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Old 02-01-2002, 10:13 AM   #1
Niphredil Baggins
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Shield Translation mistakes

There is a discussion in the Books about spelling errors. I would like to start one about errors in the foreign translations of LotR, among us foreigners here. In the finnish translation there is 'all that glitters is not gold' instead of 'all that is gold does not glitter'...
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Old 02-01-2002, 01:07 PM   #2
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I would really like to take part in the discussion, but at the moment I cannot remember a mistake in the german translation. Though, there are some things I do not like in the translation, e.g. our translater used instead of "mister Frodo" chief Frodo. We have two translations, from two different translators. They are not equal, for the first one is better than the second one.
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Old 02-01-2002, 01:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Niphredil Baggins:
<STRONG>In the finnish translation there is 'all that glitters is not gold' instead of 'all that is gold does not glitter'...</STRONG>
I wouldn't be too sure of that being an error. The first one sounds quite good also. Why couldn't you come up with own proverbs? There's nothing that says that all races and people in Middle-Earth has to have the same as we do.
Well I guess I have to get an English version of the Trilogy before taking part in this discussion anymore. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 02-03-2002, 07:07 AM   #4
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Well, considering the context I'd call it an error. It's in Bilbo's poem about Aragorn, supposed to mean that he is more than he seems to be, not less.
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Old 02-07-2002, 04:17 PM   #5
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Yeah, if it had said, "not all that glitters is gold," then that would have been the same thing, but it looks like the translator wasn't paying very close attention at that point.

I've only read my Spanish FotR once, and don't remember any mistakes, though there were naturally a lot of differences due to expressions and puns etc. I ought to go through it again. Improve my Spanish some more.
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Old 09-01-2003, 06:24 AM   #6
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One translation mistake that made me go 'whoa!' is the phrase in the appendix A "Tale of Aragorn and Arwen' about Galadriel. They translated "Galadriel passed away' with 'Galadriel died'. That nearly gave me a heart attack. I was thinking to myself: "What did I miss?! I thought elves didn't die??" I honestly thought I must have misunderstood something about elves and/or Galadriel. When I got my english copy, this was the first thing I checked for. And then I breathed a sigh of relief...

[ September 01, 2003: Message edited by: Evisse the Blue ]
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Old 09-01-2003, 09:49 AM   #7
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I haven't checked for any mistakes in the norwegian one but the reason is that I never and I mean never read Tolkien in norwegian... always englishj because they always translate wrong. Well not wrong but they use wrong words. It's like that every time! When you watch movies, tv and read books. I hate it. Is this a norwegian fenomenon or what?
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Old 09-01-2003, 02:04 PM   #8
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It probably just isn't a Norwegian phenomenon. Things like that happen in every language. In a sense, you kind of take a little away from a work when you translate it into another language. Some words in English have a connotation that their equivalent words in other languages don't have, and vice versa. It's quite a common occurrence, so don't be bothered about it.
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Old 09-02-2003, 11:54 AM   #9
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well it seems we dutchies are the lucky ones! as our translator kept contact with Tolkien during his translation, Tolkien was able to steer him, and improve some of the greater mistakes.
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Old 09-02-2003, 01:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
I haven't checked for any mistakes in the norwegian one but the reason is that I never and I mean never read Tolkien in norwegian... always englishj because they always translate wrong. Well not wrong but they use wrong words. It's like that every time! When you watch movies, tv and read books. I hate it. Is this a norwegian fenomenon or what?
I read the Norwegian version, though it's a long time ago now (I've read it in English so many times since then som I'm often confusing things when I write on Norwegian sites). Can't remember any very bad mistakes, I think the Norwegian translator (Thorstein Bugge Øverstad [or something similar]) was a remarkable good translator. There's not much to complain about, at least.

[ September 02, 2003: Message edited by: Falagar ]
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Old 09-07-2003, 10:55 AM   #11
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Tolkien

A-a-allllrighty then.... I just can not stop freakin' out about the translation in me native language . Firstly they have "translated" all surnames and some of the names too . Secondly they have translated all "C"'s as "S"'s allthough in the map there is Cirith Ungol [kirith ungol] but in the book it is Sirithungol with no space between words . The same space problems are with all the names in the map like Emyn Muil and Minas Tirith . And they have "translated" some of the names on the map too , like Shire is Daliena (no similarities) and Brandywine is Brandaviņa (stupid huh?) and so on and so on . Oah and the Rohirrim are called Mustangrīmi [Mustungreems] . I feel really dissed about this . It is just awfull to read and I can not orient in the map . Thank goodness that I have read LotR in English . [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img]
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Old 09-07-2003, 11:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
well it seems we dutchies are the lucky ones!
Yeah, the dutch translation is a good one, only the changing of "Baggins" to "Balings" seems a bit odd and not nessecary at all!

