Mein Kampf – Translator’s Note

Let’s begin

Translator’s Note

These sort of people who write these notes and introductions obviously do not like using ‘simple’ language, I like to expand my vocabulary and clearly this book is not aimed at the general public as such, but some of these words are quite complex. And in general these sorts of things have complex language, if they are trying to entice us to read, it doesn’t really work. I never knew that there was such a thing as ‘racist biology’. Is that…? I don’t even want to know. I guess that all of this is really just speculative, because how does this guy know what he read, what he retained, and then what he used? Cause apparently Hitler read a lot, retained random disjointed facts for his own personal purpose, and some random facts that he would use later on in his speeches. And apparently his ‘main phrases’ were from ‘the theatre and the opera’. Which I find very strange. A lot of this is just going right over my head, and I think most of this book will too, but I shall persevere.

Hilter was so a ‘paranoiac’, could this person not just say that he was paranoid? I have never even heard of paranoiac. Hitler decided his own version of history and the way things in the world work. He didn’t consult others, he didn’t take advice from experts, and didn’t think with logic. This much, I already assumed, and I probably could say it without confusing everyone. And he makes ‘the most extraordinary allegations without so much as an attempt to prove them.’ Which is clear if you even think about Hitler. Hitler was a very strange and probably (nearly definitely) psychologically damaged man.

Hitler was a ‘poor observer’. When he writes, I assume, he does so without ‘colour and movement’ and ‘images are rare’. So this is going to be a jarring change from Zusak’s descriptive imagery, to just words. And from the examples, it sounds very dull. Germany sounds like a well educated place, that liked reading. And yet Hitler decided to burn all the foreign books, books that were probably the cornerstone of literary brilliance. Germans devoured art, science, history and philosophy books. Some phrases even became common place and colloquial like ‘concepts’, ‘as such’. Hitler tried to show he was cultured, but frequently failed miserably and made a fool of himself. Sometimes its better just to not say anything, than make a fool of yourself. This probably angered Hitler even further!

I have a lot to look forward to apparently, ‘eloquent and vulgar’ speeches, a ‘predilection for substantives being a salient feature’ (probably the most complex sentence I’ve read, ever, well the most words I’ve never heard of) and an ‘absence of movement and development’. And Hitler’s style of writing poses a few problems in translation. He has long sentences, that in German aren’t a problem, but when it goes to English, is ‘labyrinthine’ and easily not understandable. But in German only a couple of sentences make little sense at first read, which is actually quite good as many authors sometimes have a couple of sections where it can be hard to understand what is going on. But I guess this means that in English, there are going to a number of sentences that won’t make sense the first time around. His substantives, which appear to be a fancy way to say ‘noun’ also make translation difficult, as English just doesn’t have everything that other languages do.

Hitler also appears to use a lot of particles that are basically useless. And because English has no equivalents it means they are not included. I think that this is a reason that learning a language is so important and amazing, because you would be able to read text in their original language, and understand words that English just could never express. English is a confusing language, especially if you are not a ‘native speaker’ but even for many of ‘us’ it is hard to remember everything and pronunciation is so diverse and arbitrary. English is a strange, strange language.

Also worthy to note the translation is of the first edition of text. In the second edition, ‘interesting changes’ were made, and have been included through the use of notes.

Now that was tough enough as it is, but what follows is the introduction, if one of 60 pages in length can be called that. It probably contains even greater difficulties, and more complex words, but sometimes a challenge is good. Hopefully soon, we can get into the actual text, and see what all the fuss is about.


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