Jump to content

Welcome to Obsidian Forum Community
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

German Translation - Deutsche Übersetzung

Translation German Names

  • Please log in to reply
72 replies to this topic

#21
norolim

norolim

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 229 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
I don't speak German, but I agree with the OP. What he mentions is true for all languages. Not just German.

A fantasy RPG is usually set in a fictitious realm. The realm has its fictitious lands, cultures, races, pantheons and languages. To make things easier most fantasy worlds have one "common speech" used by the peoples of most origins and races to communicate. And this tongue is often used to name cities, regions, rivers, lakes, people etc. In case of literature, film and games this common speech is for obvious reasons represented by the language used by the authors of the work in question. In cRPGs it may, for example, be English (most cases), German (Gothic) or Polish (The Witcher). Therefore, it's natural for me that proper names that are made up of or include common words should be translated into the targed langualge. Example:
  • a fictitious region called Golden Plains would be Die Goldenen Ebenen in German, Les Plaines d'Or in French (both google translator assisted, please corect if wrong) and Złote pola in Polish.
Examples in actual works:
  • Tolkien's Middle-earth (mountain range name)
    • [Sindarin*] Hithaeglir -> hîth (hith) mist, fog, aeglir range of mountain peaks -> [English] Misty Mountains -> [German] Das Nebelgebirge -> [French] Monts Brumeux -> [Polish] Góry Mgliste
  • The Witcher (character name)
    • [Polish]Jaskier -> [English] Dandelion** -> [German] Rittersporn -> [Russian] Лютик
* Sindarin - on of the Elvish languages created by J.R.R. Tolkien for Middle-earth
* Dandelion - notice that the literal translation of of the Polish Jaskier is Buttercup; this was believed to sound too feminine and was changed to Dandelion

Edited by norolim, 10 October 2012 - 01:31 AM.

  • LordCrash and HumanFlesh+5 like this

#22
LordCrash

LordCrash

    Grand Weresheep of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 1153 posts
  • Location:Germany
  • Steam:LordCrash88
  • Pillars of Eternity Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
@ norolim

Generally, you're right, but only if the English proper names don't have hidden or obvious meanings which can't be translated into other languages that easily. For bad examples take a look at my previous post. ;)

#23
HumanFlesh+5

HumanFlesh+5

    Landsknecht of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 118 posts
  • Location:Walpurgis Night
  • Pillars of Eternity Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

If someone needs a good example how a BAD translation can be done, just look at the newest German book versions of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. The old versions stick to the fitting English proper names for characters and locations e.g. "John Snow" (character) and "King's Landing" (city). while the new versions translate even the proper names into German with no regard to the meaning of the English names. So in the new versions "John Snow" is translated into "John Schnee" which is indeed a literal translation but doesn't take into account that the name "Snow" is not a real surname but the label for a bastard child. "King's Landing" is translated to "Königsmund" which means (literally translated) "king's mouth". I don't know why it is translated like that but it's complete nonsense since the name "King's Landing" has the acutal meaning that a long time ago the first king of Westeros landed at this location with his fleet and went ashore here. The actual translation of ASOIAF is a real immersion killer..... :banghead:

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


I know this is strongly some kind a matter of taste. But i don't understand what is wrong with Königsmund instead of King's Landing, since its a metaphoric (and in my opinion quite creative) word vor bay or shore. Like you would say Felsnase for some kind of rocky ledge (?). And its named King, because it's the kind of Shore the king arrived at. And about John Snow, I have not theread books, I only watched the series, but how does rather "snow" than "Schnee" take into account that he's a bastard?

I know it's always a radical step to translate names, but i would like to have the same experience like an english nativespeaker that experiences all english words as some kind of familiar, because they are in his mother tongue. The fact that i can understand english quite well doesn't let me experience the world like its something homelike. I don't consider the culture of an game not to be english but to be human. So the english language in the original seems to represent our culture as mankind so that we can find our place in these crazy fantasy worlds much easier. Therefore i find the german language for german players (even though the understand english) better.

