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Illen A. Cluf
08-08-2012, 12:01 AM
While translating the languages from old alchemical texts (especially French and German), has anyone ever created lists of definitions, very partial or otherwise, of old words found in the text that are either no longer found in today's dictionaries, or which are now spelled differently?

It would be very helpful for those attempting to translate old documents.

Thanks,
Illen

Ghislain
08-08-2012, 01:56 AM
Sorry I can't help you out Illen but I feel your pain...been there.

Ghislain

Andro
08-08-2012, 02:29 AM
Hi Illen,

How about being a bit more specific about your request?

Like, for example, making your own list of those old words you've come across (and the original language they were written in), and maybe someone here will know their meaning.

Illen A. Cluf
08-08-2012, 02:45 AM
Hi Illen,

How about being a bit more specific about your request?

Like, for example, making your own list of those old words you've come across (and the original language they were written in), and maybe someone here will know their meaning.

I was thinking more about generic lists that could help more than just myself. However, here is an example of a list of German words (note that some of the words can be easily figured out but they're included because they don't show up in all dictionaries - also there might be a few words that should not have been included - the list was made in a hurry):

Old German Words Not Found in Modern Dictionaries


abkuzen
allzustarckem
andre
Anima
Animam
Anmerckung
anschiessen
anschiesten
Antimonii
Antimonio
astralische
augmentiret
auth
Autoris
benedictum
Berdruss
bey
beyde
Bley
blos
bon
Buben
Capite
christallinum
cohobationes
cohobire
cohobiren
corrumpiret
Delichten
destillire
destilliret
destillirte
destillirten
drey
duplicatum
ebrauchen
Erzte
evaporirt
Extractiones
extrahiret
extrahirt
fechter
Ferner
fernern
figiret
filtrirt
gebenedeiten
genungsam
geschicht
geschwinde
gesezt
gethan
giesle
Goerper
Gradus
groeste
groesten
Helfte
hellglanzendes
hochduenckenden
huelffe
hülffe
hungar
imbibiret
is
kan
laest
liquore
Medicin
Menstruo
mercken
Mercurii
Minera
Mineralia
mortuo
multipliciren
Mysteria
nachgehends
nehmlich
observiret
Oehl
Oehles
ofte
oleum
Philosophis
Phiol
Phiole
phlegma
piptol
Pomeranzen
Pulder
putreficiren
putreficirt
Queck
Quintel
Quintlein
Retortam
roth
rothen
rothes
rueckstandige
samle
Schrifften
seiben
seyn
seze
sezen
sezt
sieben
Solation
Solutiones
solvirt
Spiritu
sublimiren
Theil
Theile
thue
Thurs
Tinctur
Tincturam
tingiret
tingirt
Troepfflein
tunckelroth
universaliter
unserm
Wefen
weilen
Werck
wiegetzwen
Wissmuths
ziven
zulezt
zuruecke
Zwey

Illen

Ghislain
08-08-2012, 12:15 PM
Hi Illen

I had a go at the A's...not sure if you can trust the translation, but this is what I came up with...

Abkuzen - Possibly “to abbreviate” from “abkürzen“

Allzustarckem Possibly “too strong” from “ “allzu starken”

Andre = “other” or “another”

Anima = “animal” or “animation”

Animam =”Singular of Anima”

Anmerckung Possibly “a note about something “ from“anmerkung”

Anschiessen “shoot at” or “sneaky”

Anschiesten possibly “ to shoot dead” or “kill” Dutch “afschieten”

Antimonii Latin =“antimony”

Antimonio Italian =“antimony”

Astralische = “astral”

Augmentiret possibly “augmented” from “augmentiert”

Auth Every way this is looked at it comes up with “authentic”

Autoris Strange but from German this translates to “auth” in French “authorized”

Hope they make sense.

Ghislain

Illen A. Cluf
08-08-2012, 02:11 PM
Hi Illen

I had a go at the A's...not sure if you can trust the translation, but this is what I came up with...



Thank you - that's very helpful. I think the last one "autoris" might be a variation of "Author". I'll try to clean the list later - it contains some words that should not be included.

Illen

Bel Matina
08-08-2012, 09:28 PM
The Germanic Lexicon Project (http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~kurisuto/germanic/language_resources.html) has a good set of dictionaries and grammars that might be helpful. When reading texts from before the eighteenth century (and texts written by provincials even after that) it's good to remember that regional words and usages will crop up, which no dictionary will really work for. In those cases, you can often figure out the sense from context with some comparison to related languages, although it's easy to make errors in deciding which words are related to which words in other languages. Linguistics is my field, and I've spent a long time studying historical linguistics, especially the Germanic languages, so if you have any questions feel free to ask in this thread and I'll do my best to answer them (that goes for anyone).

One of the tricky things you're encountering is that Old Germanic texts had trouble deciding how to use case in foreign words. Often in the same text you'll see a loan with case assigned alternately with the foreign and the native declensions. Thus you see both Anima and Animam (the latter is the Latin accusative of the former, although there's some possibility that the author was trying to decline the loan as a dative in the masculine or neuter gender. You ought to be able to tell from context).

I will take a crack at that list, but it makes a big difference when and where the specific texts are from.

abkuzen: This one really depends on the provenance. Old High German frequently leaves umlaut unmarked, and The Germanic Lexicon Project (http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~kurisuto/germanic/language_resources.html) has a good set of dictionaries and grammars that might be helpful. When reading texts from before the eighteenth century (and texts written by provincials even after that) it's good to remember that regional words and usages will crop up, which no dictionary will really work for. In those cases, you can often figure out the sense from context with some comparison to related languages, although it's easy to make errors in deciding which words are related to which words in other languages. Linguistics is my field, and I've spent a long time studying historical linguistics, especially the Germanic languages, so if you have any questions feel free to ask in this thread and I'll do my best to answer them (that goes for anyone).

One of the tricky things you're encountering is that Old Germanic texts had trouble deciding how to use case in foreign words. Often in the same text you'll see a loan with case assigned alternately with the foreign and the native declensions. Thus you see both Anima and Animam (the latter is the Latin accusative of the former, although there's some possibility that the author was trying to decline the loan as a dative in the masculine or neuter gender. You ought to be able to tell from context).

I will take a crack at that list, but it makes a big difference when and where the specific texts are from.

abkuzen: This one depends a lot on the provenance. Old High German frequently leaves umlaut unmarked, and zz, ss, and in some contexts z all merged into modern ß. The most obvious interpretation is abküssen, especially if the texts is Middle High German, after the sounds had merged but before the spelling was standardized. Short of that my best guess is a spelling error.

allzustarckem: looks to me as if the phrase "all zu stark" was wrapped up and treated as a single adjective. If this happened in English you'd get a spelling like "all-too-strong whatevers." The old dative case ended in m instead of n; you can usually figure out the intermediate forms if you get familiar with the OHG forms, which are covered in a grammar on the website I linked to.

andre: probably a contraction of andere

Anima, Animam: Latin, and the latter with a case ending.

Anmerckung: like with stark, the ck is just a variant spelling of k.

anschiessen anschiesten: I found this in modern dictionaries. The later is the weak form of the passive participle. "shoot and wound"

Antimonii: Latin genitive of Antimonium

Antimonio: Dative of Antimonium

astralische: a nativized version of Latin astral, possibly punning with the more common term of similar origin australisch

augmentiret: variant spelling of augmentieren, possibly punning with French mentir

auth: a specialized term, abbreviation, or fragment?

Autoris: Genitive of Autor

benedictum: Latin.

Berdruss

bey: ey is an old variant of ei. I'm going to delete the rest of the entries explained by this phenomenon.

blos: bloß, on account of being post-merger.

bon: I'm suspecting these lower-case nonwords might all be abbreviations.

