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  #1  
Old 7th May 2005, 03:47
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is offline
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Wish all German books were translated to English (was: Jagdgeschwader 5 - Volume 3)

Well, in a unit history the most important part for me are the personal accounts (pics, listings are of little importance). Therefore, if these are in German, I don´t care in which language the captions are. The book has no chance of ending up in my bookshelf. So far, the best unit histories on German units are Axel Urbanke´s "Green Hearts" (definitely better than any book on any storm in Ohio) and Hubert Meyer´s book on 12.SS-Pz.Div. Prien´s PC books don´t come even close.
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  #2  
Old 7th May 2005, 11:30
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Ruy Horta Ruy Horta is offline
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Re: Wish all German books were translated to English

Unfortunately not every book ends up in English (there are so many Japanese books I'd like to read for instance), but at least you have a good chance that Mombeek's will at one time be translated (Urbank's Greenheart book started out in german as well).

OTOH, You could turn this around.

If you are really interested in a German subject, widen your scope without the limiting factor of waiting for translations, you should make an effort to understand German. You are lucky that many german military subjects get translated at all.

Basically you are missing a lot.

Some of the best autobiographies to appear lately.

Rall's Mein Flugbuch and Meimberg's Feindberührung, both in their native language.

That's just one example.

Look at the many french books that never get translated.

Should we criticize the Avions/Jet MS.406 and MB 152 or the older Docavia D.520 (well there is an English summary in that one) because they were not translated?

My grasp of french is just about sufficient to understand about 75-95% of a sentence, but I try...

In fact (despite my PM warning) you have again tried to press your point, albeit it slightly more nuanced.

Don't you realize that you cannot criticize an author for something you'd wish to be available.

You are in fact stating a wish, that these books should be available in English, because you can't read German. You turn around the issue and make it into a problem.

If this is the easy mudslinging that CB refers to, he's actually right.

Next time, instead of using such a critical note Jukka, ask the author if there are any plans to translate the book in a language that is accessable to you as a person, that would be the correct way to present what is basically your problem.

You don't need to kiss arse, but a little more constructive thought and basic respect is really a requirement to keep this forum going.
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Old 8th May 2005, 11:54
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Re: Wish all German books were translated to English (was: Jagdgeschwader 5 - Volume 3)

Jukka,

..you can get a little taster of some works that are not likely to be on your bookshelf by checking out my site (just click on the user name link above)...if you are into personal accounts - and I can be permitted a free plug - my translation of "Als Infanterist in Stalingrad" with Jason Mark has just been published..
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Old 8th May 2005, 12:13
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Re: Wish all German books were translated to English (was: Jagdgeschwader 5 - Volume 3)

Speaking of your site.

You seem to have Der Landser issues.
How are these, since I regularly see them on eBay I was wondering?

Also how's that Nowotny book, Berichte aus dem Leben meines Bruders?
Thanks!
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Old 8th May 2005, 21:01
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Re: Wish all German books were translated to English (was: Jagdgeschwader 5 - Volume

I'd agree with Ruy that if you have a serious interest in the Luftwaffe then you are at a serious disadvantage if you don't understand German (or can't call on someone who does). This is even more true when you use original sources. I was "lucky" (not my feeling at the time, of course!) to have learned it at school, as well as French and Latin (just in case the Romans ever invaded Britain again).

AND... so many people here badly overestimate the power of authors. They do not get any say about the languages in which a book may appear. To give you a personal example, when the late (lamented?) Airlife published "Air War Italy 1944-45", they told Ferdinando D'Amico, Gabriele Valentini and me that an Italian company was interested but no Italian version ever appeared. We knew NOTHING of the Polish edition until after it appeared and one of us saw a copy. By the time the Hungarian edition was "discovered" by Ferdinando on the net, it had been out for some years and Airlife was no more - they had never told us about it.

Publishers put out what they think they can sell and that's all there is to it.
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Old 8th May 2005, 21:18
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Re: Wish all German books were translated to English (was: Jagdgeschwader 5 - Volume

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Beale
AND... so many people here badly overestimate the power of authors. They do not get any say about the languages in which a book may appear. To give you a personal example, when the late (lamented?) Airlife published "Air War Italy 1944-45", they told Ferdinando D'Amico, Gabriele Valentini and me that an Italian company was interested but no Italian version ever appeared. We knew NOTHING of the Polish edition until after it appeared and one of us saw a copy. By the time the Hungarian edition was "discovered" by Ferdinando on the net, it had been out for some years and Airlife was no more - they had never told us about it.

