https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

Translations

Why does the translation input differ so much from the French? There are so many blog entries and other kinds of texts that consist of colloqial language. I am a native speaker of German and have been studying English for many years and there are many sentences where I can't tell how to translate them best.

October 4, 2012

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/bf2010
  • 1823

@kyky; I agree, and more than in other duolingo languages the texts seem to come from weird newspaper or blog articles; consequently the language used is full of journalese, bloggerese etc, language even Germans who are not part of these "inner circles" do not really understand.... pity the poor devils who try to learn German. @bel99; idiom/colloquial phrases are hard to understand and/or grasp in any language; whether colloquialism in German translate well into English depends, as you suggested on the root of this colloquialism and since English is at heart a 50/50 Romanic-German language your chances as someone whose previous learning has been influenced by Spanish+French your personal feel of English probably leans toward the Romanic part (francophone etc); as for the German word "werden" take heart and think of the difficulties English-learners have to find out about the differences between e.g. "to get, to become, to achieve, to obtain"...just keep on going :-)

October 7, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/bel99

Having lived in Germany, as a native English speaker who studied some Spanish and French, colloquial phrases in German just don't translate into English as well as colloquial phrases from Romance Languages. I don't know why. German and English have the same roots, but for some reason the German idiomatic usage simply doesn't cross over well. It's a total mind freak trying to translate the use of "werden" into English, for instance. It LOOKS like it should take the place of the future tense of "to be" but it really doesn't. Trying to plug it in as a translation rarely works well. Even using "become" for all "werden" verbs is only correct part of the time, as often "werden" connotes an act in the present tense. German has to be learned on it's own terms, I think, without any preconceptions from English. The whole language can be one huge False Friend if one looks for direct parallels.

October 6, 2012
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