Buben: The plural of Bub, a young boy, still in modern dictionaries though possibly somewhat parochial/archaic.

Capite: Latin ablative of Caput, head. The ablative is an odd case to explain if you aren't familiar with it, use the case on the article.

christallinum: Looks to me like a misspelling of crystallinum, the neuter nominative and masculine or neuter accusative of an adjective the meaning of which has been preserved as borrowed into English.

cohobationes: Nominative/accusative of "cohobations", which is not any kind of Latin I'm familiar with.

cohobire cohobiren: a verision of the verb I'm not familiar with from which the above "cohobation" is derived, rendered German with the "-ier" suffix.

corrumpiret: modern korrumpieret

Delichten: This is a tricky one. Despite the temptation to say it means delights, that makes no etymological sense whatsoever unless the author himself had some etymological awareness and borrowed it from English for some reason. I don't really have another explanation for it though. As contrived as it is, the author may have done it for wordplay reasons, as Ehelicht (unrelated) is the proper German word meaning delight so most readers would have been able to piece it out.

destillire destilliret destillirte destillirten: forms of destillieren, distill

duplicatum: Latin form of Duplikat

ebrauchen: No idea.

Erzte: "first" as a noun.

evaporirt: that -ier suffix again.

Extractiones: nom/acc of "extractions"

extrahiret extrahirt : -ier again, this time from extraho ie extract

fechter: Fighter, not capitalized for some reason.

Ferner: farther as an adverb at the beginning of a sentence or as an adjective used as a noun

fernern: farther as an adjective declined.

figiret: this hasn't survived in modern German, but figo is latin for fix.

gebenedeiten: benedicted

genungsam: are you sure this wasn't genügsam?

geschicht: I'm getting lazy, but this looks like the adjective from which Geschichte, story, is derived.

geschwinde: rapid

gesezt: still

gethan: modern getan, past tense of tun do

Gradus: Latin, "step"

groeste, groesten: major, biggest

Helfte: thing that was helped

hellglanzendes: adjective, "clearly gleaming"

hochduenckenden: adjective, "high-thinking"

hülffe huelffe: Modern Hilfe

hungar: probably hunger

is: probably ist

kan: kann

laest: loest?

liquore: exactly what it sounds like, possibly with a German plural (ablative doesn't make a whole lot of sense, plus I think the ablative of liquor is liquori)

Medicin: Probably borrowed from French for "doctor"

Menstruo: dative of menstruum

mercken: Modern merken

Mercurii: Genetive of Mercurius

Minera: nom/acc plural of neuter mine, ore. Medieval Latin.

Mineralia: nom/acc plural minerals, or nom fem singular things pertaining to minerals.

mortuo: dative of dead or dead thing.

Mysteria: nom/acc plural of mysterium, "mystery"

nachgehends: nach-gehend-s

nehmlich: Can't find it but the stem and suffix are both pretty accessible

Oehl, Oehles: Modern Öl

ofte: oft as an adjective?

oleum: Latin nom/acc, oil

Philosophis: Latin dative plural of Philosophus, philosopher

Phiol Phiole: phial

phlegma: Latin neuter singular nom/acc of phlegm

Pomeranzen: in modern dictionaries, a kind of bitter orange.

Pulder: possibly Polder?

Queck: alive, related to "quicksilver"

Quintel Quintlein: probably diminutives of Quinte, "fifth"

Retortam: Accusative of retorta, "retort"

roth rothen rothes: modern rot

rueckstandige: rückständig, "antiquated"

Schrifften: literature

seze sezen sezt: setzen

sieben: Sieb as an adjective?

