In a German text, describing Russian sentences for Germans, they wrote a Russian sentence and after it
(zu Deutsch: …)
That means its translation, but why did they write “zu Deutsch” instead of “ins Deutsche” or “auf Deutsch”?
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This is perfectly fine. The Duden explains zu Deutsch with auf Deutsch [heißt das]. It is also mentioned in the 21st edition of the book as „das heißt auf/zu Deutsch“ (p. 210). Maybe it is considered a little old-fashioned these days, but I hear and read it quite often.
I haven’t heard it as zu Englisch or in connection with other languages.
One might add that sometimes, especially in colloquial use this phrase is used to indicate that a simplifying explanation is to come.
E.g. in a presentation:
"Multivariate Regressionsanalyse der Umsatzstruktur hat ergeben, dass das Geschlecht den Haupteinflussfaktor für den Erwerb von Cola Light ggu. Cola bildet.
Zu Deutsch: Cola Light wird fast ausschließlich von Frauen gekauft."
In this context it would be similar to
Well, some time ago it was not that rare. Just leaving this here:
And supporting the last statement of the existing answer: