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Author Topic: German translation not always optimal  (Read 641 times)

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Philipp

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German translation not always optimal
« on: February 03, 2018, 12:45:48 pm »
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It is probably already known that translations can introduce errors or ambuiguities. The German translation of Dominion too, while being good and fun, falls into that sub-optimal territory. (I would play in English, but not everyone I'm with understands it fluently.)

As a random example, the card Menagerie in Germany says something along the lines of "If you have cards with different names in your hand, + 3 Cards, otherwise +1 Cards". This is quite ambiguous: it could mean you only need *some* cards to be different, not all. And what happens if you only hold 1 hand, would that qualify for "holding cards with different names" -- it seems not, as one doesn't even have multiple cards! (The guide book makes this issue clearer in German, by the way.)

Now take the English original. The sentence simply is: "Reveal your hand. If there are no duplicate cards in it, +3 Cards. Otherwise, +1 Card." Boom. Absolutely crystal clear and easy to understand, no room for misunderstandings.

Or take what German Dominion World points out on their homepage's January news, where they say a part of the German second edition of the base game includes a printing error which has the Mine card read to trash an "action card" from the hand, when it should read "treasure"...

Other translation decisions are not directly ambiguous or introducing misunderstandings, but simply lack the direct clarity of the original. For instance, "Victory" cards are translated to just "Points". The more proper German translation would be either "Sieg" (Victory) or "Siegpunkte" (Victory points), a word used in other games, so it's not even uncommon.

I guess my rant ends here, and thanks for one of the best games in the world! I'm saying this as an owner of a huge collection of Spiel des Jahres games, but Dominion stands out as probably the one we play most often, including the extensions...
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 12:49:57 pm by Philipp »
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Watno

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« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 01:01:05 pm by Watno »
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Philipp

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2018, 12:51:40 pm »
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Thanks! By the way, since we discovered the Wiki today, we're now using an iPad near the table to resolve all ambuigities and questions by searching for the Wiki page with the original English text + Official FAQ.

For anyone who can't open above link, add a ")" to the end of the URL.
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Philipp

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2018, 12:52:49 pm »
+1

And wow... that errata page for the translation is LONG... any chance Dominion's German publisher is going to improve it for a new edition?
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Watno

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2018, 01:01:49 pm »
+1

And wow... that errata page for the translation is LONG... any chance Dominion's German publisher is going to improve it for a new edition?

I fugure that chance is about as high as things becoming worse in a new edition.
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Donald X.

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2018, 05:43:42 pm »
+1

see here: http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/index.php/%C3%9Cbersetzungsfehler_(german_translation_errors)
I think all of the HiG duration cards are wrong, in that they use a dividing line (which is now fully explained in the 2E rulebook).
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luser

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2018, 06:37:23 am »
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Czech translation is worse, it has things like translating torturer as jailer.
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Rabenkind

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2018, 10:30:18 am »
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see here: http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/index.php/%C3%9Cbersetzungsfehler_(german_translation_errors)
I think all of the HiG duration cards are wrong, in that they use a dividing line (which is now fully explained in the 2E rulebook).
No, only the Seaside and Empires duration cards are wrong. The Edventures duration cards are all right.
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Donald X.

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2018, 01:56:33 pm »
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see here: http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/index.php/%C3%9Cbersetzungsfehler_(german_translation_errors)
I think all of the HiG duration cards are wrong, in that they use a dividing line (which is now fully explained in the 2E rulebook).
No, only the Seaside and Empires duration cards are wrong. The Edventures duration cards are all right.
The only set with Duration cards that Hans im Gluck did was Seaside. I am hoping Altenburger actually got Empires right.
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Rabenkind

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2018, 05:25:11 pm »
+1

see here: http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/index.php/%C3%9Cbersetzungsfehler_(german_translation_errors)
I think all of the HiG duration cards are wrong, in that they use a dividing line (which is now fully explained in the 2E rulebook).
No, only the Seaside and Empires duration cards are wrong. The Edventures duration cards are all right.
The only set with Duration cards that Hans im Gluck did was Seaside. I am hoping Altenburger actually got Empires right.
Sorry, I didn‘t see the „HiG“
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Asper

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2018, 07:44:19 pm »
+2

Czech translation is worse, it has things like translating torturer as jailer.

That's what Germany did, too. It's "Kerkermeister" here. Also, "Summon" is translated as "Invitation". Beat that, Czech Republic!  ;)

Seriously though, I can forgive bad names, but I'll never get why they have to mess up the rules by adding unnecessary stuff. Apparently Altenburger decided that Events should be "purchased" instead of being bought, too.

Cave-o-sapien

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2018, 03:16:21 pm »
+1

I can forgive imperfect name translations; getting the right contextual meaning can be quite tricky. These mistakes are fairly common in games translated into English, as well.
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Watno

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 03:23:35 pm »
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Czech translation is worse, it has things like translating torturer as jailer.

That's what Germany did, too. It's "Kerkermeister" here. Also, "Summon" is translated as "Invitation". Beat that, Czech Republic!  ;)

Seriously though, I can forgive bad names, but I'll never get why they have to mess up the rules by adding unnecessary stuff. Apparently Altenburger decided that Events should be "purchased" instead of being bought, too.

The worst part is they didnt mention you have to pay for them.
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assemble_me

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2018, 01:53:25 am »
+3

I didn't like the translations either. That's why we threw them all away and started from scratch and translated the current English version when we did the German version of Dominion Online. Unfortunately, It's not really possible to rename established terms with very strict meaning and rules added to it. I'd never liked that they translated "gain" with "nehmen" (="take"). When Nocturne came out, I had to become creative for Boons.
It doesn't make sense to change card names because people may have problems to find the cards they know from the card game.
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Kirian

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Re: German translation not always optimal
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2018, 06:24:06 pm »
+2

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