It's really a matter of taste and we could argue hours about this topic without coming to a conclusion. But i don't want to convince you but i hope you can at least understand my way of thinking. Because if the english words will not be translated completly than there will be no way for me to experience the game as i wished. the other way around you can still play the english original.

Ich habe fertig! ^^ ... for goodness sake my english is getting worse and worse.

I r
  • LordCrash and Estavio like this

#24
Uomoz

Uomoz

    Dirge of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 433 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

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 *_*)

#25
norolim

norolim

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 229 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Generally, you're right, but only if the English proper names don't have hidden or obvious meanings which can't be translated into other languages that easily. For bad examples take a look at my previous post. ;)


Well, I can't really relate to the King's Landing - Königsmund problem, as I don't know the lore, but I researched the other example you gave and I'm afraid I must disagree. The surname Snow is one of the ways to identlfy bastad children in Westeros. The others are Stone, Rivers, Waters, Pyke, Hill, Flowers, Storm and Sand and all of them are derived from or simply are common nouns. This means, that from the localization point of view, they may and imo should be translated into the target language, on condition that the usage is consistent. So, all bastard children in The North should be called [first name] Schnee in the German version of the books. English is not a language used in Westeros so why would you want to use it in the German translation? It's actually very similar to what I described above: Westeros has it's Common Tonge: the Andal language and Martin is using English to represent it. Otherwise, he would have to invent a new language and write most dialogues in his book in it, which would in turn force the readers to learn the language. That would be a bit hardcore ;)

EDIT: Corrected The North, thanks Althernai

Edited by norolim, 10 October 2012 - 02:30 AM.

  • HumanFlesh+5 likes this

#26
DocDoomII

DocDoomII

    Archvillain of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 844 posts
  • Location:Latveria
  • PSN Portable ID:DocDoomII
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

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 *_*)

AH! It will be fun to listen to the voice actors pronouncing names in an italian accent :grin:
No offence, but usually is rather amusing :blush:

#27
Uomoz

Uomoz

    Dirge of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 433 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!
They never get it right xD

#28
Althernai

Althernai

    (5) Thaumaturgist

  • Members
  • 512 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

Well, I can't really relate to the King's Landing - Königsmund problem, as I don't know the lore, but I researched the other example you gave and I'm afraid I must disagree. The surname Snow is one of the ways to identlfy bastad children in Westeros. The others are Stone, Rivers, Waters, Pyke, Hill, Flowers, Storm and Sand and all of them are derived from or simply are common nouns. This means, that from the localization point of view, they may and imo should be translated into the target language, on condition that the usage is consistent. So, all bastard children in The Vale of Arryn should be called [first name] Schnee in the German version of the books.

On the one hand you are right (except that Snow is in the North, not the Vale). But on the other hand, I tried thinking about this in Russian and it just doesn't work. Jon Snow left alone would be Джон Сноу which makes it obvious that this is translated from English, but sounds OK. Jon Snow translated would be Джон Снег (Jon Sneg) which both looks and sounds awful.

Edited by Althernai, 10 October 2012 - 02:29 AM.


#29
Farudan

Farudan

    Caretaker of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 120 posts
  • Location:Old Europe

But i don't understand what is wrong with Königsmund instead of King's Landing, since its a metaphoric (and in my opinion quite creative) word vor bay or shore.

"Mund" (= mouth) should be an equivalent for estuary, and that's quite the opposite to what was intentionally meant. An estuary is the final stage of a river, the landing stands for the beginning of something new. It's also a synonym in the book because it was the beginning of a new era for Westeros. I can't see that intention behind Königsmund, because there was no releation between the Targaryens and the sea. This might look like nitpicking, but it's a indicator of what can be said against this whole name translation process.

AH! It will be fun to listen to the voice actors pronouncing names in an italian accent :grin:
No offence, but usually is rather amusing :blush:

I remember a 24 epsiode where Jack Bauer spoke german. As a native speaker I really could not understand what he said. It sounded like a gurgeling of several phonems. Lucky me there have been english subtitles. ;)

On the one hand you are right (except that Snow is in the North, not the Vale). But on the other hand, I tried thinking about this in Russian and it just doesn't work. Jon Snow left alone would be Джон Сноу which makes it obvious that this is translated from English, but sounds OK. Jon Snow translated would be Джон Снег (Jon Sneg) which both looks and sounds awful.

