Vorliegen is another one of those fun words to spoil word by word translations.

The list of suggested translations from the various online dictionaries is not too bad - to be there, to be present, to have arrived, to be available, to be existent, to be on hand, be, be available, be known. However, one to one word translations don’t always work, despite the impression that you can build up when using terminology databases. How about this nice example:
  • Es liegen noch keine Ergebnisse vor.
  • The results haven't come in yet.
I have this picture of two amoeba, one English and one German, each representing the idea. Sometimes they overlap completely, sometimes they overlap a bit and sometimes there is only the one sort of amoeba. It would be nice if translation databases could deal with that.