TSA in different Languages

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Wilshire

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« on: July 05, 2013, 05:07:53 pm »
I was looking to find some of the translations of TSA and I found a couple, but it seems the titles have been altered slightly, though I don't speak anything but English at all. I figure this kind of thing will come up again so I made a new topic.

If anyone speaks the language of the books in question, a direct translation of the title would be sweet, since you never know if google translations are any good. Maybe I'll just post all the ones I find here and make a collection of the different cover arts and languages.

They are posted as Titles in an order that makes sense, next to that are the different covers for the books, and under that the google translations of the phrases used in the titles.

French:

Autrefois les ténèbres, Tome 1 : Le Prince du Néant (Cover Art 1, Cover Art 2)
Le Guerrier Prophète, Tome 2: le prince du néant (Cover Art 1)
Le chant des sorciers,Tome 3:Le prince du néant (Cover Art 1)

Le Prince du Néant -> The Prince of Nothing
Autrefois les ténèbres -> Once Darkness
Le Guerrier Prophète -> Warrior Prophet
Le chant des sorciers -> The Singing of Sorcery (my own interpretaion of the failed google attempt)

Notes:
The second cover art for the first book seems to be a depiction of Mekeritig (sorry spelling) I think. Now THATS an Erratic. (I hear that Bakker gives this the title for most ridiculous cover art)

German:

Schattenfall 1: Der Krieg der Propheten (Cover Art 1, Cover Art 2)
Der Krieg der Propheten 2: Der Prinz aus Atrithau (Cover Art 1, Cover Art 2)
Der Krieg der Propheten 03: Der Tausendfältige Gedanke (Cover Art 1, Cover Art 2)

Der Krieg der Propheten -> The War of the Prophet
Schattenfall ->Shadow Falling
Der Prinz aus Atrithau -> The Prince of Atrithau
Der Tausendfältige Gedanke -> The Thousandfold Thought

Slovenian:

Ratnik - Prorok: Princ nicega (Cover Art 1)
Ratnik - Prorok: Princ nicega -> RATNIK - Prophet Prince Nicega

Russian:

Uhh the Russian book1, Sorry I could not begin to translate that. Cover Art Sorry link no longer has picture.

Spanish:


En el principio fue oscuridad ( Cover Art)
El profeta guerrero ( Cover Art)
El Pensamiento de las Mil Caras (Cover Art)

En el principio fue oscuridad -> In the beginning was darkness
El profeta guerrero -> The Prophet Warrior
El Pensamiento de las Mil Caras -> The Thought of a Thousand Faces

Slavic
http://www.davidrankineart.com/Prvni_prichazi_tma.jpg

Polish. Thanks Alia
Here are links to Polish cover arts (which are really a copy of the above ones, with Polish titles) - since the ones in the thread have expired:
http://www.empik.com/mrok-ktory-nas-poprzedza-bakker-scott-r,11318,ksiazka-p
http://www.empik.com/wojownik-prorok-bakker-scott-r,373405,ksiazka-p
http://www.empik.com/mysl-tysiackrotna-bakker-scott-r,2645401,ksiazka-p

And here are Neuropath and Disciple of the Dog [which is in Polish "Perfect Memory"]
http://www.empik.com/neuropata-bakker-scott-r,prod59953483,ksiazka-p
http://www.empik.com/pamiec-doskonala-bakker-scott-r,p1058272342,ksiazka-p

Also, there is a Polish re-edition planned for 2015, along with the first edition of "The Judging Eye", which may possibly have new covers.

Croatian
https://imgur.com/gallery/eD5Je
Thousandfold thought ^
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 12:26:42 pm by Wilshire »
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Wilshire

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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2013, 04:34:01 pm »
It would seem that the phrase "The Darkness that comes Before", which is a bit awkward sounding in English, is not an easy one to translate.

Any speculation as to why they chose "The Prince of Atrithau"? Seems to be a bit forward. And also, "The war of the Prophet" seems a bit spoilery compared to"The Prince of Nothing".

Or the french translation of "The Thousandfold Thought" into "The Singing of Sorcery". Not even close.
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Meyna

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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2013, 04:43:22 pm »
Or the french translation of "The Thousandfold Thought" into "The Singing of Sorcery". Not even close.

