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Old 09.01.2019, 22:37
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Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

Hi All,

hope you're all enjoying fresh snow!

I'm applying for apartments and trying to sneak in e-mail to landlord, in addition to paper post application, to get some good bonus points

I want to write e-mail (in English) but also communicate that I'm sincerely sorry I'm not writing in the Übermensch of all languages - Swiss German.

What would be the optimal way to translate

My most sincere apologies as my german is not very good yet. I'll continue this e-mail in english

Google Translate of course saves my ass every day when reading stuff, but I have feeling that translating into german might now work as well. Thanks !
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Old 09.01.2019, 23:32
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

I would not even mention it and just write it in English.
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Old 10.01.2019, 00:09
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

When I was in your situation, I used to write the email in high German with the English translation underneath. This gives the reader the opportunity to check what you meant to say if an error does occur. Also, Pons textübersetzung is better than Google translate https://de.pons.com/text-%C3%BCbersetzung

I cut and paste your original post into both apps, and the differences in the sentence structure was remarkable.
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Old 10.01.2019, 00:24
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

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Also, Pons textübersetzung is better than Google translate https://de.pons.com/text-%C3%BCbersetzung
And DeepL is an even more versatile translator (PONS uses DeepL by default, but has a fairly low word limit, and DeepL offers direct translation of uploaded Word and PowerPoint files). Here's the OP's first post, via DeepL; there are surprisingly few glaring errors, and even these can be eradicated by avoiding the use of slang in the English original ("sneak in email", "saves my ass"...):

Hallo zusammen,

Ich hoffe, ihr genießt alle den frischen Schnee!

Ich bewerbe mich für Wohnungen und versuche, mich in einer E-Mail an den Vermieter einzuschleichen, zusätzlich zur Papierpost-Anwendung, um einige gute Bonuspunkte zu erhalten.

Ich möchte eine E-Mail (auf Englisch) schreiben, aber auch mitteilen, dass es mir aufrichtig leid tut, dass ich nicht im Übermensch aller Sprachen - Schweizerdeutsch - schreibe.

Was wäre der optimale Weg zur Übersetzung?

Ich entschuldige mich aufrichtig, da mein Deutsch noch nicht sehr gut ist. Ich werde diese E-Mail auf Englisch fortsetzen.

Google Translate rettet natürlich jeden Tag meinen Arsch beim Lesen, aber ich habe das Gefühl, dass die Übersetzung ins Deutsche jetzt auch funktionieren könnte. Danke!
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Old 10.01.2019, 02:07
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

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And DeepL is an even more versatile translator (PONS uses DeepL by default, but has a fairly low word limit, and DeepL offers direct translation of uploaded Word and PowerPoint files).
Oh I could hug you for that link.
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Old 10.01.2019, 04:02
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

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Oh I could hug you for that link.
Thanks to both of you for these links. Pretty amazing
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Old 10.01.2019, 08:55
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

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Oh I could hug you for that link.
You (and your hug) are welcome!
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Old 10.01.2019, 09:08
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

One little thing to think about when using online translators: they will provide a translation in high German (Hoch- or Schriftdeutsch). There's no translator for Swiss German, as there is no official written version of Swiss German, but there are a couple of things you should do to make the translation more palatable for Swiss readers.

The most obvious is to replace the Eszett (ß) -- also known as the Doppel-S, Buckel-S, Rucksack-S, Dreierles-S, Ringel-S, Straßen-S and scharfes S -- with a double 's', as ß is not used in Switzerland. So in the second line of the German text that I pasted into my first post in this thread, "genießt" should be written "geniesst".

The second is to be aware of the random gender changes that the Swiss like to apply to certain words. For example, "die E-mail" and "die Tram" (both feminine in Hochdeutsch) become respectively "das E-Mail" and "das Tram", both neuter, in Switzerland. Hence, "Ich möchte eine E-Mail (auf Englisch) schreiben" becomes "Ich möchte ein E-Mail (auf Englisch) schreiben". My favourite random gender change is "die Mami", which somewhat inexplicably becomes "das Mami" here (while "der Papi" manages to hold onto his manhood in CH, so to speak). Knowing which nouns change gender is just a matter of experience, but there aren't that many to learn.

