Germans are very free and easy about adopting English. I suppose we should be flattered, but sometimes the words get disoriented on their journey.
“Mitdenken” is a lovely little word in German, and difficult to translate. It implies conscientiousness and collaboration all in one.
Translating an acronym that is conceptually foreign to the target language creates an abbreviation where none exists and produces a text that sounds translated.
My love of German language and culture was sparked by my exposure as a teenager to German Romanticism and its evocative vocabulary
“Digitalization” is pidgin business English that may work when Madrid speaks with Stockholm but is unlikely to be understood in London, New York, or Sydney.
“Two heads are better than one,” we say. What we do NOT say is that “four eyes are better than two”! We count heads, Germans count eyes.
In defense of the German people, I don’t think there is anything uniquely German about “Schadenfreude”!
My best attempt is rabid vegetarian, since “rabid” also alludes to the animalistic and introduces a similar (humorous) dissonance.
Les Misérables is a tale of great humanity that bears revisiting, and Victor Hugo’s keen mind and exquisite prose come through beautifully in translation.