https://www.duolingo.com/CalliopeSoul

When a German band has a song in a few languages but not German and you want to remedy this...

I've been getting into German metal band Blind Guardian and have listened to versions of their song "Harvest of Sorrow" in several languages, but I love German and am disappointed they don't have a version in German.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Night_at_the_Opera_(Blind_Guardian_album)#Album_content

Well...I can make my own translation! And I'll sing it too. I'm learning to play mandolin and think mandolin would work well with the song.

I was up to level 5 German classes in high school and took some intro college level courses. I had trouble with the grammar for a long time but Duolingo has helped me brush up a lot and I'm better at and more confident with German than ever. What better sort of project to start especially since I can blend in my bigger focus on music these days?

I've started a translation and I'm not going for a completely literal one and am aware of tricky things that can happen with translation even though this is the first I've tried it on this scale. I'll appreciate comments and suggestions! I'm posting the original English version lyrics below, then the German I have so far and the literal translation of the German. I hope that makes sense. One of the biggest challenges so far, though I'm enjoying it, is realizing how many verbs have only one instance in English while German has many separate verbs for different uses of what is a single verb in English. For example, "hinfallen," at least according to a dictionary I checked, is "falling" but only in the case of leaves falling.

I'm going to come back and edit this and/or comment with the translation so far. My Internet browser isn't loading the page well and I don't want to lose the post.

EDIT, adding translation so far after I commented with it

edited again, spacing fixed and some changes made to the German


English lyrics (not all of them but as far as I'm working with so far):

She is gone. Leaves are falling down.

The tear maiden will not return.

The seal of oblivion is broken

and a pure love's been turned into sin.

At the dawn of all (I saw "our" on some lyrics sites but went with "all) living time

hope may cover all cries.

Truth lurks hidden in the shadows.

Dreams might be filled with lies.

Soon there will be night.

Pain remains inside.

My in-progress German translation (I'm sure there are some fixes to be made.):

Sie ist fort. Blätter fallen.

Das Tränenmädchen macht keine Rückkehr.

Das Siegel von Vergessenheit aufbrechen (Present tense is easier for now.)

und ein reines Liebe machen zu Sünde.

Bei der Anbruch aller Zeit....

[end of what I have so far]

Literal translation of the in-progress German:

She is gone. Leaves are falling.

The tearful girl makes no return.

The seal of oblivion is breaking open

and a pure love turns into sin.

At the dawn of all time...

6/14/2017, 4:00:54 PM

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Paralars1

One of the biggest challenges so far, though I'm enjoying it, is realizing how many verbs have only one instance in English while German has many separate verbs for different uses of what is a single verb in English.

Welcome to language

By the way, I thought a mandolin was something used for making salads and stuff like that?

6/14/2017, 4:05:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/TheClock8797

There is something called a mandolin for slicing vegetables into thin pieces, but there is also an actual instrument called a mandolin.

6/14/2017, 4:09:00 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CalliopeSoul

I didn't know of the vegetable slicer haha, but that's definitely not what I was referring to! A mandolin is played similarly to a small guitar though, especially with its four sets of two strings, it's more closely related to the violin.

6/14/2017, 4:14:42 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CalliopeSoul

TheClock8797: We're both level 6 in the Irish course! :)

6/14/2017, 4:27:02 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CalliopeSoul

I did figure that's a very common translation problem lol

6/14/2017, 4:13:21 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CalliopeSoul

EDIT: I fixed the spacing here but otherwise left my first translation attempt as is.

English lyrics (not all of them but as far as I'm working with so far):

She is gone. Leaves are falling down.

The tear maiden will not return.

The seal of oblivion is broken

and a pure love's been turned into sin.

At the dawn of all (I saw "our" on some lyrics sites but went with "all) living time

hope may cover all cries.

Truth lurks hidden in the shadows.

Dreams might be filled with lies.

Soon there will be night.

Pain remains inside.

My in-progress German translation (I'm sure there are some fixes to be made.):

Sie ist weg. (not sure about using "weg" or "fort" for "gone") Blätte (not sure if this plural has an "n" on the end and I need an easier way to type umlauts) hinfallen.

Das Weinendmädchen macht kein Rückkehr.

Die Dichtung (not sure which "seal" word) von Vergessenheit aufbrechen (Present tense is easier for now.)

und ein reines Liebe machen zu Sünde.

Bei Tagesanburch von alles Zeit....

[end of what I have so far]

Literal translation of the in-progress German:

She is gone. Leaves are falling.

The tearful girl makes no return.

The seal of oblivion is breaking open

and a pure love turns into sin.

At the dawn of all time...

