eilonwy2017: (We're So Screwed - SPN)
This sentence is making my head explode:

In ihrer ohnehin stets durch kirchliche Repressalien oder spontanen Volkszorn bedrohten Existenz wäre es keinem von ihnen in den Sinn gekommen, mehr zu wollen, als der Obrigkeit—günstigstenfalls der Monarchin selbst (z.B. als Hofastrologe)—zu dienen.

Just thought you should know.

I have been staring at it for, it seems like hours. I have pulled it apart. I have looke dup words. I have figured out that it's (probably) in the subjunctive (II) case-- although I've never been 100% certain what that means anyway. I cannot figure out the subject, however. Nor what the hell the words between the verbs are doing. And I haven't even looked a the bit after the first comma!!

So you see why I might be going a bit crazy as I try to finish this 10 page assignment. Le sigh.

EDIT: Holy crap. I figured out why I couldn't find the subject-- EVERYTHING from "ohnehin" to "Existenz" is the subject! the whole phrase! GUH.


Dec. 8th, 2009 01:19 pm
eilonwy2017: (Work)
In a stunning anti-climactic move, the German book I wrote about before pretty much dropped the mailman and Miss Meier saga for the last third of its chapters in favor of nonsensical sentences by Neitsche. In the very last exercise, however, we did learn that the mailman and Miss Meier ran off to get married, and that there was a lot of booze at the reception. I knew you'd want to know. The questions of the mailman's father (who disapproved of Miss Meier), or who was taking care of Miss Meier's cats, or how she will continue her matchmaking business now that she can no longer play the field were all left unresolved.

Speaking of which, we finished the book last week and have been spending all the classtime since working on our own translations. That is what I am (nominally) doing right now in my final office hours of the semester. (It is conceivable that a student may wish to come by to ask questions about the 221 final exam. I would be surprised, however.)

The assignment is to translate an article-- 10 pages of double-spaced English text. Unfortunately, doing this is really hard, despite having access to various online and offline dictionaries and texts. I mean, what do you do with a sentence that has three verbs in a row, one of which can be translated as both "to teach " and "to learn" and a number of other things. The answer generally comes down to "context" but when everything needs to be contextualized in order to translate it, it becomes impossible.

I have done seven (7!) pages of this work so far, although I know that those pages need some serious revision, and, to be quite frank, I still am not particularly sure of what this guy is arguing-- even though it's an article on Faustus and other (English) Elizabethan staged magicians.

(Oh hey! Speaking of German(y), yesterday I discovered that the Oberammagau Passion Play has its own Facebook page. How wacky is that?)

For two whole paragraphs, the author blessed me with short sentences. Alas, it was only to lull me into a false sense of security as he then slammed me with two paragraph length ones. Grr! The only words I recognized in the most recent one, at first glance, were "der Stephen Greenblatt" and "'secret agenda' des elisabethanischen Dramas," for reasons which should be rather clear. I am pleased, however, that the sentence upon which I am about to embark has a list of names (real life Elizabethan magicians-- I recognize John Dee's name), and halfway down this newest page there is a chunk of text from Faustus, in English. (Of course, that doesn't really take space in the translation, but still, it's a visual and mental relief, an oasis to look forward to in the desert of German verbs.)

Every time I finish a paragraph, it's like a wee celebration. I do a little dance of joy (no, not really.)

At 3, instead of class, we're meeting (if we want to) over in a nearby cafe, and the professor will help with any questions we have. This is nice, but I'm not sure how much it will actually help. (It will help, actually, if for no other reason than to get me out of my office which currently smells inexplicably like the nasty nasty stinky fertilizer that the ASU people use. No, my shoes don't have any on them.)

Any language which has something called "the overloaded adjective construction" is inherently problematic. Take, for example, the following sentence, which isn't even a particularly gruesome example:

Das ist im übrigen auch die Rolle, die die zeitgenössischen Vertreter okkulter Gelehrsamkeit, Männer wie John Dee, Robert Fludd oder Simon Forman, sich selbst zudachten.

(hey neat! the umlauts copied!)

the phrase in the middle there, which starts "die die" is problematic because at first glance it looks like "the the".

(I still don't know what "sich selbst zudachten" means, so don't ask. It might mean " to think for themselves" but then again it might not.)

I have chosen, probably erroneously, after a long time of staring, many trips to the online dictionary (dict.cc is my current preferred one, but dict.leo.org is useful, too), rather more time playing ZooWorld on Facebook than I ought, and some creativity, to translate that sentence as:

"That is also besides the roles, which the contemporary representatives of occult scholarship, men like John Dee, Robert Fludd or Simon Forman, thought for themselves."