I'd say the mixture of the original english "John" with german "Schnee" is what makes the whole german translation of ASoIaF / GoT horrible, because it is a arbitrary mix up of languages. If they would have been consequent about this, they had to translate it to Johann Schnee or Hannes Schnee, and I think that's nothing a german reader would take for serious. The whole book cast consists of altered spellings of english names. But instead of adapting them as well they only took the most obvious words and translated them. That's ridiculous. For the Lord of the Rings original german translator Margaret Carroux tried to catch up the essence of the name Shelop by using an old german word for spider and giving it a female looking shape (= Kankra). That seems to be way to much thinking for the new translator of ASoIaF / GoT or a result of cheap, excessive outsourcing methods in the print media biz.

Edited by Farudan, 10 October 2012 - 02:41 AM.

  • LordCrash likes this

#30
norolim

norolim

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 229 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Well, I can't really relate to the King's Landing - Königsmund problem, as I don't know the lore, but I researched the other example you gave and I'm afraid I must disagree. The surname Snow is one of the ways to identlfy bastad children in Westeros. The others are Stone, Rivers, Waters, Pyke, Hill, Flowers, Storm and Sand and all of them are derived from or simply are common nouns. This means, that from the localization point of view, they may and imo should be translated into the target language, on condition that the usage is consistent. So, all bastard children in The Vale of Arryn should be called [first name] Schnee in the German version of the books.

On the one hand you are right (except that Snow is in the North, not the Vale). But on the other hand, I tried thinking about this in Russian and it just doesn't work. Jon Snow left alone would be Джон Сноу which makes it obvious that this is translated from English, but sounds OK. Jon Snow translated would be Джон Снег (Jon Sneg) which both looks and sounds awful.


Well, you always have to consider multiple factors when localizing things. As demonstrated in one of my previous posts by the Dandelion example, literal translation of given names is not always a good idea. For Russian, I think, first of all, the translator should use a Russian equivalent of John. This alone could solve the problem, since perhaps Иван Снег would sound better. If not maybe something like Иван Снежный or Иван Лед or Ледяной would work better.

Edited by norolim, 10 October 2012 - 02:42 AM.


#31
LordCrash

LordCrash

    Grand Weresheep of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 1153 posts
  • Location:Germany
  • Steam:LordCrash88
  • Pillars of Eternity Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

Generally, you're right, but only if the English proper names don't have hidden or obvious meanings which can't be translated into other languages that easily. For bad examples take a look at my previous post. ;)


Well, I can't really relate to the King's Landing - Königsmund problem, as I don't know the lore, but I researched the other example you gave and I'm afraid I must disagree. The surname Snow is one of the ways to identlfy bastad children in Westeros. The others are Stone, Rivers, Waters, Pyke, Hill, Flowers, Storm and Sand and all of them are derived from or simply are common nouns. This means, that from the localization point of view, they may and imo should be translated into the target language, on condition that the usage is consistent. So, all bastard children in The North should be called [first name] Schnee in the German version of the books. English is not a language used in Westeros so why would you want to use it in the German translation? It's actually very similar to what I described above: Westeros has it's Common Tonge: the Andal language and Martin is using English to represent it. Otherwise, he would have to invent a new language and write most dialogues in his book in it, which would in turn force the readers to learn the language. That would be a bit hardcore ;)

EDIT: Corrected The North, thanks Althernai

Yes, it' indeed the point that Martin uses English as the commomn language in the book so IT IS in fact the language used in Westeros even if it's called different for literaric reasons. So every meaning and name is chosen carefully by Martin as it is understood in English. Not everything which literarily has the same expression in two languages has also the same intention or subliminal meaning what makes it so difficult to transplate proper names. Example: you can't translate "Dirty Harry" to German, it's impossible to find an expression in German which transports the same subliminal AND obvious meaning AND doesn't sound ridiculous to German speakers. So I think you must be very carefully by translating proper names. There are some quite good examples, like the old translation of Lord of the Rings into German, and there are some bad examples, like the new translation of ASOIAF into German. ;)

