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German Translation - Deutsche Übersetzung

Translation German Names

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#41
LordCrash

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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.

I don't think that it is a "bad" thing that it is like it is (not the nerdy thing but the sound thing). I'm used to it and I'm satisfied with it. But I am in general no patriot in language matters...... ;)

#42
melkathi

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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.

On a related unrelated note:
It's pretty much the opposite of Games Workshop settings were english words are translated into faux german to create imperial names. They sound extremly ridiculous...
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#43
norolim

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1) 2)


You are wrong in both cases, I'm afraid. And for the same reason. The first and foremost rule of liguistics says that Every language in the world is capable of expressing every idea. It is specifically the translator's job to convey the mood, tone, unique sound of the text he/she is working on. How do you think translation of literary works in genres other than fantasy is done?

If Dirty Harry was a character living on a planet that has a fictitious culture and language, his name could be trabslated. And I'm sure a good translation for Dirty Harry exists in German. You just can't think of any, but a skilled and experienced translator would definitely find one.

Edited by norolim, 10 October 2012 - 03:42 AM.

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#44
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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.

Иван Снег (Ivan Sneg) is better, but still bad because words like Снег are not used as last names in Russian the way they are in English. You would indeed have to make it Иван Снежный (Ivan Snezhnyi) which sounds OK, but has the drawback of no longer being even vaguely related to Jon Snow except to people who speak both English and Russian. It's also hard to reconcile Ivan Snezhnyi with being the son of Eddard Stark and half-brother of Robb, Sansa, Bran, Arya and Rickon Stark. It's not impossible, but, as I said, you are really asking a lot of the translator (particularly in Martin's books as he has a tendency to use old and/or altered English names together with names that are just plain weird).

#45
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Hihihi ... i would like to have a toolkit which is able to change all names in the game to my liking. only potential synchro would be a problem. :D

#46
casa

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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.


"Dreckiger Harald"... naja, würde vielleicht 'nen netten 'Tatort' abgeben... <_<
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#47
norolim

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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.

Иван Снег (Ivan Sneg) is better, but still bad because words like Снег are not used as last names in Russian the way they are in English. You would indeed have to make it Иван Снежный (Ivan Snezhnyi) which sounds OK, but has the drawback of no longer being even vaguely related to Jon Snow except to people who speak both English and Russian. It's also hard to reconcile Ivan Snezhnyi with being the son of Eddard Stark and half-brother of Robb, Sansa, Bran, Arya and Rickon Stark. It's not impossible, but, as I said, you are really asking a lot of the translator (particularly in Martin's books as he has a tendency to use old and/or altered English names together with names that are just plain weird).

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.
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#48
melkathi

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"Dreckiger Harald"... naja, würde vielleicht 'nen netten 'Tatort' abgeben... <_<


Wenn ich Harald höre denk ich eh nur an Otto.

#49
Farudan

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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.

Edited by Farudan, 10 October 2012 - 04:45 AM.

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#50
LordCrash

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1) 2)


You are wrong in both cases, I'm afraid. And for the same reason. The first and foremost rule of liguistics says that Every language in the world is capable of expressing every idea. It is specifically the translator's job to convey the mood, tone, unique sound of the text he/she is working on. How do you think translation of literary works in genres other than fantasy is done?

If Dirty Harry was a character living on a planet that has a fictitious culture and language, his name could be trabslated. And I'm sure a good translation for Dirty Harry exists in German. You just can't think of any, but a skilled and experienced translator would definitely find one.

Most probably a very good translater could do that. But the half-English and half-German names in ASOIAF just sound wrong, weird. It doesn't sound how it should, hard to explain. ;)

#51
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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. :/

#52
Gorth

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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.

#53
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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".

#54
Farudan

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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.

#55
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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?

#56
Gorth

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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.

#57
Farudan

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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.

#58
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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...... ;)

#59
dlux

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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.

#60
Farudan

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





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