That said, nobody is going to be shocked if you write to them in high German. If you don't know how to modify the articles of the random gender-fluid words, don't worry about it!
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Last edited by 22 yards; 10.01.2019 at 09:34.
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Old 10.01.2019, 10:10
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

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One little thing to think about when using online translators: they will provide a translation in high German (Hoch- or Schriftdeutsch). There's no translator for Swiss German, as there is no official written version of Swiss German, but there are a couple of things you should do to make the translation more palatable for Swiss readers.

The most obvious is to replace the Eszett (ß) -- also known as the Doppel-S, Buckel-S, Rucksack-S, Dreierles-S, Ringel-S, Straßen-S and scharfes S -- with a double 's', as ß is not used in Switzerland. So in the second line of the German text that I pasted into my first post in this thread, "genießt" should be written "geniesst".

The second is to be aware of the random gender changes that the Swiss like to apply to certain words. For example, "die E-mail" and "die Tram" (both feminine in Hochdeutsch) become respectively "das E-Mail" and "das Tram", both neuter, in Switzerland. Hence, "Ich möchte eine E-Mail (auf Englisch) schreiben" becomes "Ich möchte ein E-Mail (auf Englisch) schreiben". My favourite random gender change is "die Mami", which somewhat inexplicably becomes "das Mami" here (while "der Papi" manages to hold onto his manhood in CH, so to speak). Knowing which nouns change gender is just a matter of experience, but there aren't that many to learn.

That said, nobody is going to be shocked if you write to them in high German. If you don't know how to modify the articles of the random gender-fluid words, don't worry about it!
While yes, the ß stood out like a red flag in your translation, I would never use the Swiss-German genders when writing (as you say, in Switzerland writing is in German) as it only shows a Swiss person doesn't know proper German.

But chapeau for you knowing the differences!
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Old 10.01.2019, 10:13
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

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When I was in your situation, I used to write the email in high German with the English translation underneath. This gives the reader the opportunity to check what you meant to say if an error does occur. Also, Pons textübersetzung is better than Google translate https://de.pons.com/text-%C3%BCbersetzung

I cut and paste your original post into both apps, and the differences in the sentence structure was remarkable.
This is my standard way of being polite when communicating in another language. A brutalised version of their language followed by what I'm trying to say in English.
I'd say about 70% of the replies come back in English, however the percentage is decreasing as my grasp of the language improves.
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Old 10.01.2019, 16:26
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

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While yes, the ß stood out like a red flag in your translation, I would never use the Swiss-German genders when writing (as you say, in Switzerland writing is in German) as it only shows a Swiss person doesn't know proper German.

But chapeau for you knowing the differences!
Usually, both versions are "proper german".
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Old 10.01.2019, 16:41
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

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Usually, both versions are "proper german".
The famous north-south divide.

Well, that is how one views things:
If you believe Switzerland's "Schriftsprache" is a language of it's own .... sure.

I see this differently. We have a spoken language of our own - totally of our own, I insist - and we write in German. And business writing here follows the Duden.
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Old 10.01.2019, 17:37
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

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The famous north-south divide.

Well, that is how one views things:
If you believe Switzerland's "Schriftsprache" is a language of it's own .... sure.

I see this differently. We have a spoken language of our own - totally of our own, I insist - and we write in German. And business writing here follows the Duden.
"Das Tram" and "das Email" are in the Duden And yes, Swiss Standard German is a language, with different vocabulary and also some differences in grammar.
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Old 10.01.2019, 18:11
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

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"Das Tram" and "das Email" are in the Duden And yes, Swiss Standard German is a language, with different vocabulary and also some differences in grammar.
I know they are in the duden, I even mentioned that.
For the rest no need to repeat myself or type out the content of my link.
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Old 10.01.2019, 18:55
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Re: Best way to apologize for my (developing) German ... in German?

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I know they are in the duden, I even mentioned that.
For the rest no need to repeat myself or type out the content of my link.
Look, in my opinion, it's not helpful advice to non-native speakers to tell them that commonly used and correct vocabulary & grammar is not "proper German" and therefore shouldn't be used. Swiss Standard German and Austrian Standard German are as much "proper" German as Standard High German.
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