#32
LordCrash

LordCrash

    Grand Weresheep of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 1153 posts
  • Location:Germany
  • Steam:LordCrash88
  • Pillars of Eternity Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

If someone needs a good example how a BAD translation can be done, just look at the newest German book versions of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. The old versions stick to the fitting English proper names for characters and locations e.g. "John Snow" (character) and "King's Landing" (city). while the new versions translate even the proper names into German with no regard to the meaning of the English names. So in the new versions "John Snow" is translated into "John Schnee" which is indeed a literal translation but doesn't take into account that the name "Snow" is not a real surname but the label for a bastard child. "King's Landing" is translated to "Königsmund" which means (literally translated) "king's mouth". I don't know why it is translated like that but it's complete nonsense since the name "King's Landing" has the acutal meaning that a long time ago the first king of Westeros landed at this location with his fleet and went ashore here. The actual translation of ASOIAF is a real immersion killer..... :banghead:

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


I know this is strongly some kind a matter of taste. But i don't understand what is wrong with Königsmund instead of King's Landing, since its a metaphoric (and in my opinion quite creative) word vor bay or shore. Like you would say Felsnase for some kind of rocky ledge (?). And its named King, because it's the kind of Shore the king arrived at. And about John Snow, I have not theread books, I only watched the series, but how does rather "snow" than "Schnee" take into account that he's a bastard?

I know it's always a radical step to translate names, but i would like to have the same experience like an english nativespeaker that experiences all english words as some kind of familiar, because they are in his mother tongue. The fact that i can understand english quite well doesn't let me experience the world like its something homelike. I don't consider the culture of an game not to be english but to be human. So the english language in the original seems to represent our culture as mankind so that we can find our place in these crazy fantasy worlds much easier. Therefore i find the german language for german players (even though the understand english) better.

It's really a matter of taste and we could argue hours about this topic without coming to a conclusion. But i don't want to convince you but i hope you can at least understand my way of thinking. Because if the english words will not be translated completly than there will be no way for me to experience the game as i wished. the other way around you can still play the english original.

Ich habe fertig! ^^ ... for goodness sake my english is getting worse and worse.

I r

Perhaps - and I am only guessing here - it's not only a matter of taste but also a matter of your foreign language competence and usage. In my experience a lot of poeple in my generation (born in and after the 80s) and with a comparable educational background are quite used to the English language, from TV series, games, websites, advertising and so on, espcially in some specific topics like fantasy. So the English proper names don't "sound" that unfamiliar, it's the other way round. Personally, I can't even think of serious sounding proper names for fantasy in German since I am so used to English names in that kind of topic. Sometimes I even catch myself in thinking in English than in German. I've talked about things like that a lot to my friends and they told me that this is not only true for my own person but that they have made comparable experiences themselves. ;)

#33
HumanFlesh+5

HumanFlesh+5

    Landsknecht of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 118 posts
  • Location:Walpurgis Night
  • Pillars of Eternity Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Generally, you're right, but only if the English proper names don't have hidden or obvious meanings which can't be translated into other languages that easily. For bad examples take a look at my previous post. ;)


Well, I can't really relate to the King's Landing - Königsmund problem, as I don't know the lore, but I researched the other example you gave and I'm afraid I must disagree. The surname Snow is one of the ways to identlfy bastad children in Westeros. The others are Stone, Rivers, Waters, Pyke, Hill, Flowers, Storm and Sand and all of them are derived from or simply are common nouns. This means, that from the localization point of view, they may and imo should be translated into the target language, on condition that the usage is consistent. So, all bastard children in The North should be called [first name] Schnee in the German version of the books. English is not a language used in Westeros so why would you want to use it in the German translation? It's actually very similar to what I described above: Westeros has it's Common Tonge: the Andal language and Martin is using English to represent it. Otherwise, he would have to invent a new language and write most dialogues in his book in it, which would in turn force the readers to learn the language. That would be a bit hardcore ;)

