Dec 28

Evertype would like to announce the publication of Reinhard F. Hahn’s new translation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into the Low German language, Alice ehr Eventüürn in’t Wunnerland. The book uses John Tenniel’s classic illustrations, with text on them localized into Low German (so instead of “DRINK ME”, the bottle says “DRINK MI”, etc.).


From the introduction:

Lewis Carroll is de Schrieversnaam vun Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, ’n Mathematik-Dozent in Christ Church, Oxford. Dodgson füng mit düt Vertelln an ’n 4. Braakmaand 1862 an, as he up’n Thems-Stroom ’n Paddel boottuur möök. Mit vun de Partie weern Paster Robinson Duckworth un dree Deerns: Alice Liddell (de teihn Jahr ole Dochter vun’n Dekaan vun Christ Church) un ẹhr Süstern Lorina (dörteihn Jahr old) un Edith (acht Jahr old). As wi vun’t Riemel an’n Anfang vun’t Book wies wardt, bẹden de dree Deerns Dodgson, dat he jüm wat vertell. So füng he an – toeerst nich so geern – de eerste Verschoon to vertelln. Up un daal in’n egentlichen Text findt sik mennig ’n Andüden an de fief Minschen, de an den Dag tosamen in’t Boot seten. Up’t Lest keem dat Book in’t Jahr 1865 ünner de Lüd’.

So wied mi dat wies is, is düt dat eerste Ọ̈verdrẹgen vun Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in’t Plattdüütsche (Nedderdüütsche). Afstammen dẹ düsse Spraak vun’t Old sassische, vun dat ook to’n Deel dat Ingelsche (d.h. „Angel sassische“) afkeem. Dat Middelsassische (in Düütschland tomehrst „Mittelniederdeutsch“ nöömt) was de Verkehrs spraak vun de Hanse, un vun de Spraak keem vẹẹl Inwarken in de Spraken vun de Noord- un Oostseeküsten, besünners de vun Skandinavien, vun’t Baltikum un vun Noordpooln. Ook dat Ingelsche kreg’ ’n paar Wöör vun’t Middelsassische mit, t.B. trade un sachs ook freight un boss. Hüdigendaags deit dat Plattdüütsche as ’n offitschelle Regionaalspraak in Noorddüütschland un in de nedderlandschen Oostprovinzen gellen. Vör’t Verdrieven an’t Enn vun’n Tweeden Weltkrieg wöör de Spraak ook in Rebeden to Oosten vun de hüdige düütsche Oostgrenz snackt.

Dat Plattdüütsche hett ’n Barg Dialekten un keen Stan dardspraak, ook keen Standardschrievwies’. Dat Ọ̈ver drẹgen in düt Book is in’t allgemeene Noord nedder­sassische. De Schrievwies’ is mehr or minn de vun Sass. Een Punkt ünner ’n Sülvstluudteken bedüüdt, dat ’t ’n Eenluud is. In annere, tomehrst öllere Warken, in de düsse wichtige Ünnerscheed maakt ward, bruukt se faken ’n Haken (ogonek) daarför. Een Apostroph achter b, v, d, g un s an’t Enn vun’n Woord steiht för’n Sleeptoon: de Een- or Tweeluud daarvör ward be sünners lang un de Mitluud week uutspraken (t.B. Lüd’ [lyːˑ(d)], wẹs’ [veːˑz] or [vɛːˑz]). De mehrsten Plattdüütsch schrievers kehrt sik nich an düsse Ünnerscheden, un daar wẹgen wardt ’n Barg Wöör verkehrt uutspraken mank de Lüd’, de sik dat Plattdüütsche tomehrst vun Schriften bibringt.

De Text wöör direktemang vun’t Ingelsche na’t Platt düütsche ọ̈verdragen, man af un an hett de Ọ̈verdrẹger vun wẹgen Woordspẹẹl na de düütsche Verschoon vun Antonie Zimmermann kẹken.

Groten Dank wẹẹt ik mien Kollẹg’ Reinhard “Ron” F. Hahn, den ik al jahrenlang kenn, dat he düt Ọ̈verdrẹgen in de Maak nahmen hett, as ik em daarto nödigen dẹ. Elk Ọ̈verdrẹgen vun düt Book is ’n Họ̈gen, ’n Sprakenfier, ’n Sprakengood.

Lewis Carroll is a pen-name: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was the author’s real name and he was lecturer in Mathematics in Christ Church, Oxford. Dodgson began the story on 4 July 1862, when he took a journey in a rowing boat on the river Thames in Oxford together with the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, with Alice Liddell (ten years of age), the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, and with her two sisters, Lorina (thirteen years of age), and Edith (eight years of age). As is clear from the poem at the beginning of the book, the three girls asked Dodgson for a story and reluctantly at first he began to tell the first version of the story to them. Many half-hidden references are made to the five of them throughout the text of the book itself, which was published finally in 1865.

