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Awful translations from aSoIaF

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7 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

And well, on the "Jon Schnee" topic; Snow and Schnee are different here because  while Snow is perfectly acceptable and natural sounding as a potential English surname, it just doesn't work as a German one. There aren't many Medieval German family names that are just a noun. A more natural name would have been something akin to "Schneier" ...which in turn would be completely senseless.

The same problem in Czech - Sníh doesn't really work as a surname (and neither do the literal translations of Stone or Sand), and the translator is inconsistent, translating these but leaving Flowers untranslated. IMHO, in RL, such surnames would originate as a sort of possessive case or "patronyms" - something like "of Snow" (like Offred in Handmaid's Tale) or other alternatives meaning "belonging to" or "coming from", which would highlight the bastard origin. However, there would be problems with declension of such names, as they are indeclinational (? not sure about the term), which makes them stick out in a sentence and could be awkward in vocative case (with Alliser Thorne constantly adressing Jon merely as Snow, it would sound weird, and adding the first name would take away from the insult). Indeclinational surnames do exist in Czech, usually in the form meaning "of the (family) of", but are pretty rare. (If you're into classical music, you may have heard the name of Bohuslav Martinů, which is one of those rare cases, meaning "of the Martins"). With bastard names which can be interpreted as locations (Stone, Rivers), there would quite natural options like Odkamene or Odřeky (from by the stone/river, as in, found by a stone/river) but Snow or Sand are far less convenient for this, and Flowers... we really don't want to go into "from under the flowers" :D  I'd probably opt for switching flowers for some other greenery, like meadow (or bush? - not gooseberry :D ). Blossom also has a more convenient translation but I don't think it would come out natural.

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From what I have seen the pronunciations in the German show are also awfully bad. 

Maester becomes Mah-ester. Like seriously? That's not even how'd you pronounce an "ae" in German, and ignores that the simplest conclusion would be to have the voice actors simply use "Meister" as a pronunciation.

While Dorne gets the final "E" pronounced and so becomes a homophone for the German word for "thorn"

I don't even think that all the translations are necessarily poorly done, Graufreud is correctly constructed a theoretical German last name (Graue Freude "Grey Joy" modified into Graufreud)
Hohenehr (the Eyrie) is also a fairly pretty name to be honest and, once again constructed correctly (Hohe Ehre "High Honour" modified into Hohenehr) I just don't like it for two reasons: it destroys the associations wit birds, the Falcon Knight, Lysa being a crazy mother hen etc etc etc. And I think it's the reason Highgarden became a generic rose garden (they might not have wanted two major castles starting with Hoch)  

I just find the translations unnecessary, inconsistent (both with the decisions on what to translate and with the decisions on how to translate them, how archaic or authentic the language chosen should be etc etc) and with very few exceptions, inelegant

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King in the North / King of the North study:

I wonder how many countries translated "The King In The North" to "The King OF the North", like in French. The litteral "Roi dans le Nord" sounds weird.

 

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2 hours ago, Nowy Tends said:

King in the North / King of the North study:

I wonder how many countries translated "The King In The North" to "The King OF the North", like in French. The litteral "Roi dans le Nord" sounds weird.

The same in Czech - král severu instead of král na severu, that would sound weird, too. It might be possible, though, to say král nad severem, the King (ruling) over the North.

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Just asked a friend, apprently it's "Koenig des Nordens" in German, so "King of the North". Der Koenig im Norden (King in the North) would have actually not sounded that weird in German, because during the quagmire that was the late Holy Roman Empire there were actually people who were "Duke/Prince/King IN (instert place here)" rather than the more usual Duke/Prince/King OF  (insert place here) I think the most prominent example where the Hohenzollerns whom the Habsburgs (begrudgingly) granted the right to call themselves "Kings in Prussia" but not "Kings of Prussia"
So in this, accidental context a Westerosi rebel-monarch calling themselves "Koenig im Norden" would have worked in German.

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Posted (edited)

@Orphalesion, Indeed. I was sure that GRRM got his King in the North from the Kings in Prussia.

