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Should articles be translated to U.S or British English?

I'm a native speaker of British English, learning German. I have a problem in an article at the moment where I'm translating the British version of a word and someone has changed it to the American version, which is simply incorrect to me, and does not convey the correct meaning of the German. What should happen in this case?

July 31, 2013



I suppose you change it back if it truly fails to convey the meaning of the original. On the other hand there are British colloquialisms that are incomprehensible to me (and I imagine the reverse is true) in which case a parenthetical note might be appropriate, don't you think?


So you translated it as "icing sugar" and it was changed to either "powdered sugar" or "confectioners' sugar"?

A Google image search for "icing sugar" shows something that I've always known as "powdered/confectioners' sugar"-- they do seem to be the same thing. I've never heard of "icing sugar" before, and the other corrector in this instance may not have known what it was either, hence she/he changing it.

I don't know that there's an official policy on American vs British English. I would learn towards American, since Duo is a .com, not a .co.uk, and because the lessons seem to favor American English, either marking BrE answers as incorrect or having the "another answer is..." box popup.


Exactly. It would be nice if Duo supported these two languages explicitly as clearly there is no appropriate intermediate translation here, neither makes sense in the other's language.

I can understand that globally the site would tend to lean towards U.S. English but it is occasionally confusing for a native british speaker.


In this case, a good compromise might be translating it as "icing sugar, also known as powdered sugar" or "icing or powered sugar" or something like that.

  • 2849

Because it seems incorrect to you doesn't mean it actually is. Unless it's incorrect English period, not just incorrect to your British ear, leave it be.


I actually made the original translation, and then I was corrected - sorry if I didn't make that clear.

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