To the best of my knowledge this edition presents the first translation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into Low Saxon (also known as Low German and by its German name Platt deutsch). This language is a descendant of Old Saxon, one of the ancestors of English. Middle Saxon (also known as Mittel niederdeutsch “Middle Low German” in modern German parlance) served as the international lingua franca of the Hanseatic Trading League and as such influenced many language varieties along the Baltic and North Sea coasts, especially those of Scandinavia, the Baltic Countries and Northern Poland. Contacts with Middle Saxon have resulted in English borrowing from it words like trade and possibly freight and boss. Its numerous modern dialects constitute a regional language that at the end of the 20th century came to be officially recognized in the Eastern Netherlands and in Northern Germany. The language also used to be spoken in regions east of today’s Germany, but at the end of the Second World War this ended with the expulsion of anyone considered German.

In the absence of a standard dialect, the variety used in this book is a somewhat generalized version of Northern Low Saxon, the largest dialect group of Northern Germany. In the absence of a standard orthography, Northern Germany’s predominant Sass Spelling System is applied (with minor changes, such as uut instead of abbreviated ut ‘out (of)’, ‘from’; cf. Scots oot). Long monophthongs are here dis­tinguished from diphthongs by means of a dot below a vowel character. Consistent with the initial but now mostly ignored instructions of the creators of this spelling system, a apostrophe (representing elided -e) following word-final b, v, d, g, and s (/z/) indicates that the vowel or diphthong of that syllable is extra-long and that the usual process of word-final consonant devoicing does not apply (as though the -e were still present (e.g., Lüd’ [lyːˑ(d)] ‘people’, wẹs’ [veːˑz] or [vɛːˑz] ‘be!’). These days, most Low Saxon writers, being unaware of such phonological processes, ignore these important orthographic devices, which results in mispronunciation by learners that rely on the written word.

The Low Saxon translation in this book is based on Carroll’s English original, with rare glances at the handling of names and wordplay in Antonie Zimmermann’s German translation.

I am grateful to my colleague of many years, Reinhard “Ron” F. Hahn, for having taken up the challenge to translate Alice on my instigation. Every translation of this wonderful book is a delight, a celebration of language, and a treasure.

Mar 25

Evertype is pleased to announce the publication of the 1869 translation by Antonie Zimmermann of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in German.


From the introduction:

Lewis Carroll ist ein Pseudonym. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson war der eigentliche Name des Autors; er war Dozent für Mathematik am Christ Church College in Oxford. Dodgson begann die Geschichte am 4. Juli 1862 bei einer Ruderpartie auf der Themse in Oxford, zusammen mit Pfarrer Robinson Duckworth, mit Alice Liddell (zehn Jahre) – der Tochter des Dekans der Christ Church –, und mit ihren beiden Schwestern Lorina (dreizehn Jahre) und Edith (acht Jahre). Wie man dem Gedicht am Anfang des Buches entnehmen kann, baten die drei Mädchen Dodgson um eine Geschichte und, zunächst widerwillig, begann er, ihnen die erste Version dieser Geschichte zu erzählen. Es gibt im Text des Buches, das schließlich im Jahre 1865 veröffentlicht wurde, viele versteckte Bezüge zu den fünf Personen.

Diese Ausgabe präsentiert die erste deutsche Übersetzung von 1869 für den heutigen Leser. Diese Übersetzung von Antonie Zimmermann war die erste Alice-Übersetzung in eine andere Sprache überhaupt. Sie wurde ursprünglich in Fraktursatz und in der für das neunzehnte Jahrhundert typischen Rechtschreibung veröffentlicht. Für die vor liegende Ausgabe wurde die Orthographie behutsam und nach den Regeln der bewährten deutschen Rechtschreibung modernisiert.

Lewis Carroll is a pen-name: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was the author’s real name and he was lecturer in Mathematics in Christ Church, Oxford. Dodgson began the story on 4 July 1862, when he took a journey in a rowing boat on the river Thames in Oxford together with the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, with Alice Liddell (ten years of age) the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, and with her two sisters, Lorina (thirteen years of age), and Edith (eight years of age). As is clear from the poem at the begin ning of the book, the three girls asked Dodgson for a story and reluctantly at first he began to tell the first version of the story to them. There are many half-hidden references are made to the five of them throughout the text of the book itself, which was published finally in 1865.

This edition presents the first translation into German of 1869 for the modern reader. The translation by Antonie Zimmermann was, in fact, the first translation of Alice into any language. It was originally published in a Fraktur typeface, and was written in a spelling typical of the nineteenth century. In preparing this edition, the spelling has been modernized with care and according to the rules of proven German orthography.

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