Is it right? I have no idea. Does it make sense? Not particularly!

I'd like an A in this class, and currently have one. I need a B in this class to have it count for my language requirement. ::fingers crossed::

eilonwy2017: (Sick Pumpkin)
Not much has developed in their relationship over the past few chapters. The only big new I haven't shared is that his father doesn't approve of her. And that they canceled a date (although I use the term loosely) to the zoo because of a difference in world views. I'm unclear on this last bit.

Chapter 27, however, has a few tidbits you might like to know (as I struggle with translating the "overloaded adjective construction.")

The book asks, Is the mailman a man persecuted by fate?

A cockroach jumping high in the air frightened Miss Meier, while she sat with the mailman.

The mailman saw in the plucky hippo newly escaped from the zoo a symbol of the craving for freedom of people and animals. (The book also informs us, in English, for no apparent reason, that the hippo's name was Bubbles.)

So there you go. (I have more homework for the week, but I need to do other work for now.) I'll share more about the adventures of Miss Meier and her mailman as I learn them.

(In unrelated news, my tummy really hurts. Hence the icon. I thought I was just dehydrated, but water hasn't helped. I've not eaten anything unusual-- my usual cream cheese and English muffin for breakfast, and now a large salad for lunch. No change. My abdomen feels sort of achey all over, but with some more acute (but not steady) pain right in the middle. Is not fun.)


Oct. 28th, 2009 10:03 pm
eilonwy2017: (Hee Sam)
I find it really amusing that the word "Akt" translates from German as any of the following (depending, one assumes, on context):

1. act
2. ceremony
3. nude


Oct. 17th, 2009 01:53 pm
eilonwy2017: (Sam is Not Amused)
Grumph grumph grumph. I am a gretsy Eilonwy.

Mostly I have a baseline spazzed-out stressed-out crazy mood 'cause of how much I need to accomplish before Tuesday morning.

A sampling:

Chore Stuff:
Clean (and my house isn't just dirty, it's also MESSY); prepare cat stuff (they're being babysat by Flurije), laundry (so I don't have to travel naked); pack (see previous); shop (for some cold weather conference style clothes); run errands for things like cat litter/cat food

Teaching Stuff:
Prepare 3 lesson plans for 101, 1 lesson plan for 221 (even though I don't know what's being taught on Monday/Wednesday), grade 21 papers (101); prepare the lecture and powerpoint for a 221 lecture for as soon as I get back, prepare an assignment for 221; read book 8 of Morte d'Arthur; cast Pyramus & Thisbe (for 221); prepare Pyramus & Thisbe script

Conference Stuff:
Respond to the criticism of my paper (it's a roundtable); read and criticize other people's papers

Academic Stuff:
Research/find/pepare my reading list and portfolio to turn in on Monday; attend a production meeting for The Second Shepherd's Play which I will be either-- get this-- directing or playing the lead female role in. HA! I did say I wanted more theatre in my life.

You know. All by Sunday night.

ANYWAY, I actually started this post to complain about the BuddyTV contest I entered. If you followed the link I posted on Thursday, you'll have noticed that there are 4 showdowns with 40 entries in each. But rather than choosing your favorites of the 40, or ranking them, you're faced with two images you get to choose between, out of a possible 780 (for each showdown) pairings. I suppose you're expected to go through all 780 of them.

This would be fair, I guess, if it moved entries up or down bracket style, based on which one beats which one. BUT NO! As far as I can tell, entries are being ranked based on a flat number of votes (clicks) they receive.

And that would still be fair, I think, if every person voting went through all 780 matches. But they take a long time to load and even if they didn't, 780 is a lot and I have a life (see above; no matter how incredibly RIDICULOUS my life may be, it's a life) so I, for example, don't have time to click through 780 pairings. And I really really really doubt that anyone else does, too.

Maybe it is still fair because all the pairings that come up are random, so any time someone starts (but doesn't finish, I'm betting) going through the pairings, they're getting a random pairing and therefore randomly have the choice to give one of two entries his/her vote. But it doesn't seem quite fair.

My point in all this is not sour grapes. I don't, at this point, know how my entries are doing (although I'll admit that last time I looked, they were not doing well.) My point is that I kind of wish I hadn't entered/put effort into it because I don't feel like the results will be fair. (If I felt they were fair and I was still losing, that'd be a different story. Still incredibly disappointing, but ok.)

