July 06, 2008

New German glossary on my web site

Translation software is constantly getting better, but it is still a long way from perfection. This is especially true if you want to translate descriptions of U.S. certificates you find in German auctions.

I like the translations I get using Google Translate. There seems to be a moderately good sensitivity to context. In other words, it translates by considering surrounding words, instead of merely offering dictionary definitions.

I recently compiled a glossary of German words I most frequently see in certificate descriptions. I also added hints for improving your translation results. (German compound words often befuddle the best translation software.)

Why am I telling you about German auctions?

Because there are certain U.S. certificates that ONLY appear in German auctions.

You need to know that if you bid, you will compete with European collectors who typically bid more freely for rarities than Americans. And if you win, you WILL pay very serious premiums because the dollar has slid so much against the Euro. Nonetheless, the major German language houses speak excellent English and will help you bid if, like me, you do not speak German.

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