Publishers put out what they think they can sell and that's all there is to it.
That's true 100% (although it may vary, depending on the Publishing House). I recently discovered my Osprey book translated to... Japanese!
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Old 8th May 2005, 23:07
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Question Re: Jagdgeschwader 5 - Volume 3

Eric,



After reading your post about the JG 5 book I had a question. As a person with little in the way of language skills I am always challenged with buying books not in English due to inaccurate methods of translation I have available to me (google). The reason I am writing to you is that I recently posted to the topic about the Bernd Barbas book and the problems obtaining a copy, lack of English editions…


Can you help me understand why so many excellent books are first printed in German vs. English? I can only assume there are many difficulties in working with a publisher(s) to bring a quality book to market in multiple languages.


Thanks for your time – sorry if this seems like an obscure question….



John
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Old 9th May 2005, 00:13
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Jagdgeschwader 5 - Volume 3

John

I think it is due pure marketing. There is a wider market for eg. German unit histories in Germany than in another country for natural reasons. I think that having so many publishers on this board, they may release how many copies are they selling. I think there is just not enough market to sell everything written, so publishing in other languages may be too expensive to justify the cost.
Have in mind that perhaps Luftwaffe is a rather sellable subject but smaller air forces, like Finnish, Polish or Slovak, even British are not very profitable. I know that several books are sold in hundreds rather than in thousands and comparing it to the cost of research, obtaing copyrights etc. it makes publishing unfeasible. I may write articles on several stunning subjects, but really, who would be interested in a story of a Polish pilot fighting in the Western Desert, especially as there are almost no photos to illustrate it.
On the other hand I prefer to have accounts and documents to be published in their native tongue - there is much less room for any translating errors and misinterpretations. I know that very well, trying to translate into English original Polish reports written in 1939. They are rather chaotic in grammar and often not very clear - not a surprise having in mind they were filed by a rather excited and shaken airmen.
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Old 9th May 2005, 09:58
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Re: Wish all German books were translated to English (was: Jagdgeschwader 5 - Volume 3)

John,

Since the language topic had popped up before I've taken the liberty of merging your question and its answer to this thread instead. This together with Franek's original answer should cover most corners.

I would like to keep a book presentation as limited as possible in terms of discussion.

Hence this new thread, of course the author can always react if he wishes to
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Old 9th May 2005, 10:08
Erik Mombeeck Erik Mombeeck is offline
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Re: Wish all German books were translated to English (was: Jagdgeschwader 5 - Volume 3)

John,

Thanks for asking this question.

First of all, even if the main language of this board is English, there are a lot of other possible languages, English is not The Must.

Now to your question: most of the guys who are writing the JG chronicles in detail are not professionals, and this itself explains much.

I will speak for my self: my goal is not to make money with these books; it is to "save" the memory of a very chaotic period. That is the reason why I visited so many hundreds of pilots, interviewed them, copied their personal documents (like photos, log-books...) before all get lost, and worked so many weeks in many archives through all the western world .

The Luftwaffe vets of course replied me in German, the first sources are in German, thus publishing in German seems to be the most accurate to do. Further, many of these persons became real friends for me, and I find evident that the books I am producing are made for them and their family in the first line. My main topic is first hand accounts: how they lived their war. Books based upon listings like claims are not my cup of tea, and certainly since I compared Luftwaffe claims and Allied losses. So, I consider that the most interesting is to report what the veterans remember, what still exists in letters of KIA pilots, in reports… and I consider German as the most adequate language for the kind of books I am doing.

I am not a professional – and Franek's words make me smile, these books cost much more than bring money – but that is probably also a force: the books I produce are exactly like I want, from the first detective work to find the source, until the shipping of the final product. So, no editor in the middle of the process, who would want to cut, or to give a larger topic on a detail, in order to make or to save money. The only experience I had with an American publisher (evoked by you in another message) was disastrous, like it was also the case for other authors, including my friend Bernd Barbas.

My poor English is also one of the reasons. How to correspond with exactitude to make a difficult book without speaking the same language at a same level with an English spoken publisher?

I find it indispensable to start reading, learning the German language if you are really interested with the German air force, or this country's history. That is what I did many years ago when I began to interview the veterans. The first one I visited was Gerhard Schöpfel who remained a friend until he passed away a few years ago. He patiently corrected the few words I thought to know in German, and encouraged for my progresses each times we met after. This is a real pleasure to discover a new language, to use and read the exact terms rather than approximate translations. You should try too.

A wide market, as writes Franek? No, the market in Germany, as well as in Europe, is very small. I think that the wider market should be USA. Should be… because, I don't really think that books on Luftwaffe, Polish, English, Belgian air forces have a real market. Rare are the books sold in thousands rather in hundreds (to use Franek's words).

We are enthusiasts, losing a lot of money by doing these books, but we became rich with the contact, the friendship, the trust that we found by the veterans who told us what they lived. What an experience!


Regards
Eric
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