you might have noticed that I started a new blog, "Berlin zum Dritten".
The title is from Robert Gernhardt's poem 'Berlin thirdly', which starts:
"One never steps twice into the same city. You just aren't the same one as you have been. Once you were young, at that time the city was already old. Now you are older, and the city becomes younger." (rough translation by me).
I write the blog in German, because I thought that I need a "stage" for my mothertongue too. The subjects which I choose from what I notice in Berlin might be too specially Berlin-centered. And if you are curious: I'll enable Google-translation.
I looked - and "turned to stone" -- ---
that's why you see the beautiful marble statue that Gianlorenzo Bernini created about 1635 of Medusa in the picture above. (And of course it is a link to my recent German blog).
Google's translation into English (sort of...) is simply gruesome.
Being of a kind nature (and vain), I really pondered about the question whether I should translate the German posts into English. But that's a lot of work - and the sun is shining so nicely outside, the birds are singing --- I will think a while, then we'll see.
“I'll think of it tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. (...). After all, tomorrow is another day”
as Scarlett O'Hara said in 'Gone with the Wind'.
Maybe Im a bit
I will have a look at your new blog. I am rusty in reading German, and completely unable to write in German. Big regret! I should have spent more time on that, but we lived in Germany when I had babies and toddlers. Google translate does a terrible job!!!ReplyDelete
I imagine that the job of translating, especially a piece of literature, is a minefield! When I had a look at one of my sister's books in German I could see that the translator had truly 'got' the flavour and the voice of the Cape Breton narrator.
wow, to be able to speak German is impressive, and when you have toddlers one can't sit in evening-classes reading absurd grammar constructions.
Of course I am bursting with curiosity which books your sister writes. If it is too private, please tell me in an email!
It is very difficult to bring authentic style and voice into a translation. And 'machines' might take jobs away from office secretaries (sad enough that they do that), but not easily from literature translation - though those jobs are badly paid, one couldn't make a living by that.
I've only just found this out from a different classical blogger, but Medusa was a protective being - she turned enemies into stone, apparently. My hair used to look like that.ReplyDelete
Did you ever see the advert (on You Tube) which features the young, German Coastguard left in charge of the radio for the first time? "We are sinking..."
I love Bernini's Medusa because she is really beautiful (even with her snake-hair) - and that is what she originally has been: a ravishing beauty, As so often it was sheer jealousy (in this case by Pallas Athene: she found Poseidon with Medusa in one of her temples making love), that prompted the misfortune - and made her turn the poor girl into a monster.
Now: What are you (s)thinking about? German engineers translating for Google? I always met English men who are able to speak fluently (Queen's) German.
I love that Medusa. I do see your posts in German, which is fun. I think you've got the right attitude about translating: got to make hay while the sun shines!ReplyDelete
she really is a beauty - one longs to touch her. Sad and sullen in her face - depends on the angle from which one looks at her. As everything :-)
And you are right about the hay days!
I told grandchildren today how to handle pronouncing "ie" and "ei" in German. They were so impressed I did not confess how little I recall from my one semester of German.ReplyDelete
You are so light hearted in spite of all your hard work!
so you know German! I think one semester gives one a feeling and the basics of a language (and insight into another country). Your grandchildren must have loved it!
I remember a scene when my son and a friend, then both about 5 years old, couldn't stop laughing when I translated "Wieviel?" into "How much?" - which sounds identically equal to "Hau Matsch" - meaning: "Hit the mud!"
I do have a bit of an obsession with Medusa ……. she fascinates me …… and, our son got A* for GCSE German and A for his A-level German and his degree was in German and Music and he has pursued a wonderful career in music. That was a bit of a diverse comment Britta …… a son who was very good at German and a but of an obsession with Medusa ….. what can I say !!!!! XXXXReplyDelete
I love wonderful degrees (being a proud mother & mother-in-law, too). To master music and German with such an outstanding success is a good reason to celebrate - and your son must be very analytical too (as a students' adviser I always had people with brain take to music/philosophy/sometimes math added). So: congratulations!
As to Medusa: I understand your fascination. I'm (at the moment) collecting cupids with my camera. Fun!
Your opening to "Berlin thirdly" captures Gernhadt's homage to Heraclitus --the Greek who used a river as a similar metaphor. Nicely done!ReplyDelete
thank you! I love the way Gerhardt plays with Heraclite's prototype, and the image of the big city as a sea one steps into is nice - more fascinated I'm with the change of view, by changing oneself over the years. ("The policemen are definitely becoming younger" :-)
I, too, thought of Heraclitus's river--though I did not know where to attribute until now! (Thank you, Geo.)ReplyDelete
As to the city which seems to to regress, I am reading a book about the three levels of time and one of them is individual consciousness, which Gernhardt so well captures with 'Berlin thirdly!'
Geo. so often brings aspects into view that help me to see e.g. poetry in a new light.
Your statement about the three levels belongs into that category too: thank you for 'the individual consciousness' tip!
I'm so awful with fixing my hair, snakes might be an improvement.ReplyDelete
Talking about the German language made me think of an article I read a while back, so I had to find it so I could share it with you. Took me a little while, but success! I hope you get as much of a kick out of it as I did:
Ben Schott's lists are always fun - and the new German words are so well-thought out that I don't know which one I would prefer. "Leertretung' is great, and "Eisenbahnscheinbewegung" I will see soon, when I go to Munich by train. About "Zeigarnixfrustration" husband and I talked a few days before: the very young Mozart couldn't endure that his father had interrupted a song two accords too early - some time later YM went to the piano and played them - "So!". We discussed it because I hate incomplete sentences :-)
Google translate is only really useful for giving a very rough idea of what a piece of writing is about. If you're lucky :)ReplyDelete
yes - "very rough" it is - and hilarious if one looks up the French version: they filled in only a few words of each sentence! :-)
Dear Britta - You have my total admiration for writing this blog in English let alone considering translating another one.ReplyDelete
Most of the images of Medusa are, to my eyes, rather grotesque, I generally enjoy the ones created during the Art Nouveau period, but now I can add this glorious one you have shown by Gianlorenzo Bernini.