6/14/2017, 4:12:50 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Paralars1

Sie ist weg / Sie ist fort, both work here. fort is more poetic, weg is more casual tone. The Plural of Blatt is actually Blätter, and hinfallen usually refers to people who trip and fall. For leaves, you would just say fallen. That doesn't fit with the measure of course, but you could do something like "Blätter fall'n vom Baum". Tear means Träne, Weinend is the gerund form of weinen - to cry, and you can't form compounds with gerunds usually, just nouns. So Tränenmädchen fits better, even though I still don't know what that is. Rückkehr is a feminine noun, so "keine Rückkehr". Dichtung is a very technical term for seal, refering to pipes and machines and stuff like that, something that prevents leakage. Not very poetic. Siegel is the seal used for closing something like a letter, or for the fantasy-esque purpose. Also, Seehund is the animal seal ;). Liebe is feminine, as most poetic and abstract words are. Tagesanbruch means very literally daybreak, not something like dawn of time. Here you could say Beginn or Anbeginn.

In general, I really like this translation a lot, but you should try to look at some dictionary definitions before using those words, it will tell you the gender, and the actual definition. Because you already noticed that many words have several definitions in one language, but not another.

6/14/2017, 4:35:46 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CalliopeSoul

Thank you for the critique! I was looking through a dictionary for much of this and was often confused on what word to go with. I saw the many different words for seal and knew it obviously wasn't Seehund here, though I love that it's literally "sea dog" lol. I thought maybe the one that means seal as in seal on an envelope but I wasn't sure. I definitely want to go more poetic so I can go with "fort" instead of "weg." Maybe I read something incorrectly with the "falling" verb and looked at the wrong line or something though I had looked closely. I should have known to say "keine" for a feminine noun but thanks for pointing it out.

I did struggle with what words to use for "dawn of all living time." I hadn't been sure if the word for "daybreak" would be acceptable for a poetic usage, though I had said "der Anbruch von alles Zeit" at first. Do you know if "Tagesanbruch" is ever used in a poetic sense or if something else would work better poetically than "Beginn" or "Anbeginn"? Well I see you didn't choose the word "Anbruch" which I found in the dictionary. Would that one work or could you tell me why not?

I appreciate the comments! I'm aware I made some mistakes, though I definitely did keep gender and specific definitions in mind and looked things up, I'm out of practice though and admitted I've never tried translating something this long.

6/14/2017, 4:48:43 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Paralars1

I think "Der Anbruch der Zeit" / "Der Anbruch aller Zeit" / "Der Anbeginn der Zeit" all sound pretty reasonable.

And "Tagesanbruch" actually sounds very highbrow to me, you can definitely use it in a poetic way, but only if you're talking about the actual beginning of a day, otherwise I think it sounds very confusing (Because it literally has the word Tag in it, and Anbruch is completely sufficient)

6/14/2017, 4:54:37 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CalliopeSoul

I'll go with "Der Anbruch aller Zeit". Vielen Dank! :) Though I'm questioning if that's how I should be thanking you very much lol. I guess it's a bit more formal than Danke schön, though maybe a bit more formality is warranted as I don't know you personally.

6/14/2017, 5:02:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Paralars1

Danke = Thanks

Dankeschön = Thank you

Vielen Dank = Thank you very much

basically. But don't worry too much about it, these don't really have much to do with the "Du/Sie" adressing (which I don't care much about anyway), so Danke is fine!

6/14/2017, 5:13:25 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CalliopeSoul

I wasn't so much worrying about which one to use as I'm just interested in all these differences English doesn't have because I enjoy learning other languages. Irish is definitely interesting so far! Someone commented on a YouTube video of an Irish song I like "You didn't translate 'the' a few times" and after learning some Irish on here I'm able to say that's because Irish doesn't use definite articles! I hadn't realized the Japanese course is out. I'll be starting that soon. I was excited when I heard it was coming out.

6/14/2017, 5:19:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CalliopeSoul

I had spacing in the lyrics but I apparently need to learn how to format on here.

6/14/2017, 4:16:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Paralars1

you need to put double line breaks between paragraphs for god-knows-what reason

6/14/2017, 4:22:14 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CalliopeSoul

Thanks. I get used to formatting stuff like that but it depends on the website and sometimes I mix up how to do it or don't know.

6/14/2017, 4:25:29 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Rachel842061

Just a comment musically you might have to actually change the meaning/words slightly for the syllables to fit properly in time

6/14/2017, 11:39:27 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CalliopeSoul

I do get that about it. Though it's also easy enough to make certain words fit a certain rhythm without changing them

6/15/2017, 12:09:14 AM
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