My understanding of the real life case, the duchy of Prussia was a fiefdom of Poland (outside but bordering the Holy Roman Empire), but the duke of Prussia was also the Elector of Brandenburg (fiefdom in the Holy Roman Empire).  Then the Swedish invaded Poland and Prussia became a fiefdom of Sweden, then the Swede war of conquest stalled, and they found themselves less able to order the Prussians around and more dependant on their alliance than they had intended. Gustav X of Sweden granted the Duke full sovereignty of Prussia, to keep him in alliance against the King of Poland. 

Of course, the Holy Roman Emperor expected the Elector of Brandenburg to recognise his (pretty much nominal) suzerainty, and wasn't prepared to have him calling himself the King of Prussia  - the only people entitled to call themselves king in the Holy Roman Empire were the Emperor (who had a secondary title King of the Germans) and the King of Bohemia.  But in return for Prussian support of his candidate in the War of Spanish Succession he was prepared to allow the Elector to call himself the King in Prussia, and to unilaterally declare Prussia as its own country.

So it struck me as weird and wrong in the book that Robb goes down to the Riverlands and becomes the King in the North by some weird semi-popular Riverlands campaign headed by Greatjon Umber (who at least was a Northerner) but backed by a whole heap of self-interested, hot-headed, parochial, backsliding Riverlander underlings who were happy to have the Northerners come down and fight their wars for them and would be just as happy to sell them out if it turned out that King Renly or the Lannisters offered their little patch a better deal and protection from Tully revenge. So why propose to call him King in the North, as if the main thing was to ensure that Robb should walk into a formal dinner before Prince Doran (who is not the King in Dorne, or the Prince in Dorne, although it would solve the brewing fight between Tommen and Myrcella quickly if he was). The only king Robb was doing deals with was Balon (who, it turned out, had no problem with declaring himself King of the Iron Isles and the North) So why not call himself King of the North and have done with it?

It also seemed weird that the Old Kings that "had sworn allegiance to no man" had chosen to style themselves Kings in the North after building Winterfell. The whole point of the preposition is to acknowledge and avoid offence to the king's allegiances in the South, East, or West.

To my ear, the dissonance is in the 'in' in the original. Like when he uses 'wroth' as a noun. 

 

Edited by Walda

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1 minute ago, Walda said:

@Orphalesion, Indeed. I was sure that GRRM got his King in the North from the Kings in Prussia.

My understanding of the real life case, the duchy of Prussia was a fiefdom of Poland (outside but bordering the Holy Roman Empire), but the duke of Prussia was also the Elector of Brandenburg (fiefdom in the Holy Roman Empire).  Then the Swedish invaded Poland and Prussia became a fiefdom of Sweden, then the Swede war of conquest stalled, and they found themselves less able to order the Prussians around and more dependant on their alliance than they had intended. Gustav X of Sweden granted the Duke full sovereignty of Prussia, to keep him in alliance against the King of Poland. 

Of course, the Holy Roman Emperor expected the Elector of Brandenburg to recognise his (pretty much nominal) suzerainty, and wasn't prepared to have him calling himself the King of Prussia  - the only people entitled to call themselves king in the Holy Roman Empire were the Emperor (who had a secondary title King of the Germans) and the King of Bohemia.  But in return for Prussian support of his candidate in the War of Spanish Succession he was prepared to allow the Elector to call himself the King in Prussia, and to unilaterally declare Prussia as its own country.

So it struck me as weird and wrong in the book that Robb goes down to the Riverlands and becomes the King in the North by some weird semi-popular Riverlands campaign headed by Greatjon Umber (who at least was a Northerner) but backed by a whole heap of self-interested, hot-headed, parochial, backsliding Riverlander underlings who were happy to have the Northerners come down and fight their wars for them and would be just as happy to sell them out if it turned out that King Renly or the Lannisters offered their little patch a better deal and protection from Tully revenge. Why Robb (and the old Kings) settled for 'in' when it wasn't as if the matter in question was whether he should walk in to a formal dinner before or after Prince Doran.  The only King he was striking a secret deal with was Balon (who, it turned out, had no problem with declaring himself King of the Iron Isles and the North) so why not call himself King of the North and have done with it?