ANYWAY. I am going to get dressed now (I overslept.) And do some of the above stuff, followed by some more of the above stuff, and then with some more of the above stuff on top.

(On the bright side, last night I did manage to finish my German homework, and the majority of a piece of crappy stupid busy work work for PFF. Chugging along, I guess, chugging along.)

Wish me luck.
eilonwy2017: (Default)
According to German Quickly, Miss Meier and the mailman seem to have a little somethin'-somethin'. So far in the first three chapters we have learned that Miss Meier has two good cats (indicating, perhaps, a state of spinsterhood?). She also answers the mailman and bakes him an apple-cake. Then, I think, he gives her a red rose. (I might be confused about who's doing the giving there.) Things are getting hot and heavy in a Prussian kind of way. Then we learn that the mailman does a lot.

Then things jump ahead. Every friend of the mailman knows Miss Meier. (If you know what I mean, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) Oh reeeeeally?

I will update you further on the torrid affair between Miss Meier and the mailman in future chapters, should they pop up.

Also, apparently "the wife of the doctor doubts the proverb," so I guess the disorderly lives of people aren't making her husband rich? Or perhaps she's just cranky at German proverbs concerning doctors in general, as the next one to show up is "The earth covers the errors of doctors"!!

Meanwhile, the theme of mothers and aphorisms continue. Repetition is, evidently, the mother of wisdom. Really?! How dull. Fathers don't get off entirely scot free this time, either, though. Effort is the father of luck, evidently. Daughters are in on this time 'round, too: Health is the daughter of work. Ugh.

While I'm here, could someone translate this for me?

Der Segen der Eltern baut den Kindern [die] Hauser. (there should be an umlaut over the "a" in Hauser, but I'm lazy.) I translated it as The blessing of the parents builds the house of the children. But "den Kindern" is dative, so it can't be "of the children." I is confoozled. :( [livejournal.com profile] mousecatfish?
eilonwy2017: (Sam Oh. Really.)
I'm beginning to wonder if my German is far, far worse than I thought it was. Or if the author of German Quickly is smoking crack. Or if Germans just smoke a lot of crack.

Some of the sentences I've translated today (and keep in mind that we're only on chapter 3, so while I could be making mistakes, these aren't complex sentences and therefore my mistakes can't be that bad.)

The truth has a beautiful face, but torn clothes.
I understand this one, but I find it disturbing.

Haste breaks legs.
Gotta say I find "Haste makes waste" less distressing.

Farmers love long sausages and short sermons.
Do I have a guttermind or is this somewhat subtextually dirty?
(Also, in my homework I refuse to translate bratwurst as sausage. I'll find out on Tuesday (when I get my first homework back) if that's problematic. But to me bratwust is... bratwurst. I suppose this comes of growing up in PA Dutch country, but still...)

Misfortune has broad feet.
And you know what they say about an anthropomorphism with big feet!.

These next few I didn't translate-- they're translated in the textbook. It seems to me that the Germans have mommy-issues.
Fortune is the mother of misfortune.
Caution is the mother of wisdom.
Wealth is the stepmother of virtue.
Poverty is the arts' mother.

also, The world is the devil's bride.

Haste is the mother of imperfection.
This one I translated, so could be wrong).

Wealth is the stepmother of virtue? I don't know what that's suppose to mean...

The goat is the cow of the small man.

Surely I mistranslated the next one...
The disorderly lives of the people is the wellbeing of the arts.
Well, wait, no... actually I think I'm right. Well, this from a country who gave us Brechtian theatre, no?
HA! No. I mean
of the doctors. That makes a lot more sense. Hee.

I think that's a sign that I should stop for now. Fortunately, I have accomplished half the homework. I'm going to spin for a bit, I think, before doing more German. After a bit of German work my brain starts to get fuzzy. If/when I have kids, I am so putting them in foreign language classes when they are very, very young and still able to easily learn languages.

Speaking of German silliness-- sort of-- ... my office mate is taking an architecture class because his area of study is spaces in literature. (He's the one who wrote/presented a paper on House of Leaves, for example.) One of the class's assignments (and this is a graduate level class, but in the Architecture department) is to write and perform a "Techtonic Rap." It's a ridiculous sounding assignment anyway, but I suggested that he should, instead, write and perform "Teutonic Rap"; just walk in an bust out rapping auf Deutsch. It'd be awesome.

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