Instrument transpositions in German translation

Hi Daniel or someone else from the team,

the transpositions of the instruments in the German version are still either misstranslated or still in English, which is a bit annoying, because one has to change the names all the time.

Some examples:

“Trompete in B” (instead of “Trompete in H Be”) and the “B” should not have a “b” after the “B”.
“Trompete in Es” (instead of “Trompete in E Be”)
“Horn in Fis” (instead of “Horn in F Kreuz”)

The “Tenorhorn” in the Germany transposes in “B” (B flat), so this is still wrong in the instrument list. This is different to England, where the “tenor horn” transposes in E flat.

It doesn’t look like there have been any changes here compared to version 1.0.30 (or earlier). It would be very nice, if this could be corrected for the next version.


… if the translator doesn’t trust me concerning the transpositon of the Tenorhorn.


See It is a different instrument from the German Tenorhorn, and is (sensibly?) called an Alto Horn in the USA!

(I thought all these things had been sorted out already in Sibelius :slight_smile: )


Sorry for the delay in coming back to this one.

If I understand it correctly, the instrument we call tenor horn in the UK is known as an alto horn in the US, and is also called an althorn in German. The instrument we call baritone horn in the UK is known as a tenorhorn in German.

We will try to fix up these names in the German-language version in one of the upcoming updates.

That’s true.

tenor horn (UK) = alto horn (US) = Althorn (Germany); pitched in Eb [treble clef]

baritone horn = Tenorhorn; pitched in Bb [treble clef]

In German there exists also an Bariton (sometimes also called Baritonhorn). The difference is a bit similar to the difference between a baritone horn and an euphonium: the Tenorhorn has got a smaller bore than the Bariton. Both instruments are pitched in Concert Bb, but the Tenorhorn is mainly notated in Bb treble clef (similar to the baritone horn) and the Bariton is mainly notated in bass clef in C (similar to the euphonium).

Hope that helps.


If you plan to change the German insturment names, I would like to add two other changes, which I have already suggested some time ago:

  1. Alphorn (not Alpenhorn)
    As far as I know, the Alphorn is never called “Alpenhorn” in German (and DUDEN, the authority for the German language also doesn’t know this spelling). Searching the internet I only found “Alpenhorn” in English sources. For the German list I would suggest, not to use “Alpenhorn” at all.

  2. I would suggest Kontrabassposaune (instead of Kontrabass-Posaune)


Alphorn already appears as Alpenhorn as well as Alphorn in the German version, unless I am very much mistaken. If you don’t like “Alphorn”, then please choose “Alpenhorn” instead.

How would you abbreviate “Kontrabassposaune”? At the moment, our short name is “Kb.-Pos.”, which makes sense if hyphenated, but possibly not if the full name is not?

I like the idea of an “abbreviated contrabass trombone…” How many meters of tube can you take out, before anyone notices? :wink:

Hi Daniel,

I think you missunderstood me: I would suggest, that you NEVER write “Alpenhorn” in the German instrument list. It should always be “Alphorn”. “Alpenhorn” is not used in Germany. Don’t know why this is used in the English language. Probably a kind of misspelling at some point in history …

Abbreviations is not an easy chapter!
If you look at orchestral scores from the 19. and 20. Centuries from German and Austrian publishers, you will find different spellings and abbreviations. Quite common is to write e.g. “Kontrafagott” and to abbriviate it as “K.-Fag.” but you also could find “Kfg.”. It is not unusual to have instrument names without hyphen and abbreviations which are hyphenated. To come back to your question: “Kb.-Pos.” does make sense, if other instruments are hyphenated too. It looks like modern editions are less hyphenated than older ones. So it would be perhaps a good idea to ask one of the big German publishers (e.g. Schott).

Looking at the other brass abbreviations in Dorico, I want to make some suggestions:

You will find different abbreviations in the literature (Trp., Tromp., Trpt.), but I think the most commen one in Germany is “Trp.”, so I would suggest that.

Here I want to vote for Hr. (H. and Hrn. are other abbreviations, you will find quite often)

Pos. is perfectly fine!
Altposaune should be A.-Pos. (instead of Alt-Pos.) to fit to the other abbreviations for Ternorposaune (T.-Pos.) and Bassposaune (B.-Pos.)