It also seemed weird that the Old Kings that "had sworn allegiance to no man" had chosen to style themselves Kings in the North after building Winterfell. The whole point of the preposition is to acknowledge and avoid offence to the king's allegiances in the South, East, or West.

To my ear, the dissonance is in the 'in' in the original. Like when he uses 'wroth' as a noun. 

 

I had a different take on King in the North which is more north-centric. Even golden boy heir of the beloved Ned had to prove his strength wildling-style before he commanded full loyalty, and even then he was still openly challenged. I think there was a time when the Northerners would not accept a king of them, only a king inhabiting the area. Notice Mance styles himself King North of the Wall, but he hasn't actually called himself king of anyone or anything. Like King in the North, it only references the king's location as North of the Wall.  I think King in the North was the same. The Northerners have likely been somewhat Southernized but have kept the naming tradition no longer fully grasping the significance. King of Winter also doesn't declare itself as king of anyone or any location indicating a system which doesn't really fit with Westeros' south. Interestingly, this is Stannis' current situation. He's a king who is in the North, but he's not really king of the Northerners or of the North as his attempt was unsuccessful.

I think through the dynamic of Stannis, Mance, Theon & Asha (Balon's kids and claimants), Jon, Rickon and whoever else, along with a mishmash of people consisting of wildlings, northerners, southerners, and maybe skagosi, we might see how this name evolved.

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@WaldaYou are absolutely correct with your assessment of the historical situation. And also with the literary one.

It's interesting to note that the Starks originally styled themselves "Kings of Winter" but eventually became "Kings in the North". TWOIAF isn't specific why or when this happened, only that it was "in recent centuries", so definitely after the Andal Invasion. Maybe it was a cautious way for the Starks to acknowledge Andal rule over the lands south of the Neck, without losing face.

It's also a very fitting title, considering how often we have witnessed now that Stark power fails south of the Neck. The Hohenzollerns were kings as long as they sat around Koenigsberg, but if they entered the HRE proper they lost their royalty and became Electors of Brandenburg, just as the Starks lose their power when they go south. They are only Kings IN the North, so to speak.
(The only time the Starks really spear headed any successful campaign in the South, I can think of, is the Hour of the Wolf, and Cregan was smart enough to keep that short and return North as soon as he could.)

So it's also quite interesting that Robb was made King IN the North, rather than King of Winter. His campaign also failed once he spent too much time south of the Neck...    

It's of course more likely that GRRM just chose King in the North because it sounds cool and unique and wasn't too concerned with the minutiae details of real world titles in the crumbling Holy Roman Empire, but it's entertaining how much can be interpreted into something like that. 

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20 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

And wait...in what version was Dustin turned into Staublin? The old one or the new one? That's absolutely stupid. Dustin, in the real world is a Norman name completely unrelated to anything "dust" related.

http://de.eisundfeuer.wikia.com/wiki/Haus_Staublin

In the older version. The wiki is based on this version, so if you want to laugh or anger about bad translation: read some articles of this wiki.

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Sebian translation must be the worst.

On 9.4.2018. at 11:53 PM, Kandrax said:

In serbian edition of TWOIAF Blood and Cheese are one person.

Blackfyre is sometimes kept in original form, and sometimes translated to Crna Vatra, meaning Black fire.

Brave companions's name in serbian sounds childish, because Hrabri drugari can be translated into Brave friends.

Vargo's lisp is worse in serbian version.

Serbian Dorkstar

...and night is mine.

I was so mad when I noticed that they didn't realize that Blood and Cheese are two persons.

I hated whole Crna Vatra situation. The sword is called Crna Vatra and Daemon is sometimes refered to as Demon Crna Vatra, I asume they ocasionaly used the Blackfyre name as nickname and sometimes as the last name, but it was still dumb to call someone in one chapter Demon Crna Vatra and in another Demon Blekfajer. Everything about this translation is horrible. 

On 11.4.2018. at 0:41 AM, Kandrax said:

Eyrie is Falcon's nest.

Casterly Rock is Smelterly Rock

Winterfell is Winterbore

Riverrun is Fastrivers.

