KeskusteluBook Recommendations Requests

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tammikuu 11, 1:47am

I am looking for quintessential translations of Heidi. I never read it in childhood. However, I am kind of fussy about proper and lovely English usage. For instance, my favorite translation of Swiss Family Robinson is by Kingston. I know there are probably others I would like, but they are hard to come by. I don't like the super dumbed-downed comic book versions, currently, enamored of our library system. I am also terribly fond of the language of The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter. If Jane Austen made a translation, that would be perfect. lol. ( I know- wrong generation ).

Thank you

tammikuu 11, 1:26pm

I’m interested in hearing opinions as well. Translator never occurred to me for this work; perhaps because I’ve had it since very young. I can’t locate that original edition, gifted me by my Nana. I do have hands on another, translated by Helen B. Dole. At first glance, it doesn’t seem to have the phrasing and flavor that caught my devotion so long ago.

tammikuu 13, 1:03am

I just checked and the version I owned as a kid was the Helen Dole translation originally from 1899. I'm moderately certain any other version would seem "not quite right" to me. But I wasn't much of a language critic as a kid, and I can't say whether or not it has the english usage you want.

You might find this article which discusses many of the major translations interesting: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13614541.2010.495568

Assuming it is correct, there have been no new translations since 1960; so as long as you don't pick up an adapted, abridged, or emended copy, it might be harder to find a modern dumbed-down translation than not.

tammikuu 13, 3:43pm

>3 merrystar:
Thank you for the article. It will be a good source.

At Gutenberg, there are three versions: One is the Stork translation, which is choppy, but from the article that you linked, it seems the original German was choppy. The second is the the Mabel Abbot translation. The third is not identified, but has similar wording and structure to Mabel Abbot. One of them includes a small introductory sentence about the footpath, and one does not.

But at least, now, I am armed with some versions that are presumably as worthy as possible. I can see if the library system has something older. Some of the tiny ones have held onto old books; whereas, our local one throws out everything old in favor of the new and shiny.

Thanks to both of you for reaching out. Greatly appreciated

tammikuu 18, 7:07am

My childhood version was the "Bancroft Classics" one. But they made point of not recording their translators. However I would not consider it a dumbed-down version.

tammikuu 18, 8:51pm

>5 -pilgrim-: Thank you

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 27, 4:03pm

I have been able to acquire a few copies now. I am hoping that the Marian Edwardes translation will arrive, shortly. Booksellers don't seem to concern themselves, much, with matching actual details of the book, with their written claims. So, I have more than one Helen B Dole version at this time. I also gained a translation by Philip Schuyler Allen & Helen Watkins. It is a shame that the Watkins version disappeared, as I think, ( on very brief perusal ) that it will be my favorite, thus far. Philip Schuyler Allen's version is pleasant enough, but he takes a few liberties with the language that alter the mood. He calls meadow- "moor"; girl- "lassie"; and Alm-uncle - "NUNCLE" & MEADOW UNCLE. I will have to look up and see if NUNCLE is a word that has meaning in the past- but it seems weird to me. Perhaps it a Scottish thing, similar to MOOR & LASSIE. Elaine Hall's translation is pleasant enough. The minute details that she omits or smooths over, don't destroy the overall imagery; though, I am glad to have other versions to compare with it. Overall, I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend the one illustrated by Tomi Ungerer. It is a lightly revised version of Dole, with the illustrator being the main attraction. I found the mood of his paintings, inconsistent. Some very nice backdrops of scenery; but the characters more often than not are done in caricature which I find less endearing. Sharp's illustrations in the Illustrated Junior Library Edition are pleasant enough. A few seem out of place and cartoony, as well. However, be mindful that in the newer releases- fewer of the color images have been included. I would guess fewer than half of them.

Hope that helps others

tammikuu 27, 4:26pm

Yes, thanks. Please continue reporting your impressions and notes.

tammikuu 28, 2:24am

"Nuncle" sounds Shakespearean to me. But I can't remember which play/plays.

helmikuu 11, 11:43pm

Very Brief Update.

Most older versions- follow Dole. They change a word- or transpose the phrases of the sentence.

MABEL ABBOT 1916: I would say that it is abridged. She leaps over entire paragraphs.

1950's: Maurice Rosenbaum- mostly Dole - I would say it is abridged. He leaves things out.
Eileen Hall- Ditto. Ditto Ditto

(Perhaps, I do not understand all the technicalities that Abridged implies )

Marian Edwardes 1910: only just perused a version online, either it isn't really Edwardes- or he, too, has plagiarized Dole.

and Speaking of Dole. So you think u have a Dole Translation??? I found one online from 1899, and it differs from the one
I purchased from 1927. So, even, Dole, isn't a singly unity.

As I have been going over them one paragraph at a time, in order of publication, I can, also, see how each next version influences the next version.