EDIT: Corrected The North, thanks Althernai

Yes, it' indeed the point that Martin uses English as the commomn language in the book so IT IS in fact the language used in Westeros even if it's called different for literaric reasons. So every meaning and name is chosen carefully by Martin as it is understood in English. Not everything which literarily has the same expression in two languages has also the same intention or subliminal meaning what makes it so difficult to transplate proper names. Example: you can't translate "Dirty Harry" to German, it's impossible to find an expression in German which transports the same subliminal AND obvious meaning AND doesn't sound ridiculous to German speakers. So I think you must be very carefully by translating proper names. There are some quite good examples, like the old translation of Lord of the Rings into German, and there are some bad examples, like the new translation of ASOIAF into German. ;)


But i don't understand what is wrong with Königsmund instead of King's Landing, since its a metaphoric (and in my opinion quite creative) word vor bay or shore.

"Mund" (= mouth) should be an equivalent for estuary, and that's quite the opposite to what was intentionally meant. An estuary is the final stage of a river, the landing stands for the beginning of something new. It's also a synonym in the book because it was the beginning of a new era for Westeros. I can't see that intention behind Königsmund, because there was no releation between the Targaryens and the sea. This might look like nitpicking, but it's a indicator of what can be said against this whole name translation process.

AH! It will be fun to listen to the voice actors pronouncing names in an italian accent :grin:
No offence, but usually is rather amusing :blush:

I remember a 24 epsiode where Jack Bauer spoke german. As a native speaker I really could not understand what he said. It sounded like a gurgeling of several phonems. Lucky me there have been english subtitles. ;)

On the one hand you are right (except that Snow is in the North, not the Vale). But on the other hand, I tried thinking about this in Russian and it just doesn't work. Jon Snow left alone would be Джон Сноу which makes it obvious that this is translated from English, but sounds OK. Jon Snow translated would be Джон Снег (Jon Sneg) which both looks and sounds awful.

I'd say the mixture of the original english "John" with german "Schnee" is what makes the whole german translation of ASoIaF / GoT horrible, because it is a arbitrary mix up of languages. If they would have been consequent about this, they had to translate it to Johann Schnee or Hannes Schnee, and I think that's nothing a german reader would take for serious. The whole book cast consists of altered spellings of english names. But instead of adapting them as well they only took the most obvious words and translated them. That's ridiculous. For the Lord of the Rings original german translator Margaret Carroux tried to catch up the essence of the name Shelop by using an old german word for spider and giving it a female looking shape (= Kankra). That seems to be way to much thinking for the new translator of ASoIaF / GoT or a result of cheap, excessive outsourcing methods in the print media biz.


The thing about Johann Schnee is, that it only sounds odd because in the times of Peaches, Justin and Mike we aren't used to native german names anymore. And that's a really sad thought.

My grandfather's name also is Johann and i think it is a very honest name. It's traditional, without any pseudo fantasy coolness effect. And Fantasyworlds need tradition to make them believable.
  • Estavio likes this

#34
Farudan

Farudan

    Caretaker of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 120 posts
  • Location:Old Europe

Perhaps - and I am only guessing here - it's not only a matter of taste but also a matter of your foreign language competence and usage. In my experience a lot of poeple in my generation (born in and after the 80s) and with a comparable educational background are quite used to the English language, from TV series, games, websites, advertising and so on, espcially in some specific topics like fantasy. So the English proper names don't "sound" that unfamiliar, it's the other way round. Personally, I can't even think of serious sounding proper names for fantasy in German since I am so used to English names in that kind of topic. Sometimes I even catch myself in thinking in English than in German. I've talked about things like that a lot to my friends and they told me that this is not only true for my own person but that they have made comparable experiences themselves. ;)

Agree. There is no proper german fantasy genre. Most high epic fantasy comes from english authors and they stick to english terms and names, as do the translators. German fantasy would have to use a more german romanticism style of language (like in Goethe poems or fairy tales) to be accepted as suitable language for this kind of literature. Unfortunately there are not many translators that are capable of this. So most german fantasy is in fact english based and therefor you get used to english names. Switching to common german names through the whole novel would sound very strange for many people of my age.

