German and Hindi: Aspects of Translation

German and Hindi are two vastly different languages, and anyone who requires translation between these languages will want to know how they differ. So we have decided to highlight three important aspects to consider when translating from German to Hindi, or vice versa.

  • Nouns

German nouns are masculine, feminine or neuter, but Hindi does not have a neuter case. Another distinction is that German nouns tend to follow either the definite or indefinite article, but there is no definite article (ie; ‘the’) in Hindi. Hindi also differs from German in the formation of the plural; there are four main ways of forming the plural in Hindi, one of these is when the noun isn’t changed at all, and the method used is determined by the gender and type of noun. In German it is much less common for a noun to be completely identical in the singular and plural forms, so this must be kept in mind during translation.

  • Word Order

In German, the structure of a sentence has two main variations, either the verb comes as the second part of the sentence or as the very last element. Both languages tend to start sentences with the subject, but Hindi generally puts the verb at the end, this means that they also differ in terms of negation; in German ‘nicht’ comes after the verb, unless the verb is at the end of the sentence. Hindi puts the negative before the verb as the verb tends to end the sentence. Therefore, word order needs careful consideration during translation of a text from German to Hindi, or vice versa.

  • Cases

German nouns are used in the nominative, accusative, genitive or dative cases but Hindi uses the direct and oblique cases. Prepositions in German tend to go before the noun to which they refer, but in Hindi they go after it, so are known as postpositions. When a noun is used with a postposition, it is in the oblique case, which changes the endings of the nouns. Therefore, you should pay particular attention to the use of cases in any translation between these two languages.

Now that you have read about the features of translation from German to Hindi, and vice versa, you may want to take a look at our other articles on the issues of translating between particular pairs of languages.

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