'entsprechend' – a tricky German word

The German term has a strong literal meaning of 'according to' or 'in accordance with', but often has the weaker meaning of 'relevant', 'adequate', 'appropriate(ly)', 'according(ly)' or 'respective(ly)'. In addition, it can also refer to a stricter sense of one-to-one correspondence. Frequently, however, German speakers merely the use the term as a filler word.

Translation pitfalls

Translators often opt for 'corresponding' as a translation, which is confusing to the English reader if the German sentence signally fails to imply what it is that corresponds to what exactly. Similarly, options such as 'accordingly' often leave the English reader wondering what aspect of the thing in question is in accordance with what other thing. In such cases, it is best just to omit the term.

Sample sentences

Here are some German sentence examples:

  1. Betreffend Personendaten ist die Weisung entsprechend zu beachten.
  2. Die technische Umsetzung der entsprechenden Massnahmen wird im Anhang beschrieben.
  3. Vertrauliche Informationen müssen entsprechend gekennzeichnet werden.
  4. Jede Partei trägt einen allfälligen Verlust entsprechend ihrer geleisteten Beiträge.
  5. Diese Entscheidungen verdienen besondere Aufmerksamkeit und erfordern entsprechend Zeit.

Sample translations

The following are some possible translations of the above examples:

  1. The directive must be observed with regard to personal data.
  2. The technical implmentation of the relevant measures is described in the annex.
  3. Confidential information must be designated as such.
  4. Each party shall bear any losses commensurate with the contributions it has made.
  5. These decisions deserve particular attention and, therefore, require time.

Translation strategies

Deliberately omit the term or consider using: