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German Translation - Deutsche Übersetzung

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Good point! But they really made a good start with the translation of Lord of the Rings ...

And Germany's Nibelungenlied is a very old example for fantasy, so fantasy has somekind of tradition in Germany. It only has been forgotten.

 

Yes, it would be a challenge in this case. But hey, nobody said translator's job is easy. I think a translator working on Martin's saga would have to consult him or have guidlines from him as to how the author sees the names used in the books and what are the basic linguistic characteristics of the Common Tongue of Westeros. it is remotely possible that the Common Tongue as envisioed by Martin is based on Germanic languages. In that case, leaving English names with perhaps subtle modifications could be good idea.

 

Yes, indeed, both of you. The translation of Lord of the Ring was that good, because Tolkien as a linguist had a great knowledge of european languages. He gave Carroux instructions and advises how to translate and what should be considered. He had taken care himself that it would be the best translation as possible (e.g. he proposed using the word "Elb" instead of "Elf", because back then Elf would have been Tinkerbell from Peter Pan). But that's real passion of an artist, not economical logic behind a million dollar biz. Also you have to admit, that Carroux lost the different levels of language Tolkien uses to characterize his characters. That's the thing Krege tried to achieve with his new translation, but failed miserably when he changed the characteristic style from lyrical old german to modern world german. Didn't like his Hobbit either. The result is, I have two boards with Tolkien books, english, old german translations and new ones.

The problem with ASOIAF is that the future books (and Dance of Dragons already) will only be printed in the new German translation. So - dramatically spoken - I can burn my exsting 8 novels with a nearly perfect translation and buy every novel again in the new, bad translation to have a complete edition in my bookshelf in the end (since not only the translation but also the cover and size has changed). That's annoying. :/


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Schmutziger Harry?... Klingt irgendwie nicht richtig ;)

 

The thing is, why does it sound "right" just because it is in a foreign language?

The names are equally silly in english as they are in any other language. But it seems only when we translate the names that the ridiculousness hits us.

In the above example, it sounds silly because the words are translated but not the meaning. Hard to explain, but it means dirty as in not clean. Not as somebody who fights dirty (as in not by the book). Just a simple example to illustrate the dangers of translations, well meant or not.


“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Schmutziger Harry?... Klingt irgendwie nicht richtig ;)

 

The thing is, why does it sound "right" just because it is in a foreign language?

The names are equally silly in english as they are in any other language. But it seems only when we translate the names that the ridiculousness hits us.

In the above example, it sounds silly because the words are translated but not the meaning. Hard to explain, but it means dirty as in not clean. Not as somebody who fights dirty (as in not by the book). Just a simple example to illustrate the dangers of translations, well meant or not.

 

But in German you can say "schmutzig" for unfair. There is also the expression "schmutzige Tricks" for "playing unfair".


 

Trum, trum, terum tum tum - the landsknecht and his gaudy war drum.

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The problem with ASOIAF is that the future books (and Dance of Dragons already) will only be printed in the new German translation. So - dramatically spoken - I can burn my exsting 8 novels with a nearly perfect translation and buy every novel again in the new, bad translation to have a complete edition in my bookshelf in the end (since not only the translation but also the cover and size has changed). That's annoying. :/

Yeah, same problem here. As I found out, I switched to english. Not because I'm very eager to read it in english, but because I can't stand the new translation.


Eternity Gazette (german news about PE)

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The problem with ASOIAF is that the future books (and Dance of Dragons already) will only be printed in the new German translation. So - dramatically spoken - I can burn my exsting 8 novels with a nearly perfect translation and buy every novel again in the new, bad translation to have a complete edition in my bookshelf in the end (since not only the translation but also the cover and size has changed). That's annoying. :/

Yeah, same problem here. As I found out, I switched to english. Not because I'm very eager to read it in english, but because I can't stand the new translation.

 

just one question: what's the difference between the new and the old translation of ASOIAF?


 

Trum, trum, terum tum tum - the landsknecht and his gaudy war drum.

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Schmutziger Harry?... Klingt irgendwie nicht richtig ;)

 

The thing is, why does it sound "right" just because it is in a foreign language?

The names are equally silly in english as they are in any other language. But it seems only when we translate the names that the ridiculousness hits us.

In the above example, it sounds silly because the words are translated but not the meaning. Hard to explain, but it means dirty as in not clean. Not as somebody who fights dirty (as in not by the book). Just a simple example to illustrate the dangers of translations, well meant or not.

 

But in German you can say "schmutzig" for unfair. There is also the expression "schmutzige Tricks" for "playing unfair".

Mieser trick, fauler trick, be****ener trick (improvised language filter)... takes more than just a working knowledge of German to pick out the best for each context.


“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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just one question: what's the difference between the new and the old translation of ASOIAF?

It's mainly the names. But that's like changing actors in the middle of a series and pretending they are the same roles.


Eternity Gazette (german news about PE)

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Schmutziger Harry?... Klingt irgendwie nicht richtig ;)

 

The thing is, why does it sound "right" just because it is in a foreign language?

The names are equally silly in english as they are in any other language. But it seems only when we translate the names that the ridiculousness hits us.

In the above example, it sounds silly because the words are translated but not the meaning. Hard to explain, but it means dirty as in not clean. Not as somebody who fights dirty (as in not by the book). Just a simple example to illustrate the dangers of translations, well meant or not.

 

But in German you can say "schmutzig" for unfair. There is also the expression "schmutzige Tricks" for "playing unfair".

Mieser trick, fauler trick, be****ener trick (improvised language filter)... takes more than just a working knowledge of German to pick out the best for each context.

It's not only that. A person cannot be "schmutzig" in this context, only a thing/object. If a person has one of the attributes "schmutzig", "mies" or "faul", it always expresses the direct, literal meaning and not the figurative meaning as in "schmutziger/mieser/fauler trick". ;)

 

 

The problem with ASOIAF is that the future books (and Dance of Dragons already) will only be printed in the new German translation. So - dramatically spoken - I can burn my exsting 8 novels with a nearly perfect translation and buy every novel again in the new, bad translation to have a complete edition in my bookshelf in the end (since not only the translation but also the cover and size has changed). That's annoying. :/

Yeah, same problem here. As I found out, I switched to english. Not because I'm very eager to read it in english, but because I can't stand the new translation.

Haha, I switched to the kindle version due to convenience reasons, but perhaps I will begin the whole saga in English again, too.... Though it would have been great to have a complete German edition of the books...... ;)


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So please, Obsidian, don't translate proper names of characters and locations and also items/equipment in German! :yes:

I'm ok with not translating characters and locations - but items and equipment should definitely be translated imo.

 

Schmutziger Harry?... Klingt irgendwie nicht richtig ;)

It is also a bad translation. :) It sounds like some guy named Harry needs to take a shower. ^^ "Der erboste Harry" or "Der zornige Harry" would be better translations.

 

It is usually not a good idea to translate some stuff (especially slang) directly.


:closed:

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I think "dreckig" could work for "dirty".

Hmm, it could. But it also kind of reminds me of "Die dreckige Jana" or something... If you catch my drift. ^^

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:closed:

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Also, if translating is taken seriously, "Dirty Harry" just doesn't do the job. That's capitulation. In English, "dirty" carries a certain meaning and implications. If you leave it as "Dirty Harry", this meaning is completely lost, from a German reader's perspective - except he has a working knowledge of English that is good enough to understand the phrase in the first place.

 

In the example of A Song of Ice and Fire: Yes, "Königsmund" doesn't really bring across what is meant with "King's Landing". Just leaving it at the English word, doesn't bring across anything except "random foreign word, most probably English". It's not that keeping the original would be better, it's just that "Königsmund" is not a very good translation. The same with Snow - for a reader speaking English, the connections between Snow, Stone etc. are obvious. It's the point of these names that they're just common things in their respective country. In German, that connection is inexistent.

 

A translation is done for people who don't know the original language.

It's a special case with English, as many people today know at least some English, so they recognize some of the original meanings. But that's not what a translation is about.

 

OTOH, names also transport a certain resemblance to their respective real world or historical model. If we get to a fantasy region where people are called Viona della Tegalliani or Silvana Cerastelli, we immediately bring up something remotely Italian. In this case, it is of absolutely no interest if these names have an actual meaning in actual Italian, because the writer didn't know or care and just used them because they sounded Italian.

The translation issue mainly concerns names native to the language of the book/game/whatever.

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Therefore I have sailed the seas and come

To the holy city of Byzantium. -W.B. Yeats

 

Χριστός ἀνέστη!

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Also, if translating is taken seriously, "Dirty Harry" just doesn't do the job. That's capitulation. In English, "dirty" carries a certain meaning and implications. If you leave it as "Dirty Harry", this meaning is completely lost, from a German reader's perspective - except he has a working knowledge of English that is good enough to understand the phrase in the first place.

 

In the example of A Song of Ice and Fire: Yes, "Königsmund" doesn't really bring across what is meant with "King's Landing". Just leaving it at the English word, doesn't bring across anything except "random foreign word, most probably English". It's not that keeping the original would be better, it's just that "Königsmund" is not a very good translation. The same with Snow - for a reader speaking English, the connections between Snow, Stone etc. are obvious. It's the point of these names that they're just common things in their respective country. In German, that connection is inexistent.

 

A translation is done for people who don't know the original language.

It's a special case with English, as many people today know at least some English, so they recognize some of the original meanings. But that's not what a translation is about.

 

OTOH, names also transport a certain resemblance to their respective real world or historical model. If we get to a fantasy region where people are called Viona della Tegalliani or Silvana Cerastelli, we immediately bring up something remotely Italian. In this case, it is of absolutely no interest if these names have an actual meaning in actual Italian, because the writer didn't know or care and just used them because they sounded Italian.

The translation issue mainly concerns names native to the language of the book/game/whatever.

Yes, you're right, but in case of ASOIAF English is not only the writers native language and the language he writes in, it also fits the setting in the novels. Martin himself confirmed that his novels are a combination of fantasy themes and the war of roses which took place in medieval England. Foreigners to Westeros have more "exotic" names like Syrio Forell or all the names of the Dothraki language. So English is not only a random language in ASOIAF. Translating names and places into German would give these aspects no respect in my opinion. ;)


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Yes, you're right, but in case of ASOIAF English is not only the writers native language and the language he writes in, it also fits the setting in the novels. Martin himself confirmed that his novels are a combination of fantasy themes and the war of roses which took place in medieval England. Foreigners to Westeros have more "exotic" names like Syrio Forell or all the names of the Dothraki language. So English is not only a random language in ASOIAF. Translating names and places into German would give these aspects no respect in my opinion. ;)

 

But now you are not taking into account what you yourself described as important at the beginning of this discussion: that Snow is not just a surname but a naming convention for bastard children. In that it is not a name tied to a language, but is nothing ls than a word. Exactly to be true to the setting, the naming convention of bastards in Song of Ice and Fire has to be translated to underline that these are people without a name, looked down on by the society of Westeros to an extend where they are refered to as the most common thing in their respective region.

 

Kingslanding could have been better translated. True. Probably other names as well. But there is a far bigger problem that fantasy names in english have become such commonplace that John "Snow" has lost the impact the author has actually given it than that it actually reclaims part of that impact when translated ;)


Unobtrusively informing you about my new ebook (which you should feel free to read and shower with praise).

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Also, if translating is taken seriously, "Dirty Harry" just doesn't do the job. That's capitulation. In English, "dirty" carries a certain meaning and implications. If you leave it as "Dirty Harry", this meaning is completely lost, from a German reader's perspective - except he has a working knowledge of English that is good enough to understand the phrase in the first place.

 

In the example of A Song of Ice and Fire: Yes, "Königsmund" doesn't really bring across what is meant with "King's Landing". Just leaving it at the English word, doesn't bring across anything except "random foreign word, most probably English". It's not that keeping the original would be better, it's just that "Königsmund" is not a very good translation. The same with Snow - for a reader speaking English, the connections between Snow, Stone etc. are obvious. It's the point of these names that they're just common things in their respective country. In German, that connection is inexistent.

 

A translation is done for people who don't know the original language.

It's a special case with English, as many people today know at least some English, so they recognize some of the original meanings. But that's not what a translation is about.

 

OTOH, names also transport a certain resemblance to their respective real world or historical model. If we get to a fantasy region where people are called Viona della Tegalliani or Silvana Cerastelli, we immediately bring up something remotely Italian. In this case, it is of absolutely no interest if these names have an actual meaning in actual Italian, because the writer didn't know or care and just used them because they sounded Italian.

