(urth) BotNS in German

Lisa Schaffer-Doggett harlekin at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 6 09:08:55 PST 2004

Not allowing a language to change is the surest way to make it 
irrelevant.  That's why all the moaning about the death of the english 
language makes me laugh.  IMO it's as vital a language as ever because 
it's mutable.  An obsession with words is like loving a dress more than 
the woman it adorns.  Fortunately for us, Wolfe loves the woman AND has 
exceptional taste in dresses.(this metaphor of course is gender 
reversible) As far as German and English, they are closely related in 
both vocabulary and in sentence structure, closer than english is to 
any romance language.  With a little digging I think a good translation 
would be doable.  Where there are latin, greek, and hebrew words, just 
use them as is.  The equivalents to obscure english words should be 
easily available, (as in the barbican example).  Getting the right feel 
might be hard, since German is such a straightforward language, and 
Wolfe is anything and everything but.  Then, if it was easy, someone 
probably would have done it by now, huh?


On Monday, December 6, 2004, at 02:14 AM, James Wynn wrote:

> Regarding the problems in translating Wolfe in to other languages, is 
> it the
> case that French and Germans *do not* borrow from other languages? I
> understand that the French have a governmental standards board the
> determines whether words are "French" or not but does this prohibit 
> French
> or Germans from using them in literature?
> I ask this because in "Castle of the Otter/Days" Wolfe compares his 
> use of
> obscure words to the use of science fictiony made-up words. Would there
> really be a problem with using a word like "barbicon" if no exact such 
> word
> existed in German?
> ~ Crush
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