Context is important! Recently I read an English historical novel which had been translated into German. It made for wonderful reading, except for one instance that really made me stop, wonder, and chuckle a little.
During the translation process, I find it very helpful to look out for so-called “false friends”. False friends are words, phrases or idioms that you might be tempted to translate literally, even though the literal translation is not 100 % accurate or even misleading.
Here are some of the most frequent amusing, embarrassing and interesting mistakes that I have come across in English-to-German translations.