[ September 07, 2003: Message edited by: Mariska Greenleaf ]
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Old 09-07-2003, 11:52 AM   #13
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Tolkien

Quote:
well it seems we dutchies are the lucky ones!
Quote:
Yeah, the dutch translation is a good one, only the changing of "Baggins" to "Balings" seems a bit odd and not nessecary at all!
You bet, we're very lucky! I have two copy's of 'In de Ban van de Ring', an old and a new one. There both very well done (I've compared them with my English one). There's no real difference betweem them, save for the old-Dutch in the old one (something I actually like... [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] )
Oh, and I also happen to like the name Balings... :P
I mean, think about it. What if people would try to pronounce ‘Baggins’ the Dutch way… It would sound rather stupid, don’t you think so? A lot like ‘bagger’ IMO, not a very good connection, now is it…

Quote:
as our translator kept contact with Tolkien during his translation, Tolkien was able to steer him, and improve some of the greater mistakes.
He did?? [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] Wow, I didn't know that...

Navaer,

Aethelwine

[ September 07, 2003: Message edited by: Aethelwine ]
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Old 09-09-2003, 12:16 PM   #14
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There are no big changes in the Swedish translation, as I´ve yet found. Only they changed 'Baggins' to 'Bagger', 'Samwise' to 'Samuel' and 'Gamgee' to 'Gamgi'. The last one isn´t that wrong , though.
It´s been a while since I read LotR in Swedish, so I don´t remember any more for the moment.
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Old 09-09-2003, 01:30 PM   #15
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If somebody is interested in some of the errors in the Spanish translations of the books, there is a list in the page of the 'Universidad Autónoma de Númenor':

http://frodo.users.ch/dti/errores.html
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Old 09-11-2003, 01:46 AM   #16
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My mothertongue isn't English (it's German), but I have first read the Hobbit, LotR and the Silmarillion in English. It was a bit of a challenge, but I delighted in Tolkiens wonderful language.(And I learnt a lot!)

My sons have the books in German, and I am now reading them together with my younger son (he has to read aloud to me, by request of the teacher, and alternately I read to him) As we go along I keep comparing the translation to the original, and I must say, I am often very disappointed. Much of the charm, wit and sheer beauty of Tolkien's language is lost in the translation.
Tolkien has such a rich, wonderful language and his many contrasting styles add to the special atmosphere of Middle Earth, to the feeling that the characters are "real" and historical.
Often I feel the translator could have done better. Especially in the new German translation he tried to modernize particularly the Hobbit's talk.(e.g. I wince every time Sam says "Chef" (i.e. "boss" instead of "master"!!).

On the other hand I think it is just not possible to render in another language all these subleties that come with the use of "archaic" words and sentence structures. As T.Shippey says: "Tolkien knew the implications of style, and of language, better and more professionally than almost anyone in the world."

The above is a quote from another thread on Translations web page if you like to read the whole thread.

I have since then also been able to look at the old German translation. It seems better than the new one, but still, it can never compare to the original. And I found some mistakes as well.
e.g: "I must see it through" is translated to "ich muss es durchschauen"! (=I must see through it) which is not the meaning at all!

On the whole, I noticed, that W.Krege, the translator of the new edition, was mainly taking pains to write every sentence differently from the old translation.
So he changes , e.g. "his voice was like music"(about Glorfindel) to "seine Stimme klang wie ein Orchester" (=his voice sounded like an orchestra)!
or another example about Galadriel: "...said the Lady with a gentle laugh" becomes "... sagte die hohe Frau kichernd." (kichernd = giggling!!! )
And about the cry of a Nazgul in the Shire:
"like the cry of some evil and lonely creature" is translated as " das Wehklagen eines vereinsamten Bösewichts". Absolutely ridiculous! (I could quote dozens of such examples.)
And even if the translation per seis correct, the mood is destroyed when the style of the language is wrong.

[ September 11, 2003: Message edited by: Guinevere ]
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Old 09-11-2003, 02:16 AM   #17
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Thank you very much, Amarie of the Vanyar, for that interesting link about the mistakes in the Spanish translation. As one of my mother tongues is Spanish I've first read LotR, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion in Spanish, so it would be interesting to see what has changed from the original in English (I have only read the books in English once, so I'm not able to find the mistakes by miself yet [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] )

[ September 11, 2003: Message edited by: Menelhachwen ]
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