Bottom line- read all childhood books from other languages, before U grow up, and find yourself trapped in house w/ no egress.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 12, 3:26pm

I keep expecting to see the name of Charles Tritten in this thread as his was the translator name I knew - don't know if the Heidi I read in the 1970s was his version but the 2 sequels by him (Heidi Grows Up: Heidi's Children) had a strapline on the cover saying "by the translator of.." He did the French + English translations.

The sequels are a bit meh, imo.

helmikuu 12, 4:29pm

>11 nessreader:. CHARLES TRITTEN is waiting for me at the library as is LOUISE BROOKS. I cannot escape the confines of home until next weekend.
I have read some excruciating reviews of his translation, tho- so I am curious as to what he could possibly have done.

Louise Brooks is one of the older ones, so, it will be nice to compare to DOLE, but I worry, that it cannot help but be altered if it is in the library system, from the original; especially as I now see that DOLE, too, varies, even if slightly.

I found MELCON on line. He follows Dole, but I see where he was influenced by or influenced PHILIP SCHUYLER ALLEN.

AND.... I made quite an impossible request to my Librarian, to see if she could get a pdf/ photocopy of SONNESCHEIN, the oldest known English Translation, from the Archive at Pennsylvania. I'm not certain I expect any compliance, on their part...

helmikuu 12, 6:58pm

>12 EGBERTINA: Library loan is a fantastic thing so don't give up yet. Although with work-from-home things take longer to happen.

helmikuu 12, 9:07pm

Fascinating thread. EGBERTINA, any chance of mapping your findings visually? (I suspect that people already use tools for this. A cross between a family tree and a mindmap, perhaps?)

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 2:40am

WELL, actually, I charted the first few paragraphs. The first chapter, I charted, differently, simply by breaking down sentences into phrases / pertinent words- to see how they compared. but it is scribbled out- and one piece of paper per translation- then I paper clipped them to keep them grouped. I'm not very techie - so I haven't figured out how I could do a side by side without it being 60000 pages.

One thing that was enlightening to me Was Dete's name. In the back of my head, I knew the German e at the end had a slight push/pronunciation- but it didn't gel until, I saw somebody translate her name- as we say it- Deta. And of course, growing up, Shirley Temple always made me think her name was Dee Dee. So, I am assuming Brigitte - is Bri- zhee - ta- as in Sound of Music.

I have even begun, knock on wood, my own version- not a translation- obviously, but picking out a phraseology that sounds pleasing to my ear. I hesitate to say it it- because I don't know how long or if I can finish it. One thing across all translations that drives me up the wall is putting in extraneous words. I don't mind extra adjectives- but nobody needs three prepositions in a row. "climbed up over to"
Climbed says it all. If you are climbing- u are ascending- therefore- Up.

I'm not a creative writer, just an organizer.

If anybody has suggestions as how to arrange comparisons that won't take more time than I am already expending- I will ponder them. I am halfway rolling it through my head if it can be done KEYNOTE- which I can utilize a little- it still requires some way to chart things into rows or squares- which is like a ( what do u call those things?) spreadsheet- which I learned to do billions of years ago on an old computer- but don't know how to do it now. The only other thing, I envisioned was writing my own squares and sticking them to pasteboard- but that is too much work- and would take hundreds of poster boards. ( and I have been skipping over the conversation parts for the charting )

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 3:01am

>9 nessreader: King Lear for one - that’s how the Fool calls Lear.

helmikuu 13, 4:52am

>16 AnnieMod:
When I looked it up- it had a much broader usage than just Shakespeare. I guess it was a thing. Essentially, miNeUncle smooshed together, the way Brits, so divinely, smoosh words and syllables.

helmikuu 13, 11:09am

>17 EGBERTINA: oh, yes. But the question was which play :)

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 11:29am

>16 AnnieMod:. >17 EGBERTINA:.
Thanks for spotting the Lear quote.

Btw, can I rec a slightly relevant title for libraryloaning? It's very insubstantial but I liked it : Heidi's Alp also titled The Canary Coloured Cart by Christina Hardyment

Full disclosure, nobody I bullied into reading this liked it as much as I did. It's a 1990s travelogue about taking 3 small girls across mainland europe inna campervan visiting sites connected to childrens' classics - a ruined chateau for sleeping beauty, Italy for pinocchio, windmill museum for hans brinker. Hardyment has a professional interest but the children's attention span wanders so there's a lot of "Pay attention we spent good money on the windmill museum ticket and WHY aren't you ENJOYING yourself" The tangential connection: they are too late to get off an alp and shelter in the home of what the girls swear is your actual alm uncle.

helmikuu 13, 5:40pm

>19 nessreader:
Thank you, I will put that on my next library loan list, after I finish the Heidis & 7 more Newbery's.

Of course there will be no traveling in the foreseeable future; but I have pondered a similar type of travel. Of course, I'd be content just to get to PEI, not just for ANNE, but my people hail from there.

helmikuu 15, 11:04am


Well we are all making plans for post covid :) Please come back to this thread with impressions of the other editions

helmikuu 15, 3:31pm

>21 nessreader: Roger That.