By far the most commen abbreviation for Tuba in German is Tb. (B.-Tb. for Basstuba and Kb.-Tb. for Kontrabasstuba). You can also find different abbreviations here (Btb. or Bßtb., K.-Btb.)

If you decide, to leave out the hyphens in general, than you can always leave out the “.-” in the abbreviation and write the following letter small (e.g. Btb. instead of B.-Tb.).


Re: “Alphorn”, the point still stands: if you don’t want to use “Alpenhorn”, then choose “Alphorn”. It’s right there in the list. That term may never be used in German, but it is used in English (where the instrument is variously called “alphorn”, “alpenhorn”, and “alpine horn”). We cannot easily prevent this alias for the alphorn instrument from appearing only in the German version, and it would otherwise appear in the list twice as “Alphorn”, so I propose that we leave it as it is, and you can just enjoy cursing my name every time you see the wretched “Alpenhorn” in the instrument list.

Thanks for your other suggestions, though, which we will discuss with our German translator.

wouldn’t it make sense to keep Dorico in it’s specifically chosen language, even when it comes to instrument names? If we have different languages here at the same time, it might give the impression of a carelessly translated program. Especially as we are all people here with an incredible dedication for detail, it sores the eye a little bit… Just a thought.
Having said this, I sometimes would like to know the correct instrument name of an instrument, without changing Doricos standard language. Example: I run Dorico in English, but would like to know, f.e. how to spell Haute-contre / hautes contre / Haute-Contre ???

You can change the language of instrument names independently of the language of the application on the Language page of Engraving Options. This doesn’t affect the language of the instruments already in the project, but it does affect the names shown in the instrument picker and the language of any instruments you subsequently add to the project.

Hi Daniel,
I won’t curse you for anything. I’m very thankful for Dorico! I just try to be helpful with the German translation of the program.
I just wasn’t sure, if you understood me correct. Unfortunately my English is not so good and I sometimes can’t express myself in the same way as I could in German.

I’m quite sure, that the Instrument list is not the final stage of the program.

You’ve got 11 languages for instrument names and I predict, that the “Alphorn” is not the only instrument, where there are different numbers of names for the same instrument. Why not a having a show/hide-status for every language, so that you don’t have to write the same name twice in the lists? Or have different lists like: typical instruments, orchestral instruments, band insturments, hirstorical instruments, all instruments or something like that, so that one doesn’t look at wrong or very uncommon instruments at the start of a list.
instrument list.jpg
At the moment, the list of brass instruments (see picture) start with a (probably) new instrument, which haven’t been translated yet and than you have two “wrong” Alpenhorns and only one correct spelling. I don’t see any reason, why you should write something wrong, when you have double entries in other cases as well (e.g. “Baritonhorn”). So I would rather write three times “Alphorn” than two times “Alpenhorn” and “Alphorn” only once.

Hi k_b,

in my view it is great that Dorico separates the instrument language from the user language. For me as a German user it is easier to use the English program language because there is no need to translate forum articles, youtube videos etc. into another user interface language. But nevertheless I am working on scores in German language with German instrument names.


Hello Christoph,
that is exactly, how I use Dorico, too (in English).
And it is great, that one can switch the instrument name language independently (thank you Daniel, too).
It does need a relaunch though (not sure… and not at my main computer… so no Dorico :frowning:

Changing the language of the instrument names doesn’t require relaunching the application, but changing the application language does.

ah, yes, thank you.
Also changing the language of the instrument names will be found under Engraving Options, whereas one changes the application language in the Dorico Preferences.

When will the Tenorhorn (German version in Bb and treble clef) find its way into Dorico? In Version 2 it’s still an Eb-transposing instrument.

Until the translations are fixed, is there a settings file one could edit manually to change the incorrect transposition syntax (“F Kreuz”, “H Be” and such)? I’ve grepped through the Dorico folders I could find, but without success.

Pietzger, I suspect it is part of this file of the Dorico application:

Dorico 2 > Contents > Resources > l10n > strings_de.qm

I had a peek into that file and saw some english phrases and their german equivalents.
You can not edit this file though.
Some information about .qm file format:

A .QM file, also known as the QT message file is a compiled binary data file that contains source text and translation text of another language. QM file is created by the Qt Linguist software and each of the QM file contains a source text associated with each translation source (.TS) file.