Translation transformations in German

Translation transformations in German

Changes to the text in translation are a normal phenomenon in translation practice. The essence of conversions and additions is to exclude words that do not change the meaning.

An example of this is the translation into German. Der heutige Bundesprasident Horst Kohler gilt mit Recht als fundierter Kenner des Volkerrechts» we will translate as «Federal President Horst Kohler is rightly considered a profound expert in international law». In fact, we may not translate literally, but the message remains the same.

There are several reasons for using this technique. First, certain languages may have no grammatical category, or only a partial overlap. For example, in Russian, unlike in German, there are no articles, and instead they are replaced by other words.

Secondly, in both German and Russian there are a number of indivisible expressions, proverbs and sayings that cannot be translated verbatim into another language. Among the common idioms that Germans use are: «Das ist ein Hammer!» («Das ist ein Hammer!») translates to «awesome», «Da wird der Hund in der Pfanne verrückt» («The dog will go crazy in the frying pan») translates to «delightful», «Das schlägt dem Fass den Boden aus» («It will knock the bottom out of the barrel») — «it has crossed the line», «ganz (völlig) aus dem Häuschen sein» («To be completely out of the house») — «to go mad» and many others.

Thirdly, some conditions of German life are clear to most Russians and do not need a detailed description. For example, in a sentence that refers to the German parliament (Bundestag), we can omit the explanation that it is an apparatus of power that exists only in Germany. After all, this is a well-known fact, and the translation would lose nothing without this clarification.