German and Bulgarian: Key Aspects of Translation

If you need translation from German to Bulgarian or the inverse, you may well be asked about the differences between the two languages. Although there are certain aspects where these two languages are broadly similar, we have decided to highlight some key features to be taken into account during translation.

  • Tenses

In German, auxiliary verbs are often used to form different tenses including the future tense and the past perfect. However, the situation is more complicated in Bulgarian, as there are two different aspects and five moods. For instance, there are a number of compound tenses in the indicative mood including present, past and future perfect tenses. The differences in the use of tenses are potentially crucial for translation tasks, so must remain at the forefront of your mind.

  • Cases

German tends to use various different cases to provide additional information about the role of a noun in a sentence. The four cases used are the nominative, accusative, dative and genitive, and this affects the endings on nouns, their articles and the adjectives which refer to them. Although Bulgarian originally had seven cases similarly to many Slavic languages, not all of them have remained intact in modern day Bulgarian. The accusative, nominative, and dative cases are mostly used with personal pronouns, while the genitive case is expressed through prepositions. The vocative case is only used in very informal conversations, so is unlikely to appear in any translation tasks. Nonetheless, the effects of the various cases differ greatly between the two languages, and this is a key point in translation.

  • Plurals

These two languages form plural nouns, similarly, changing the ending of a noun to indicate that the plural form is being used. The most common plural endings in German are -e, -n, -en, while there is a much greater variety in Bulgarian. The ending depends on a number of factors, notably the gender, original ending and length of the word in question. Therefore, it is essential to pay close attention to Bulgarian noun endings for potential plurals.

Now that you have been able to learn about the key features of translation from German to Bulgarian, and vice versa, why not take a look at our articles on the issues of translating between other language pairs.


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