I do recall that the working title for TTT was "When Sorcerers Sing," or something like that. Too bad it stayed that way in the French translation.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2013, 04:47:26 pm »
Actually now that you mention it I feel like did read that somewhere. Thanks.
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Madness

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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 04:35:41 pm »
Definitely true - in fact, Bakker ultimately regrets the title of the third book from what I understand. He's probably more than thrilled that the other language titles reflected his original intentions (after all, TTT is about nothing, if not showcasing the major sorcerous practices, which we'd been mostly teased with throughout the PON).

Also, I almost want to suggest that the French translation would be closer to Sorcerer's Singing, I think - been a long time since I dabbled in French.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 05:00:10 pm »
My gf's sister is basically fluent in french. I should ask her.
EDIT:
Ok so not as fluent as I had hoped, but still pretty good. Without knowing what the titles where supposed to be in english she came up with:
Quote
A time of darkness(literally translates to "once the darkness" or "sometime the darkness") ,
The Prince of Nothingness/Naught,
The prophetic warrior
The song of sorcerers

So it looks like those are pretty good.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 06:23:34 pm by Wilshire »
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Madness

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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2013, 06:38:59 pm »
I definitely think that most meaning is lost from the various translations of TDTCB.
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Davias

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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 05:06:33 pm »
I found the cover art of the german editions really good compared to the crap, a german publisher usually assign to fantasy books. The titels are ok. At least they have something to do with the content :D
( Sometimes, I want to hide a bought fantasy book in a bag or under my shirt, when I leave the shop, because I'm ashamed of the covers. I feel so much better and more elitist, when I leave the shop with my history books :) )
And the german translation of Bakker's work was also good, compared to 60% of my other german fantasy books. Sometimes I think, the translator simple used GoogleTranslate :(

The worst fantasy translation, I have ever read in german was the new translation of George Martins "A Song of Ice and Fire". They changed the names of characters and places to an unnecessary extent and it sounds simply horrible while reading those books in german. Here is a sample of dumb title translations:

"Original - A Storm of Swords" - "Translation - Die Königin der Drachen" which means "The Queen of dragons" and be glad that I don't post a cover from the first german editions of Martin's books.

There are some horrible covers and translations in germany when it comes to the fantasy genre, but you can goggle it yourself. In the last years it has become a little bit better, but not much.
That is the reason, why I read almost all books in english now.
And it seems, I must wait a few years for a translation of the Aspect Emperor Books. Bakker's novels are no bestsellers in my country  ::)

« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 05:17:38 pm by Davias »

Wilshire

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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 08:58:16 pm »
Haha well Bakker isn't a best seller in any country. He's a self-described "mid-list author" :P though all of us here know he deserves so much more.
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Madness

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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2013, 02:48:24 pm »
( Sometimes, I want to hide a bought fantasy book in a bag or under my shirt, when I leave the shop, because I'm ashamed of the covers. I feel so much better and more elitist, when I leave the shop with my history books :) )

Lol. People do judge books by their covers - rather unfairly, in mine opinion ;). Especially, since in some cases authors have absolutely no say in what covers their words.

And the german translation of Bakker's work was also good, compared to 60% of my other german fantasy books. Sometimes I think, the translator simple used GoogleTranslate :(

Now I wonder if I should be wondering about translations to English that I've read in my lifetime. If I could have but a week with no obligations I'd be a long way closer to reading works in the original, probably richer, tongue.

And it seems, I must wait a few years for a translation of the Aspect Emperor Books. Bakker's novels are no bestsellers in my country  ::)

If only we could help you with that somehow, Davias. Who do we call to push for German/English translations?

Haha well Bakker isn't a best seller in any country. He's a self-described "mid-list author" :P though all of us here know he deserves so much more.

+1.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2014, 05:09:00 pm »
Had this thought, figured I'd post it.

I wonder if this, or any book, ever gains something when its translated from one language to another. Certainly things can get lost, but I never really considered that there might be advantages.

I don't know enough about languages to explore the idea, but I imagine there are differences in complexity and apparent expressiveness from one language to another, so maybe a book read in a specific language might actually turn out better than the original.

Anyone? I suppose to explore this you'd have to be bilingual, or a polyglot (love that word, though wikipedia ties it to something akin to autistic savant status, so perhaps this is not the best word? Regardless, I like it way better than multilingual), so there probably aren't too many individuals out there who could really test out this idea.
Though I think this forum is as good a place to look as any, probably even better than most.
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Alia

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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2014, 05:42:22 pm »
Polish translations:
The series: Książę Nicości -> Prince of Nothingness
Book One - Mrok, który nas poprzedza -> Darkness that precedes us.
Book Two - Wojownik-Prorok -> Warrior-Prophet
Book Three - Myśl Tysiąckrotna -> Thousandfold Thought

As for the whole discussion about translations, I would gladly say something about it, but not ATM, perhaps on Saturday I will have more time to elaborate.
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Madness

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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2014, 07:15:17 pm »
As for the whole discussion about translations, I would gladly say something about it, but not ATM, perhaps on Saturday I will have more time to elaborate.

