e.g., i.e., etc.
This LKTip is about two pretty common abbreviations: e.g. and i.e.
We do use them in English, but they’re not always the best choice for flowing text in the way that you’ll often see their German counterparts (usually z.B. and d.h.) used freely in flowing text. They can be a bit disruptive in the flow of a sentence, so it’s worth trying out different techniques to get round them – let’s see with a couple of examples:
-> “The materials we use to manufacture the product are e.g. steel and carbon”
-> “We use materials including steel and carbon to manufacture the product”
-> “Some examples of the materials we use to manufacture the product are steel and carbon”
-> “Steel and carbon are among the materials we use to manufacture the product”
– “The materials, i.e. wood and paper, are obtained from sustainable sources”
-> “The materials, which are wood and paper in this case, are obtained from sustainable sources”
-> “The materials – wood and paper – are obtained from sustainable sources”
-> “The materials we use, wood and paper, are obtained from sustainable sources”
And we know you all know this anyway, but just as a reminder, don’t get “e.g.” and “i.e.” mixed up!
Get your files in order
This LKTip is for those of us who use CAT tools (which is a lot of us).
Most CAT tools will just arrange and open documents in alphabetical order by title or similar – but it’s worth checking that you’re translating in an order that makes sense if you’re working with multiple documents. If the first document in your list is something like an appendix or table of contents, it’s probably a good idea to translate the main body of the text and then come back to this, so you have a better and fuller picture of the main contents.
Restructure for more readability
“so”, “daher” and similar are words that come up a lot in German texts, but going for a literal approach with “therefore” or “thus” can come across as stuffy in English. Try finding different ways of structuring your sentences to get round it – this could also mean splitting or joining sentences. Here are a couple of examples:
– Rohstoffpreise steigen weiter. Daher überarbeiten wir die Preisliste für unsere Produkte.
❌ Raw material prices are still rising. Therefore, we are revising the price list for our products.
✔️ We are revising our product price list due to ongoing increases in raw material prices.
✔️ With raw material prices continuing to increase, we are revising our product price list.
As a tip for English, also remember that “therefore” isn’t a conjunction that acts in the same way as the English “so” – it’s a conjunctive adverb and needs punctuation (also check out this Grammarist article: https://grammarist.com/grammar/therefore/):
❌ Raw material prices are increasing, therefore we are revising our product price list.
✔️ Raw material prices are increasing; therefore, we are revising our product price list.
Discard what doesn’t add meaning
A quick reminder that “erfolgen” often doesn’t carry much meaning by itself in DE texts – in many cases there’s an accompanying noun that you can turn into a verb in EN instead, making things sound more natural. Here’s an example based on a GDPR context:
– Die Verarbeitung Ihrer Personendaten erfolgt mit Ihrer Einwilligung
– The processing of your personal data is done on the basis of your consent
– Your personal data is processed on the basis of your consent
You can also add “we” here if appropriate (to favour the active voice):
– We process your personal data on the basis of your consent