Joining is dominant feature of German orthography, whereas it plays a lesser role in English. If anything, the current trend in English is to reduce hyphenation and to separate words. A century ago, address books in England commonly showed High-street and Green-lane as street names, but nowadays these proper names would be spelled High Street and Green Lane. In German however, joining of so-called Komposita is regarded as a necessity to avoid ambiguity. The most complete form of joining, without any space between words, is known as Zusammenschreibung, while hyphenation is termed Durchkopplung. Anglicisms routinely undergo this tranformation, which may appear strange, especially in words like topfit or Preishit, but is entirely consistent with the rules of German orthography. Translators must however pay attention to undoing these transformations when translating towards English: Open-Source-Enzyklopädie is an open-source encyclopaedia (only one hyphen) and Heavy-Metal-Band (or Heavymetal-Band) can only be a heavy-metal band.

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