Solation: making alone or into the sun

Solutiones: solutions

Spiritu: ablative/dative of spiritus

Theil Theile: in general, th is just t

Tinctur: tincture, fully adopted into German

Tincturam: latin accusative of the above

Troepfflein: "little drip"

tunckelroth: probably a form of dunkelroth, "dark red"

universaliter: Latin, "more universal"

unserm: dative of unser

weilen: modern

Werck: modern Werk

Wissmuths: Bismut "bismuth"

zulezt: zuletzt, "last"

I left out the ones where I didn't have a good guess, and many where I thought the spelling had been explained. Hope this is helpful.

Illen A. Cluf
08-08-2012, 11:47 PM
I will take a crack at that list, but it makes a big difference when and where the specific texts are from.


Hi Bel,

That was incredibly impressive, and very much appreciated. I had just come back on the forum to provide my edited list, and saw the amazing work you did. My previous list was compiled from words missed by two separate dictionaries, so it included some words that can be found in some modern dictionaries. I removed those that could not be found in either dictionary. Also, some of the formatting was lost - for example the umlat changed the character to "oe" or "ae". In addition, I replaced all "esset" characters with "ss" because I couldn't find a keyboard code for it, and I replaced the ß with "z" since one of the translation programs wouldn't recognize that character.

The text was published in Franckfurth and Leipzig in 1737 (J.G. Toltius). I have never transcribed or translated German text before, so this is a learning experience for me. There are several characters that look almost identical (for example "f" and "s", "N" and "R", "i" and "j", etc.). Over time, the distinctions have already become more clear.

Just one note - the word "hungar" was associated in the following context: "Nimm vitriolum hungar und Nitrum christallinum...".

I was going to replace my earlier list with an edited version, but since you have already addressed most of them, I will only include below those words that were omitted. The word "thue" is especially common in this text, but I have not been able to determine what it might mean.

Thank you again for your remarkable and most helpful response!

Illen

abnehme
adermal
angeschossene
augmentiren
augmentiret – possibly “augmented” from “augmentiert”
ausführlich – “ausführ” means execute, carry out
Berfahre
beyde
bleibet
Christallen - crystalline
cohobando
darmit
elnam
evaporirt
Görper
hellglanzendes
imbibiret – possibly “imbibe”
indeme
läst
Moscus
Merkurialische – possibly “mercurial”
Merkurialischen
nachgiessest
observiren
observiret – possibly “observe”
putreficiren – possibly “to putrefy”
putreficirt
resolviren
samle
schorr
schieffen
seben
solviret – possibly “solve”
solvirt – possibly “solve”
sublimire – possibly “sublime”
thue
versezt
wiezetzwen
ziven
zurücke – possibly “left behind”
zwey – possibly “two”

Bel Matina
08-09-2012, 02:14 AM
Illen - I'm pleased it was helpful. I assure you that it is the product of nothing more than years of boring people with my little obsessions.

What operating system are you using? Most modern systems support unicode, and you ought to be able to get keyboard settings in multiple languages. I'm running windows, and have fourteen languages (some with multiple keyboards) on macro myself. If all else fails there should be a character map somewhere which will give you the ascii characters, which support most western European languages.

I'm using http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/ for convenience, it seems to be a pretty alright dictionary.

That word hungar is a bit puzzling. From the word order, it looks like it ought to be a Latin adjective (the Latin adjective comes after the noun, and it's in a couplet with Nitrum christallinum) but it has no Latin case ending. It's tempting to say that one translation would be "Hungarian vitriol," perhaps with the case ending deliberately dropped to pun with Hunger and emphasize the philosophical meaning of vitriol.

thue has h after t, which occured a lot in old spelling with no difference in meaning.