The thing about Johann Schnee is, that it only sounds odd because in the times of Peaches, Justin and Mike we aren't used to native german names anymore. And that's a really sad thought. If fantasy wouldn't have been considered childish and pulp and had been given proper treatment by the literaric elite, it could have been different today.

My grandfather's name also is Johann and i think it is a very honest name. It's traditional, without any pseudo fantasy coolness effect. And Fantasyworlds need tradition to make them believable.

Yeah, but that's also the argument against new music, film or clothing styles and so on. The times they are a-changing.

Edited by Farudan, 10 October 2012 - 03:18 AM.


#35
HumanFlesh+5

HumanFlesh+5

    Landsknecht of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 118 posts
  • Location:Walpurgis Night
  • Pillars of Eternity Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

If someone needs a good example how a BAD translation can be done, just look at the newest German book versions of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. The old versions stick to the fitting English proper names for characters and locations e.g. "John Snow" (character) and "King's Landing" (city). while the new versions translate even the proper names into German with no regard to the meaning of the English names. So in the new versions "John Snow" is translated into "John Schnee" which is indeed a literal translation but doesn't take into account that the name "Snow" is not a real surname but the label for a bastard child. "King's Landing" is translated to "Königsmund" which means (literally translated) "king's mouth". I don't know why it is translated like that but it's complete nonsense since the name "King's Landing" has the acutal meaning that a long time ago the first king of Westeros landed at this location with his fleet and went ashore here. The actual translation of ASOIAF is a real immersion killer..... :banghead:

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


I know this is strongly some kind a matter of taste. But i don't understand what is wrong with Königsmund instead of King's Landing, since its a metaphoric (and in my opinion quite creative) word vor bay or shore. Like you would say Felsnase for some kind of rocky ledge (?). And its named King, because it's the kind of Shore the king arrived at. And about John Snow, I have not theread books, I only watched the series, but how does rather "snow" than "Schnee" take into account that he's a bastard?

I know it's always a radical step to translate names, but i would like to have the same experience like an english nativespeaker that experiences all english words as some kind of familiar, because they are in his mother tongue. The fact that i can understand english quite well doesn't let me experience the world like its something homelike. I don't consider the culture of an game not to be english but to be human. So the english language in the original seems to represent our culture as mankind so that we can find our place in these crazy fantasy worlds much easier. Therefore i find the german language for german players (even though the understand english) better.

It's really a matter of taste and we could argue hours about this topic without coming to a conclusion. But i don't want to convince you but i hope you can at least understand my way of thinking. Because if the english words will not be translated completly than there will be no way for me to experience the game as i wished. the other way around you can still play the english original.

Ich habe fertig! ^^ ... for goodness sake my english is getting worse and worse.

I r

Perhaps - and I am only guessing here - it's not only a matter of taste but also a matter of your foreign language competence and usage. In my experience a lot of poeple in my generation (born in and after the 80s) and with a comparable educational background are quite used to the English language, from TV series, games, websites, advertising and so on, espcially in some specific topics like fantasy. So the English proper names don't "sound" that unfamiliar, it's the other way round. Personally, I can't even think of serious sounding proper names for fantasy in German since I am so used to English names in that kind of topic. Sometimes I even catch myself in thinking in English than in German. I've talked about things like that a lot to my friends and they told me that this is not only true for my own person but that they have made comparable experiences themselves. ;)


i also know this kind of phenomenon from myself. And thats the thing that makes me sad, because i seems to be normal. And because most of the translaters even try to translate things, because they are afraid that it may seem odd, but by not doing this there will never be a sensitive german translation of names.
  • Estavio likes this

#36
norolim

norolim

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 229 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Yes, it' indeed the point that Martin uses English as the commomn language in the book so IT IS in fact the language used in Westeros even if it's called different for literaric reasons.

