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German to English translations [PRO] Linguistics / Slogan
German term or phrase:Ostsprachen
Seit 1. Mai 2004 werden in Europa 20 Sprachen gesprochen. Darunter natürlich mehrheitlich Ostsprachen.
These "Ostsprachen" are mentioned several times in the text. Could you tell me what to call them? Is there an "official" term or is this rubbish trying to fit into one hat the languages of all the countries to the east of us?
Explanation: This is a somewhat derogatory way to describe the languages of Eastern Europe collectively. Now, most of these languages are in the Slavic language family (though the details what constitutes Eastern European as opposed to Balkan or Central European can be debated). Some languages of Eastern Europe are not Slavic at all, however: Latvian and Lithuanian are Baltic, not Slavic; Finnish, Estonian, and Hungarian are not Indo-European but Ural-Altaic and are (distantly) related to each other. So "Slavic" may not be the best solution.
You might also go with "East(ern) languages" or "languages of the East" but this might lead to confusion with the languages of Asia, e.g. Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc.
Another option, depending on the purpose and audience of your text, would be to use the German word Ostsprachen, set in italics. This often happens with certain German concepts, e.g. Realpolitik, Weltanschauung, etc., that are hard or inefficient to translate. I would favor this solution if the context is a bit more academic. Otherwise, I would favor "Eastern-European languages."
Erik Macki Local time: 05:47 Specializes in field Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 8