”; sensibel = “sensitive”.
German uses many little adverbs like schon, doch, eben, zwar, dabei, daher, etc. ad inf., which often should not represented by any word at all in an English translation. Adverbs of this sort simply provide emphasis, tone and flow, which are achieved by completely different means in English.
differences between German and English