King's landing is King's port

Pyke is Cliff.

Gnezdo Sokolovo (The Eyrie) is so annoying, I can't even express how much...

Livacka Stena (Casterly Rock), Brzorecje (Riverrun), Kraljeva Luka (King's Landing) and Hrid (Pyke) are not that bad in Serbian. They are everything but right, though.

And what Zimovrel (Winterfell) is even supposed to mean? Is it something like the place where Winter starts, because it shouldn't be? That is worst translation ever. 

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Posted (edited)

But to me, who does not speak a word of Serbian, Zimovrel sounds awfully pretty. I'm tempted to use it in some RPG setting for an Ice Elf fortress or soemthing :-P

Riverrun is Fastwater in German "Schnellwasser" which is something I'm alright with (or would be if I'd ever touch the translations)

Winterfell, oddly enough is...WInterfell...as in the untranslated English name... now there are mutliple ways to interpret the original name of Winterfell, but if don't translate it and show the English word to a German person they will think you are talking about an animal's "winter fur"..

Edited by Orphalesion

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On 4/11/2018 at 8:26 AM, Orphalesion said:

Hohenzollerns whom the Habsburgs (begrudgingly)

OMG! I read this correctly in my first try!!! I'm feeling very proficient at the moment.

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Posted (edited)
On 10.4.2018 at 4:30 AM, Therae said:

However, given that it is named for the actual event, how would you translate it? Koenigslandeplatz? -landefeld? (Asking for real, as a very rusty (and never very good) German-as-a-second-language speaker.) Do those both sound too much like airfields?

 

On 10.4.2018 at 4:40 AM, Deepbollywood Motte said:

*Landung wouldn't have been wrong... I guess, as a german-as-a-second-language speaker.

Yes, as a german-as-a-first-language speaker I can say you are right: It would be "Königslandung".

As others have stated, the new German translation is incoherent and sometimes quite awful. It was even worse in it first installation by Random House. The very first translation from Bastei (last century ^^) was decent too, they left the names untranslated, and had not half as many errors.

 

Edited by Morte
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1 hour ago, Morte said:

 

Yes, as a german-as-a-first-language speaker I can say you are right: It would be "Königslandung".

As others have stated, the new German translation is incoherent and sometimes quite awful. It was even worse in it first installation by Random House. The very first translation from Bastei (last century ^^) was decent too, they left the names untranslated, and had not half as many errors.

 

Is the new one the one with "King's Mouth"? I mean what were they even going for with that one?

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58 minutes ago, Orphalesion said:

Is the new one the one with "King's Mouth"? I mean what were they even going for with that one?

Yes, the infamous "King's Mouth" is from the new translation.

And no, nobody can even imagine why they chose to call King's Landing that way. The naming is inconsistent and as often as not quite disturbing, even for German reader who don't know the English original.

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There are are two Catalan translations. The second one is good enough, but the first one had terrible misstranslations. One of the most funny ones was that Barristan the Bold was rendered as Barristan the Bald in the first chapter that he appeared.

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On April 9, 2018 at 11:40 PM, shameeka said:

Here are some ridiculous translation errors from my country (all of them are corrected in the recent editions).

Jaime Lannister's "The things I do for love." became "I love doing this."

"He started asking questions." became "That's a good question."

silver stags became actual stags

A Storm of Swords was reversed into Swords of Storm

Dornishmen became men from 'Dornish'

Also, FFC translator forgot that the word 'fool' has two meanings: 1. idiot 2. court jester so when Brienne and Podrick traveled around looking for a fool (Dontos Hollard), it looks like she is looking for anyone who has a low IQ.

What language is this?

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In defense of translating the names into German, if Jon Snow had been Jon Snow instead of Jon Schnee in German, then Melisandre's "I only see snow", Mormont's raven constantly saying "Snow" etc. wouldn't work.

However, they should have done it thoroughly, instead of keeping Jon's first name in English (Johann Schnee lol) as well as some other names like Tyrell, Tarly etc., and creating nonsense words like the aforementioned "Casterlystein".

I haven't read the German translation, but I used it for research once and this was more than irritating.

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