We had to sweat and toil there before we got those boulders and clods out of the way, so that one could go along so nicely.
The plowing goes well in a field that has been cleared. But nobody wants the task of digging out the rocks and stumps. There is no such thing as earning the world's thanks. Even God himself cannot earn thanks, not with the sun, nor with heaven and earth, nor even the death of his Son. The world simply is and remains as it is, in the devil's name, because it will not be anything else.
Also habe ich hie Roma.
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Und der gleichen unzeliche weise inn teglichem brauch. I know very well that in Romans 3 the word solum is not in the Greek or Latin text — the papists did not have to teach me that. It is fact that the letters s-o-l-a are not there. And these blockheads stare at them like cows at a new gate, while at the same time they do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text -- if the translation is to be clear and vigorous [ klar und gewaltiglich ], it belongs there. I wanted to speak German, not Latin or Greek, since it was German I had set about to speak in the translation.
But it is the nature of our language that in speaking about two things, one which is affirmed, the other denied, we use the word allein [only] along with the word nicht [not] or kein [no]. For example, we say "the farmer brings allein grain and kein money"; or "No, I really have nicht money, but allein grain"; I have allein eaten and nicht yet drunk"; "Did you write it allein and nicht read it over?
An Open Letter on Translating
In all these phrases, this is a German usage, even though it is not the Latin or Greek usage. It is the nature of the German language to add allein in order that nicht or kein may be clearer and more complete. To be sure, I can also say, "The farmer brings grain and kein money," but the words " kein money" do not sound as full and clear as if I were to say, "the farmer brings allein grain and kein money. We do not have to ask the literal Latin how we are to speak German, as these donkeys do.
Rather we must ask the mother in the home, the children on the street, the common man in the marketplace. We must be guided by their language, by the way they speak, and do our translating accordingly. Then they will understand it and recognize that we are speaking German to them.
List of songs by Franz Schubert - Wikipedia
Welcher deudscher verstehet solchs? Was ist uberflus des hertzen fur ein ding? For instance, Christ says: Ex abundatia cordis os loquitur. If I am to follow these donkeys, they will lay the original before me literally and translate it thus: "Aus dem uberfluss des hertzen redet der mund" [out of the excessiveness of the heart the mouth speaks].
Tell me, is that speaking German? What German could understand something like that? What is "the excessiveness of the heart"?
No German can say that; unless, perhaps, he was trying to say that someone was altogether too generous, or too courageous, though even that would not yet be correct. That is speaking good German of the kind I have tried for, although unfortunately not always successfully.
The literal Latin is a great obstacle to speaking good German. Ut quid perditio hec? Ut quid perditio ista ungenti facta est? Was ist aber das fur deudsch? Was sol doch solcher unrat? For another example, the traitor Judas says in Matthew Ut quid perditio haec? According to these literalist donkeys I would have to translate it, "Warumb ist dise verlierung der salben geschehen? What German says "loss of the ointment occurred"?
And if he understands it at all, he would think that the ointment is lost and must be looked for and found again, though even that is obscure and uncertain enough. Now if that is good German why do they not come out and make us a fine, new German Testament and let Luther's Testament alone? I think that would really bring out their talents.
But a German would say Ut quid , etc. That was what Judas meant, because he thought he could have used it better. Again, when the angel greets Mary, he says: "Gegruesset seistu, Maria vol gnaden, der Herr mit dir" [Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you]. Up till now this has simply been translated according to the literal Latin. Since when does a German speak like that, "du bist vol gnaden" [you are full of grace]?
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One would have to think about a keg "full of" beer or a purse "full of" money. Therefore I translated it: "du holdselige" [thou pleasing one]. This way a German can at least think his way through to what the angel meant by his greeting. Now the papists are throwing a fit about me corrupting the Angelic Salutation, yet I still have not used the most satisfactory German translation.
Suppose I had used the best German and translated the salutation: "Gott grusse dich, du liebe Maria" [God greet you, dear Mary], for that is all the angel meant to say, and what he would have said if he had greeted her in German. Suppose I had done that! I believe that they would have hanged themselves out of their fanatical devotion to the Virgin Mary, because I had so destroyed the Salutation.
Aber was frage ich darnach? Yet why should I be concerned about their ranting and raving? I will not stop them from translating as they want.
But I too shall translate, not as they please but as I please. And whoever does not like it can just ignore it and keep his criticism to himself, for I will neither look at nor listen to it. They do not have to answer for my translation or bear any responsibility for it. Mark this well: I shall say " holdselige [pleasing] Mary" and " liebe [dear] Mary", and let them say "Mary volgnaden [full of grace]".
Anyone who knows German also knows what a hearty word "liebe" is: dear Mary, dear God, the dear emperor, the dear prince, the dear man, the dear child. I do not know if one can say this word "liebe" in Latin or in other languages with so much depth of feeling, so that it goes to the heart and resonates there, through all the senses, as it does in our language.
Denn ich halte S. I think that St. Luke, as a master of the Hebrew and Greek tongues, wanted to clarify and interpret the Hebrew word that the angel spoke when he used the Greek word kecharitomene. And I think that the angel Gabriel spoke with Mary just as he spoke with Daniel, when he called him Chamudoth and Ish chamudoth, vir desiriorum , that is "Dear Daniel.
Now if I were to literally translate the words of the angel, and use the skills of these donkeys, I would have to translate it as "Daniel, thou man of desires" or "Daniel, you man of lust "! Oh, that would be fine German! A German would, of course, recognize "Man", "Lueste" and "begirunge" as being German words, although not altogether pure, because "lust" and "begir" would be better. But when those words are put together as "thou man of desires" no German is going to understand it.
List of songs by Franz Schubert
He would perhaps even think that Daniel is full of evil desires. Now wouldn't that be a fine translation? So I must let the literal words go and try to discover how the German says what the Hebrew says with ish chamudoth. I find that the German says this, "You dear Daniel", "you dear Mary", or "you gracious maiden", "you lovely maiden", "you gentle girl" and so forth. A translator must have a large store of words so that he can have them all ready when one word does not fit in every context. Und was sol ich viel und lang sagen von dolmetschen?
Why should I even bother to talk about translating so much? If I were I to explain all the reasons and considerations behind my words, I would need an entire year.
What are you looking for?
I have learned by experience what an art and what a task translating is, so I will not tolerate some papal donkey or mule acting as my judge or critic. They have not tried it. If anyone does not like my translations, he can ignore it; and may the devil repay him for it if he dislikes or criticizes my translations without my knowledge or permission. If it needs to be criticized, I will do it myself.