The translation issue mainly concerns names native to the language of the book/game/whatever.

Accept. But a bad translation kills the possibilty to understand the overtone for both the skilled and the normal reader. So in the end it's a question of personal taste if you prefer pest over cholera or vice versa. So there might be situations it would be better to leave the name in the original form, and that was the message I wanted to send out when I made my first post in this thread. I simply oppose the idea to generally translate all possible terms / names regardless of the context.

Edited by Farudan

Eternity Gazette (german news about PE)

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We support translators in being lazy ... i want them to solve the problem of translating, not just to avoid it by using english terms. that's lazy, unimaginative and just a copy of the english version. translation is more nach just recycling stories, they MUST reinterpret them completely. Otherwise their job is unfinished. Nobody needs a german translation then. Just stay with the original.

Edited by HumanFlesh+5
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Trum, trum, terum tum tum - the landsknecht and his gaudy war drum.

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How about Der böse Harry :), or does it imply that he is evil, as well?

 

So there might be situations it would be better to leave the name in the original form, and that was the message I wanted to send out when I made my first post in this thread. I simply oppose the idea to generally translate all possible terms / names regardless of the context.

 

Of course. As I mentioned before: there are many factors you have to consider when translating. Too many to write about them here. Besides, one thing that you can be sure about rules is that they have exceptions. So, you have to use not only rules but also common sense.

Edited by norolim

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If you are unsure, make a vote.

For me english names (especially people and places, but also weapons if the name isn't a description like "Pointy Axe"/"Silver sword" but a real name/"Eigenname" shouldn't be changed to german names or translated into german. I think you really cannot read ASOIAF in german translation and also am currently reading the english version mostly because of the names. It is possible that a "good" german translation would look different and you really would be able to make names that sound good AND have the same meaning, but I think it can't be done. Maybe we are so used to english names in movies, songs and books that they sound cool to us, while german names often sound boring/strange/old.

Most german speaking people know enough english to understand "Kings landing" or "snow" or "ghost" (for crying out loud!) so the meaning is not lost by not translating and the immersion does not get harmed this way.

Edited by Rink

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We try to put pronunciation notes for every non-English word/name in our text notes. In some cases, we are trying to evoke a certain real-world correlation with spelling and pronunciation, z.B. the Vailian Republics are supposed to seem like Italian city-states, so when someone reads "Ancenze", the sound is important.

I'm italian and I have not a clue of what "Ancenze" should mean :blink:

 

IT: Credo che si riferisca al fatto che la pronuncia sarebbe qualcosa tipo Firenze (la mia città *_*)

 

EN: I think he refers to the fact that the pronunciation would be like Firenze\Florence (my city *_*)

Correct.

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We try to put pronunciation notes for every non-English word/name in our text notes. In some cases, we are trying to evoke a certain real-world correlation with spelling and pronunciation, z.B. the Vailian Republics are supposed to seem like Italian city-states, so when someone reads "Ancenze", the sound is important.

 

I understand your concerns and Obsidian is aware as well. It was also in the daily Q&As in the Kickstarter comments. Feargus answer was, that they have learned their lessons since the old days of Baldur's Gate. He absolutely knows about the saxon elves.

Hast du eine Problem mit Elfen von Leipzig und bayerischen Paladine?

:biggrin: As long, as they don't speak ... not.

 

Hey, in Leipzig take place one of the biggest annual festivals of the gothic scene, the "Wave Gotik Treffen" (means "wave gothic get together"). Every year at Whitsun with 20.000 people, very much dark and romantic music, literature, movies. Much black apparelled folks and some elvish maiden like this:

 

295150902-wave-gotik-treffen-leipzig.9.jpg

Picture gallery or google for pictures with "wave gotik treffen"


Chief editor of World of Gothic, the (unfortunately for this audience) German Gothic community since 2000.

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The first and foremost rule of liguistics says that Every language in the world is capable of expressing every idea.

Newspeak would like a word with you.

Edited by Sylvius the Mad

God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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The first and foremost rule of liguistics says that Every language in the world is capable of expressing every idea.

Newspeak would like a word with you.

Ha. Good one. But Newspeak is an element of anti-utopia. Newspewak is impossible.

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