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Translation of the German AG Ltd?
Thread poster: transparent

transparent
Local time: 05:28
English to German
+ ...
Dec 3, 2006

One of my Swiss clients translates "AG" in his company name into "Ltd". Roche Pharma and Hoffmann-La Roche seem to do the same. BUT: is this correct? And what is the reason behind it? A Swiss characteristic? I could not find any hints in the Internet or in dictionaries. Many thanks for your help!

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:28
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
GmbH? Dec 3, 2006

I'm not an expert in these matters, but it seems to me that GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) is closer to Ltd. (Limited liability company) than AG (Aktiengesellschaft) (Joint Stock Company?)

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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:28
Member (2004)
German to English
AG is PLC Dec 4, 2006

not Ltd., which is GmbH but they shouldn't be translating it all. You don't translate company names - although you could add an explanation in brackets or as a footnote.
Gillian


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:28
Member (2002)
English to German
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Gillian is absolutely right but ... Dec 4, 2006

... you should have asked this question in the KudoZ section - http://www.proz.com/kudoz - of the site, which is dedicated to terminology help.

Best regards,

Steffen


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:28
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
registered in different countries Dec 5, 2006

With many larger companies, this is not a translation but refers to their German, French or whatever "division" which has been registered in the respective country as separate company.

Eg. Microsoft Inc. vs. Microsoft (Deutschland) GmbH, headquartered in Unterschleißheim.

Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Roche), based in Nutley, NJ, is the US prescription drug unit of the Roche Group, a leading research-based health care enterprise.

Etc.

I've never seen any of them "translate" their official company name since each refers to a more or less independently run business.


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transparent
Local time: 05:28
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks for your help Dec 5, 2006

You all gave me exactly the answers that I had found before. This was of great help, because I am nearly convinced now that we are dealing with a Swiss characteristic here (Roche does translate it's AG into Ltd., if you go to http://www.roche.com/de/home/countries/cou_headq.htm and then change to English: they are really talking about the same registered company, not an affiliate or another group member. I will contact them and try to find out why they do it this way.

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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:28
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Gross mistake Dec 5, 2006

transparent wrote:
Roche does translate it's AG into Ltd., if you go to http://www.roche.com/de/home/countries/cou_headq.htm and then change to English: they are really talking about the same registered company, not an affiliate or another group member. I will contact them and try to find out why they do it this way.


Indeed, they are referring to one and the same entity. In this case, the "Ltd." translation is not a "Swiss characteristic" but a gross mistake. As you said, you may want to point this out to their Investor Relations team - details @ http://www.roche.com/de/home/investors/inv_contact.htm

Steffen

[Edited at 2006-12-05 08:18]


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
Member (2005)
German to English
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Yes, it's misleading Dec 6, 2006

I can't go translating my company's "Inc." into "GmbH" just because I feel like it. My company is a registered Illinois corporation, not a German one. Same goes for Roche. I would definitely inform them if you can.

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