German and Romanian: Particular Features of Translation

German and Romanian share many similar features, but difficulties in translation generally derive from the differences between them. This is the reason that we are highlighting three key features of translation between German and Romanian.  

  • Cases

Four cases are used in German to offer more information about the role of the noun in a sentence, the nominative case refers to the subject and the accusative tends to be used for the direct object of a sentence. The dative case refers to any indirect object while the genitive case normally denotes possession. These cases are all used similarly in Romanian but there is also the vocative case, which is fairly informal and mostly used when talking to somebody who you know very well. The use and effects of these cases are essential knowledge for any translator of these two languages.

  • Articles

In German, the definite article precedes the noun to which it’s referring, and agrees with the gender, number and case of the noun. This is also true of the indefinite article. In Romanian many of the same rules must be followed but the definite article comes after the noun, while the indefinite article precedes the noun just as it does in German. This distinction in word order is a potential issue in translation from German to Romanian, or vice versa, so must remain at the forefront of your mind when translating a text.

  • Accents

Anyone who studies German to an advanced level, will have to be aware of the accents used in the language, i.e. the two dots found on certain vowels, better known as the umlaut. This effectively creates 3 new vowels (ä, ö, ü), which have an impact on the pronunciation and meaning of any words containing them. Romanian is somewhat more complicated in this regard as there are a greater number of accents and they are both above and below the letters (above vowels but below consonants). This can trip you up when translating so merits careful attention.

Now that you have had the opportunity to learn about the features of translation between German and Romanian, why not take a look at our articles on the difficulties of translating between other language pairs.


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