To my readers who speak German…

…I need your help with translating poetry for the German version of Sleight of Hand. Please vote for the best translation by naming it in a comment below.

The English text is

This is the gift and the sorrow of the Athanate; to see your loves pass before you like the days of summer while your heart still beats. To keep your vigil in the shadows and rise again with every sun.

And I have 4 alternative German versions.

  1. Dies ist das Geschenk und Leid der Athanate, deine Geliebten scheiden zu sehen, wie die Jahreszeiten, während Dein Herz weiterschlägt. Im Schatten Wache zu halten und mit jedem neuen Sonnenaufgang erneut aufzustehen.
  2. Dies ist die Gabe und das Leid der Athanate; unsere Geliebten schwinden zu sehen, wie die Tage des Sommers, während dein Herz noch schlägt. Um im Schatten der Nacht über sie zu wachen und doch mit jedem Sonnenaufgang aufzustehen.
  3. Dies ist das Geschenk und Leid der Athanate, deine Geliebten scheiden zu sehen, wie die Jahreszeiten, während Dein Herz weiterschlägt. Im Schatten Wache zu halten und mit jedem Tagesanbruch wieder aufzuerstehen.
  4. Dies ist die Gabe und das Leid der Athanate; unsere Geliebten schwinden zu sehen vor dem Sommertag, während dein Herz noch schlägt. Um deine Wache im Schatten zu halten und mit jedem Sonnenaufgang aufzustehen.

Now obviously, I have thought about the voting method, including proportional representation, 🙂 but I’m going for first past the post – the translation that has the most ‘favorite’ votes will be the one that appears in the book.

Also, if you can do better, please post an alternative. So, even if you voted for one, please come back and see if there are better translations – obviously, you are allowed to change your vote!

If one of you is voted the best poet, then you get a free copy!

The book will be published next Wednesday.

 

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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first book, 'Sleight of Hand' is available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/Sa0D3n

21 responses to “To my readers who speak German…”

  1. Cat-Gerlach says :

    If you want it to sound poetic, try this:

    Dies ist die Gabe und die Bürde der Athanate; die Lieben scheiden zu sehen wie Sommertage, während dein Herz weiter schlägt, in den Schatten zu wachen und sich mit jedem Sonnenaufgang neu zu erheben.

    • leveke says :

      I like this version the most. I prefer the phrase “In den Schatten Wache zu halten” over “In den Schatten zu wachen” though. The first also implies the position of a guardian in the shadows while the second is simply about living in them

    • Ralph Sherberg says :

      Dies ist die Gabe und das Leid der Athanate, deine Geliebten scheiden zu sehen, wie die Tage des Summers während Dein Herz noch schlägt. Im Schatten Wache zu halten, und mit jedem Sonnenaufgang wieder aufzustehen.

      # Mark! The Word “Gabe” is a must. It also implies an ability… one gives a “Gabe” or “Spende” in a church. My 2nd sentence used certain “poetic license” in that it is not exactly complete… but relies on the “You” being “Understood”!
      The 4 choices were all good translations, I combined the translations though
      to be – what I considered – more harmonious… 🙂

      • Cat-Gerlach says :

        I think the word “Leid” connect with a very negative feeling. I understand the loss and sorrow they face, but they have learned to accept and bear this burden, so I think “Bürde” fits much better. It includes the sadness of losses but also the acceptance. But in the end, it’s your story, so you get to choose.

    • Ralph Sherberg says :

      I like this too…. and “Gabe und die Bprde” is flowing and good. Atmosphere!

  2. soireadthisbooktoday says :

    Good luck on the German translation! I am one of those boring people who don’t speak German…. 🙂

    Hope you and the family are doing well!

    Hugs,
    Leiah

  3. Moritz Walter says :

    first I was going to vote for option 2, but after reading the comments I vote for Cat-Gerlach’s version.

  4. Mark Henwick says :

    …and what’s the right price for the book on Amazon.de?

  5. Peter Schnitzler says :

    I would also go for Cats translation. 4 would be my second choice.

  6. Heike says :

    Well, I guess even for a German native speaker this is hard core stuff…..sorry even if I am German I can’ t help 🙂

  7. Heike says :

    please delete my surname on the post….

  8. Mark Henwick says :

    Current first place is

    Dies ist die Gabe und die Bürde der Athanate; die Lieben scheiden zu sehen wie Sommertage, während dein Herz weiter schlägt. In den Schatten Wache zu halten und sich mit jedem Sonnenaufgang neu zu erheben.

    From Cat and Leveke. I’ll close this tomorrow, and it looks as if I’ll be sending two prizes (mobi copies) out. 🙂

    The book will be published on Wednesday. I will keep the title using ‘verborgene’, which I understand gets away from the card game reference.

  9. Mark Henwick says :

    Cat and Leveke won!!
    Thank you to both of them and to those who commented and voted.
    The book has been submitted to the Amazon servers and should be available sometime in the next day. I’ll post when it is.

    Leveke, could you please send me an email to mark@athanate.com and I’ll email back to you the translated book as your prize. (Cat’s email I know and I’ve sent hers already).

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