The English German dictionaries translators actually use!
You need a good specialist English
German dictionary as soon as your German translations
start dealing with anything but the most general topics.
However, broadly speaking,
the more specialist the subject area, the more expensive the English German
dictionary. Not a huge surprise, as this reflect a dictionary’s sales volumes.
My list of specialist English German dictionaries includes the classic reference
texts - those acclaimed by professional German translators working in these
fields - plus some less expensive options, where available.
A used-copy is often a good alternative. Remember
that dictionaries are a tax-deductible business expense!
I'm always happy to add to the list – if you've got some tried and tested favorites, I’d love to hear about them!
Before you blanch at the
price, according to the buzz in translator forums, the Ernst is the classic
must-have German technical dictionary for any German translator serious about
It was also recommended by my examiners at the
Chartered Institute of Linguists.
The dictionary comes in 2 volumes, German to
English, and English to German: Here we have the first volume. Published 2004.
An alternative is to buy a
used copy at around a third of the price. If you want to go the whole
hog, you can get Volumes 1 & 2 together on CD Rom for almost double the
A used copy in good condition is probably the most cost-efficient option
(especially noting the publication date – newer version to be issued in the
This is the second edition, published 2004, and
claims to be the definitive dictionary for German technical terms. Fabulously
expensive – look for a second-hand copy. Again, last published 2004 – will a
newer version be issued soon?
Covers 60 subject areas including Mechanical
Engineering, Transportation, Production, Engineering, Electrical Engineering,
Chemistry, Physics, Electricity, Construction, Food Technology, Railway
Engineering and Automotive Engineering
50,000 terms and references in German and
English including 4,000 abbreviations. 45 subject areas including accountancy,
banking, business administration, computing, correspondence, economics,
environment, finance, general commerce, human resource management,
import/export, industry, insurance, law, leisure management, mathematics,
media, patents, politics, property, sales & marketing, statistics, stock
market, taxation, tourism, transport, welfare & safety.
German-English, 2005, Erica Dietl and Egon
LorenzHardcover: 899 pages , Publisher: Beck'sche CH Verlagsbuchhandlung Oscar
Beck, Language English. Recommended as a good basic resource, covers general law, business &
commerce, government & politics.
This is a much less expensive option than the
Collin, and because the publisher is Langenscheidt I'm confident that it’s a
serious dictionary. No idea how extensive it is – no publisher details re.
number of pages.
This book is thoroughly recommended by medical translator Karen Schafheutle, one of the German translators I've interviewed about their life and work.
A recognized, specialist English German
dictionary is always your authoritative, final point of reference. But you can
also research around the topic using an online dictionary or a specialized glossary of
German and English terminology, compiled by translators working in these
If you can recommend a good English German dictionary which is great in its field, then we'd be delighted to add it to the list. Just use the form below.
Tips on German legal translation, plus selected translation glossaries and terminology lists on German law in both German and English.
a German to English
translator living and working in Vienna, Austria. I turn German texts
into clear and accessible English, allowing clients to present their
stories, ideas and information to a completely new audience. My business
and marketing clients rely on me to get their message across clearly
and effectively. How can I help you today?