Nouns or verbs

Germans often much prefer a noun where us English folk would use a verb. Like in Soll Generatorupdate durchgeführt wer­den? You could say

“Should the generator update be carried out?” - Not so good

It would be more English, not to mention shorter, i.e. less typing, to say

“Should the generator be updated?” - Better

If you munch your way through a German sentence translating word by word, it is sometimes irresistible to swap verbs for verbs and nouns for nouns. It’s like driving long distances, most of your brain switches off and only those parts required to get you where you are going stay active. At the end of the day, on your 2000th word, who could blame you? Not me, I do it all the time, but if I “wake up” and notice, I do try to pop back and fix it.


I was watching the footie after my 2000th word yesterday and the commentator came out with Stürmerfoul. I couldn't resist googling that one and sure enough two popular online dictionaries translate that as "offensive foul" LOL. Like I say nouns are much preferred and us translators ought to kick some of them firmly into touch!