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I just had some documents translated by a court interpreter and I received some (to me at least) strange results. My German is a bit rusty, so I want to double-check if the results I got can pass a sanity check or not.

Basically I finished School of Computer Science at a local university and got title of "Graduated Engineer of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science". The interpreter translated the name of the school as "Rechnungswesensfakultät" and the title as "diplomierter Ingenieur der Electrotechnik und des Rechnungswesens".

When I got the translation, I was a bit surprised that word "Informatik" wasn't used for computer science, since it seems to be a very common translation. Then I decided to look up the word "Rechnungswesen" and it seems to only refer to something that looks like accounting to me.

So my question is: Does translating computer science as Rechnungswesen make any sense?

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4 Answers 4

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No, this appears to be a mistranslation. The translation of Rechnungswesen to accounting that you found is correct, and is as such a completely different field than computer science. Informatik is the correct word.

It's possible that the mistranslation has come up, because rechnen can be translated as compute, and a computer is a Rechner, so the interpreter might have mixed up some terms.

On a side note, it should also be "Elektrotechnik" instead of "Electrotechnik".

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If you translate computer as a word you can get 'Rechner' but translating computer science with 'Rechnungswesen' is way off.

It should say 'Informatik' or 'Informationstechnik'. I can't think of any other word that is normally used.

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There used to be “Rechnerwissenschaften”, but it’s not all that frequently used. –  microtherion Jul 13 at 20:58
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@microtherion I've never heard that word... But that could be identifiable at least... –  Armin Jul 13 at 21:00
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Duden-Oxford (a really thick dictionary) says no.
Leo.de, dict.cc and Wikipedia go along.

Computers are sometimes reffered to as "Rechner", but still a good bit of context and guessing would be needed for people not to understand "Rechnungswesen" as accounting.

Also I agree that "Informatik" is the best choice here.

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An often used term for degree programs in Germany is "Elektro- und Informationstechnik", which is usually in the engineering faculty, while "Informatik" is either an own faculty or mixed into the nature sciences.

However, translating your degree into "Diplom-Ingenieur" or "diplomierter Ingenieur" is usually considered wrong, because you didn't get a "Diplom" per se. You should write the normal title you have been given by your university, for example "MSc" and then you can add "equivalent to german Dipl.-Ing.".

Also the Dipl.-Ing. programs in Germany are getting replaced by MSc programs, so soon there will be no new Dipl.-Ing.s anymore.

There should be more discussions about the details somewhere here.

To answer your question: No, Rechnungswesen (accounting) cannot be used.

Assuming you graduated in Serbia, what would be your correct title there? Maybe someone can translate it directly then.

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Actually, in my case the pre-Bolognisation title was kept, so I got дипломирани инжењер електротехнике и рачунарства, same as those who got the title in the Diplom era, mainly because there's no officially approved translation of "Bachelor" into Serbian yet. How appropriate the title is, is a discussion I'll leave to those with greater minds and more free time than me :) –  AndrejaKo Jul 14 at 6:21
    
@AndrejaKo: In that case, you should at least write something along the lines of Serbian Diplom degree, as implying that you have a German Diplom degree (or any other degree, for that matter) when you actually don't could bring you into unnecessary legal trouble, or at least seen as fraudulent by whoever reads your documents. –  O. R. Mapper Jul 14 at 7:07
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@O. R. Mapper Well I really don't see how could this affect me. Nowhere am I implying that I have German degree. The question is simply about getting a WTF in an official translation of an official document which states what it states. –  AndrejaKo Jul 14 at 7:12
    
Depends where you want to use it, applying at a german company it could bring you in legal trouble. You should write "gleichwertig zu Bachelor of Science" and maybe mention if it was 3 or 4 years study duration. The translation you got is definitely wrong. –  mischka Jul 14 at 9:56
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Guys, it's a translation of the actual diploma, not a line in a resume or something like that. There can be no explanation or paraphrase in this context and the name and details of the university will make it absolutely clear that it wasn't obtained in Germany. –  Relaxed Jul 14 at 20:26
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