Answer: ‘error’ can be easily translated into German by ‘Irrtum’, while ‘mistake’ is translated by ‘Fehler’. The problem is that they don’t actually cover the same semantic fields. What is an error in English? I would say that the English understand an error as the answer that does not result of a consequence inside of a general logical frame. As answer you may understand whatever (mechanical or electronical misfunction). The German ‘Irrtum’ is overcharged with subjective apprehension. It is the ideal ‘I’ who does not choose the correct ‘answer’ and gets lost on a wrong path. This is covered in English usually by ‘mistake’. Which is to say that the English has a very low expression of the subjective responsibility in his choices, while the German underlines his subjective importance. Thus ‘Irrtum’ does cover great parts of the English ’sin’ (actually Sünde, widely out of use) or guilt. For more information, please write an e-mail.