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Joined: Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Last Visit: Tuesday, December 08, 2015 3:51:12 PM
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Topic: translation of Wagner's Meistersinger opera
Posted: Tuesday, December 08, 2015 3:51:12 PM
In a privately sent message...

[I wrote:] On a slightly different note, yet related to this stanza, questions involve the word/phrase "Wahrtraumdeuterei"/"Wahrtraumeterey":

[you wrote:] Watch out! The word is 'Wahrtraumdeuterei'. The German language loves those multi-noun-combinations. A 'Wahrtraum' is a kind of dream which shows real events, which have either taken place already or are about to come true.

Yes, this is seems to make sense from what I gather about the meaning Wagner is trying to convey in that stanza about bringing a dream "true" by artistic "interpretation" of it.

[you wrote:] If I were to translate the sentence "all' Dichtkunst und Poeterei ist nichts als Wahrtraumdeuterei" into modern language
...(and) put it into rhyme, (though it is not entirely correct) I might end up with:

All song(s) and verse the world has known
show only truths our dreams have grown.


Yes, seems to me also that "songs" makes sense to have in there, since Wagner not only wrote it in an opera, but even more so because that stanza has the character instructing his student to compose the verses of a song. It seems to fit a bit better with what Wagner is trying to convey than just the word "verse" or "poems" alone. Nowadays we also use the word "verse" for the lyrics/stanzas in a song anyway.

Your use of the word "grown" is creative. I considered that word too (i.e. "show only truths which from dreams have grown"), but the meter wasn't quite as good with that line, so I left the original "shown" word. The the two lines are very close, though, and it seems we are on the same page.

Thanks again for all your translation wisdom!
Topic: translation of Wagner's Meistersinger opera
Posted: Friday, December 04, 2015 3:26:13 AM
In the mid 1800's Wagnerian opera Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (Act III, Scene II) Wagner writes:

"all' Dichtkunst und Poeterei
ist nichts als Wahrtraumdeuterei"

I have seen the above phrase translated into English rhyme as:

"All poems that the world has known are nought but truths our dreams have shown."

I generally like the translation (since there seem to be less accurate and worse rhyming versions out there),
but my question is mainly about the first (German) line which contains what seem to be two different references
to poetry or something like it, yet there is only the single word "poems" in the translated verse.

It seems to me that "Dichtkunst" may be referring to something a bit different than "poems".
Since Wagner wrote operas and music, could that word (or even "Poeterei") be translated as something like "lyrics" or "libretto"?

If that is accurate, could a reasonable, rhyming (and more modern) translation look something like:
"All lyrics and poems the world has known are nothing but truths our dreams have shown." ?

Thanks in advance for your help!
Topic: Beethoven's writing: question
Posted: Wednesday, August 05, 2015 12:21:24 AM
I am not sure Audiendus, that is why I am asking what that term Pertobiassen means. Perhaps IMcRout or others can respond.
Topic: Beethoven's writing: question
Posted: Wednesday, July 08, 2015 11:46:31 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome IMcRout, and special thanks for the thoughtful, intelligent reply.

Yes, I imagine people spoke and wrote differently in 1821. Perhaps that is part of why I am still not sure about the word "pertobiassen".
Does "per" ever get added as a prefix to other words? This might help clarify what he meant.

I sort of understand what you wrote that the word was created by Beethoven, but my confusion is why would he refer to "our little Tobias" (using a friendly diminutive) and then right away refer to Tobias again in the same sentence with "and" between the two? That is why I thought it might refer to someone else such as his family or something like that. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that it might mean something more like, "how natural that my dear Toby and his music passion should come to mind..."?

I guess I am trying to find a way to translate the "pertobiassen" part as accurately as possible into English, yet still translate it.
Topic: Beethoven's writing: question
Posted: Tuesday, July 07, 2015 11:20:58 PM
In a letter to his publisher, Tobias Haslinger, Beethoven wrote:

"...erregte den gedanken an die Heilgen Bücher kein Wunder, wenn mir nun auch der Name Tobias einfiel, u. wie natürlich mußte mir also auch unser Tobiasser'l und das pertobiassen dabei in den Sinn kommen..."

For the full letter, see: http://beethoven.ru/node/909

I have seen the above phrase translated as:

"...aroused in me thoughts of the Holy Books and small wonder that the man Tobias now occurred to me, and how natural that our little Tobias and the pertobiassen should come to mind..."


Can anyone tell me the correct translation would be of that sentence, especially the part containing "unser Tobiasser'l und das pertobiassen"?

It seems to me that "pertobiassen" is referring to some plural form of Tobias such as Tobias' family.
Is that accurate? And would a correct translation look something like:

"...aroused in me thoughts of the Holy Books and small wonder that the man Tobias now occurred to me, and how natural that our little Tobias and family should come to mind..."

Thanks in advance for your help!

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