Please do when you have time.

Had this thought, figured I'd post it.

I wonder if this, or any book, ever gains something when its translated from one language to another. Certainly things can get lost, but I never really considered that there might be advantages.

I don't know enough about languages to explore the idea, but I imagine there are differences in complexity and apparent expressiveness from one language to another, so maybe a book read in a specific language might actually turn out better than the original.

This was my hope for a German, or to a lesser extent French or maybe Italian, translation as German, especially, reflects the original language of dominant philosophies layered into TSA. But Happy Ent over at Westeros - who, segue, I really wish would join us here - has read them in German and suggested that the prose (descriptive aspect) of the German wasn't up to par. So I think, perhaps, the potential is there for what you suggest but that it will/has taken a talented translator.

Anyone? I suppose to explore this you'd have to be bilingual, or a polyglot (love that word, though wikipedia ties it to something akin to autistic savant status, so perhaps this is not the best word? Regardless, I like it way better than multilingual), so there probably aren't too many individuals out there who could really test out this idea.
Though I think this forum is as good a place to look as any, probably even better than most.

I've heard polylingists or polylingual as well.
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Alia

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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2014, 04:40:23 pm »
OK, so I have a bit of time to sit down to write about translations - and I'm afraid it might just turn tl;dr, so let me know if I get too boring. Short version - it's complicated. And it depends.

First of all, languages are different, even European ones, which (mostly) stem from the same proto-language. For example in most European languages all nouns have gender, masculine, feminine or neutral, which means that even objects can be referred to as "he" or "she". In English, there are very few such nouns, which may already cause difficulties. Another example - there was this book, AFAIR by Jeanette Winterson, a first person narrative in which one could not really guess whether the narrator is a man or a woman. In English or German it's possible to do it easily. But in Slavic languages, like Russian or Polish, when a person is talking about his or her actions, verb forms change depending on their sex. If it's a very short sentence or paragraph, you can find a way to avoid it, but the whole novel? So a translator had to make an arbitrary decision and choose to translate the narrator as a man or a woman (or maybe ask the author?). Anyway, this certainly changed the book very much - but the language itself is to blame.
Or another thing - Stephen King in his "On Writing" said that a respectful author should always introduce his dialogues with "he said/she said". That using verbs like "shouted, whispered, exclaimed" is bad style. Even if what he says is true, it's true only for English. There are languages in which repetition is considered very bad style, so a translator has to invent many different ways of translating "said" and often interpret, whether a character exclaimed, mentioned, interrupted, sobbed or murmured something. Which would make a translation richer in a way.

This said, there are numerous theories of translation and nobody agrees what a good translation really is. It often depends on the book. If you want a light, easy read, the translation should first and foremost be easy to read. If, on the other hand, it is something more complicated, with the author making important points, perhaps it's a translator's duty to communicate those points, even though this may have negative influence on the language.

As for translation making a book better - certainly it's possible. Imagine you have a book that has very well-created characters, amazing world and highly interesting story line - but the language is a bit awkward, the metaphors sound strange, you stumble on some sentences, because they sound unnatural. A proficient translator will be able to smooth the language, while retaining all other elements, which are good.

However, I don't really think that German translation of TSA could be better than the original, because the second language would be inherently better in expressing some points of Bakker's philosophy. For one simple reason - a translator's work is always derivative and there is always a huge potential for misunderstanding, for missing a point, for misrepresentation. Only the author knows what he really wanted to write, a translator is left to guess.

OK, that's all for now, I think.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2014, 04:48:36 pm »

However, I don't really think that German translation of TSA could be better than the original, because the second language would be inherently better in expressing some points of Bakker's philosophy.
Thanks for sharing, thats pretty interesting. BTW don't worry about tl;dr. There are some big posts here... this isn't your normal gathering of internet peoples.

It kind of sounds like the reason a translation might be better is that the translator has the ability to change the text, which kind of sounds like cheating. Kind of like taking a book that was poorly written, and having a really good writer redo it.

Also, the sentence I quoted about confused me. Why would the German translation not be potentially better if it could "be inherently better in expressing some points of Bakker's philosophy."?
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