No. This is not how it works. English is not the language used in Westeros. Andal also known by it's more popular name Common Tongue (not common tongue, as it's a proper name) is the language commonly used in Westeros. Martin is only using English because it's his native language. If he was Vietnamese, would you say that the language spoken in Westeros is Vietnamese? No, of course not. Please understand, Martin, as many authors before him, uses his native language (in this case English) to represent a fictitious tongue spoken by the peoples in his works becouse otherwise he would have to invent a whole new language and teach it to his readers. Using English simplifies things significantly.

Example: you can't translate "Dirty Harry" to German, it's impossible to find an expression in German which transports the same subliminal AND obvious meaning AND doesn't sound ridiculous to German speakers.

This is not a good example. Dirty Harry is a fictitious character living in the United States, an actual country existing un the real world. There are separate translation rules for that.

So the English proper names don't "sound" that unfamiliar, it's the other way round.

Oh. Do you mean German proper names sound unfamiliar to Germans? That's rather odd. ;)

Edited by norolim, 10 October 2012 - 03:21 AM.

  • HumanFlesh+5 likes this

#37
Gorth

Gorth

    Global Moderator

  • Global Moderators
  • 10611 posts
  • Location:Australia
Schmutziger Harry?... Klingt irgendwie nicht richtig ;)
  • LordCrash likes this

#38
Farudan

Farudan

    Caretaker of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 120 posts
  • Location:Old Europe

i also know this kind of phenomenon from myself. And thats the thing that makes me sad, because i seems to be normal. And because most of the translaters even try to translate things, because they are afraid that it may seem odd, but by not doing this there will never be a sensitive german translation of names.

If fantasy hadn't been considered being childish and pulp for such a long time in germany, and if the literaric german elite had treated it properly, it could have been different today. But they left this field to the nerds and that's the result.
  • HumanFlesh+5 likes this

#39
HumanFlesh+5

HumanFlesh+5

    Landsknecht of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 118 posts
  • Location:Walpurgis Night
  • Pillars of Eternity Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

i also know this kind of phenomenon from myself. And thats the thing that makes me sad, because i seems to be normal. And because most of the translaters even try to translate things, because they are afraid that it may seem odd, but by not doing this there will never be a sensitive german translation of names.

If fantasy hadn't been considered being childish and pulp for such a long time in germany, and if the literaric german elite had treated it properly, it could have been different today. But they left this field to the nerds and that's the result.


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.

Edited by HumanFlesh+5, 10 October 2012 - 03:30 AM.


#40
LordCrash

LordCrash

    Grand Weresheep of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 1153 posts
  • Location:Germany
  • Steam:LordCrash88
  • Pillars of Eternity Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

Yes, it' indeed the point that Martin uses English as the commomn language in the book so IT IS in fact the language used in Westeros even if it's called different for literaric reasons.

No. This is not how it works. English is not the language used in Westeros. Andal also known by it's more popular name Common Tongue (not common tongue, as it's a proper name) is the language commonly used in Westeros. Martin is only using English because it's his native language. If he was Vietnamese, would you say that the language spoken in Westeros is Vietnamese? No, of course not. Please understand, Martin, as many authors before him, uses his native language (in this case English) to represent a fictitious tongue spoken by the peoples in his works becouse otherwise he would have to invent a whole new language and teach it to his readers. Using English simplifies things significantly.

Example: you can't translate "Dirty Harry" to German, it's impossible to find an expression in German which transports the same subliminal AND obvious meaning AND doesn't sound ridiculous to German speakers.

This is not a good example. Dirty Harry is a fictitious character living in the United States, an actual country existing un the real world. There are separate translation rules for that.

1) You get me wrong. Surely, the language in Westeros is called "Common Tongue" but the really important thing is in which language the authors thinks and writes. That's the language every meaning and every intention and every "good sounding" in the books is tailored to. ;)
2) In fact, there is no difference. Even if Dirty Harry would be a character in a Sci-Fi novel not playing on the earth there wouldn't be a translation to German that would fit that character. The world and the setting is only the "basic tone" of a novel, the important things when it comes to meanings are characters and their intentions imo.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Translation, German, Names

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users