What is a proper German translation for the term "run-on sentence?" I found Bandwurmsatz, but Duden notes that this is scherzhaft, abwertend. Is there a professional word for the concept that could be used in an academic paper or in the workplace? Or is Bandwurmsatz okay?
- Anybody can ask a question
- Anybody can answer
- The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
There is no translation. I'd say use the term itself marking it as term. An explanation can be added if need be, but a "a name for a particular stylistic problem in English writing" could suffice, too. Depends on what the translation is to be used for.
The reason why there is no translation is that, as far as I know, German does not really have the concept of a run-on sentence. German punctuation is very different when it comes to commas. Besides the usual listing it does, the German comma basically separates predicates (which is also a listing of sorts). Hence, a sentence that contains two predicates (e.g. in two main clauses) is appropriately punctuated as soon as there is a comma.
If those are run-on sentences, then German books are full of them, without it being in any way stylistic or without anyone even realizing that those are any different from others. Without the comma, those sentences are just wrongly punctuated and that's it.
All the suggestions of the others are wrong:
I assume the following definition of run-on sentence:
The academic term for this would probably be asyndetischer parataktischer Satz. A parataxis is a series of independent sentences which are on the same level. An asyndeton is a list that is not joined by conjunctions but only by punctuation. Finally Satz indicates that all this is happening in one sentence.
Unless your workplace is crowded with linguists, you might refrain from using asyndetischer parataktischer Satz there. I would just describe the concept in a few words, e.g.:
Zusammengesetzer Satz also includes other paratactic sentences (e.g., those joined by conjunctions).
Bandwurmsatz is a pejorative¹ word for sentence that is long and complicated due to many (often multiply) nested subclauses and similar elements. Particularly, a Bandwurmsatz has to include hypotactic elements like subclauses and may not be purely paratactic. Thus, a run-on sentence only qualifies for being a Bandwurmsatz, if one of its components already is a Bandwurmsatz. Also consider the following example, which is a run-on sentence, but very short:
¹ Though not vulgar. It’s usually fine to use this word to critise a sentence while copy editing, for example.
There's not one word for it, but the concise translation is:
You need to visualize the definition of "run-on sentence". It means, that a second (or even third, or forth) sentence is following the first one, without that a conjunction or punctuation separates them. The point is, that the sentence just runs on – in German weiterlaufen or fortlaufen.
The comma splice is an exception that proves the rule and is considered as a "run-on sentence". But whether a sentence is a "run-on sentence" or not, is not part of this particular question.
That discussion, however, does not have any effect on the translation of "run-on sentence" at all and the translation is simply: fortlaufender Satz.
Dont use Bandwurmsatz. Though it means a "long sentence" it is basically a way of making fun of that. It refers to an illness or a long worm called Bandwurm (see Spiegel).
If you want to be really professional here you could also use something like
which means that a way of contructing sentences is used that produces extra-long sentences.
As far as I am concerned this would be the most scientific and professional way of saying what you want to say.