A lot of these I defined by implication. I'll cover these categorically

These contain the old spelling of the -ieren suffix, which derives verbs from Latin stems.
augmentiren - "augment"
augmentiret - "augments"
evaporirt - "evaporates"
imbibiret – “imbibe”
observiren - "observe"
observiret – “observes”
putreficiren – “to putrefy”
putreficirt - "putrifies"
resolviren - "resolve"
solviret – “solve”
solvirt – “solve”
sublimire – “sublimate”

These have ey as an old alternative to ei
beyde
zwey

abnehme - take away
angeschossene - shot and wounded, past participle
Berfahre - as a verb this means to frequent. Is it used as a noun? In what context?
bleibet - it stays. This is totally modern German.
Christallen - crystals. Capitalized, this is a noun. I just realized the mispelling is probably intentional to pun with Christ.
darmit - an old version of damit
hellglanzendes - shining clearly
läst - lets
Moscus - musk
Merkurialische – “mercurial”
Merkurialischen - id, different case.
versezt - transfers
zurücke – this could be a spontaneous adjective, in which case treat it as if the author made it up. It may also be a form of the adverb that preserves the old dative ending (like "zu hause")

The rest I have only the slightest if any idea what they mean. I'm very interested if anyone has any ideas.
adermal
cohobando
elnam
Görper - could be Körper "bodies"?
indeme - in dem?
nachgiessest
samle - related to sammel?
schorr - probably schor, context?
schieffen - probably schief, "inclined," context?
seben
wiezetzwen
ziven

Illen A. Cluf
08-09-2012, 11:03 AM
What operating system are you using? Most modern systems support unicode, and you ought to be able to get keyboard settings in multiple languages.

I'm running Windows XP and have found the ascii code for ß and the umlat, but not for the "esset" (ss).


I'm using http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/ for convenience, it seems to be a pretty alright dictionary.

I took a look at it and it does indeed seem like one of the better online ones that I've seen. I like how it provides variations of the words as well as its root.


That word hungar is a bit puzzling. From the word order, it looks like it ought to be a Latin adjective (the Latin adjective comes after the noun, and it's in a couplet with Nitrum christallinum) but it has no Latin case ending. It's tempting to say that one translation would be "Hungarian vitriol," perhaps with the case ending deliberately dropped to pun with Hunger and emphasize the philosophical meaning of vitriol.

"Hungarian" also crossed my mind when I first read it. I have seen other texts reference Hungarian substances because of their purity. Odd that he wouldn't capitalize the word in that case.


thue has h after t, which occured a lot in old spelling with no difference in meaning. Thank you. That's a good rule to keep in mind.


A lot of these I defined by implication. I'll cover these categorically


These contain the old spelling of the -ieren suffix, which derives verbs from Latin stems.


These have ey as an old alternative to ei

Thank you once again.


The rest I have only the slightest if any idea what they mean.

Here they are in context:

...so werden Christallen schiessen, welche Zucker süsse sind, mache solche trocken, samle sie bis keine mehr anschiessen, und trockne alle zusammen, dieses ist eine der grösten Medicin auf den menschlichen Görper...

...so denn in ziven Wochen, und zulezt in acht Tagen, dass du aber allezeit ein halb Loth von seinem Oehl nachgiessest, wenn es nun 7 mal imbibiret...

... eine Minera Solaris ziven Pfund stosse solche kleine...

Dieses zeiget adermal diese Arbeit an, und braucht man nicht...

...sondern naturgemäss und einfältig solches in vier Theile theile, den 1. Theil cohobando mit einander überdestillire

... so würdest du es wohl gefunden haben; denn was nicht an elnem Orte steht, steht am andern, wie du ferner seben wirst.

... da er doch schorr nichts anders ist...

Nimm deine Animam und Salz, reibe sie kleine und wiege solche, wenn sie wiegetzwen Loth

...als eben in dieser Arbeit, indene es alle Farben annimmt wie ein Chameleon...

Illen

Bel Matina
08-09-2012, 07:12 PM
I'm running Windows XP and have found the ascii code for ß and the umlat, but not for the "esset" (ss).

In the control panels, open the regional and language settings menu. In one of the tabs you'll be able to add more language input options. You'll need the Windows disc to install eastern language input, but otherwise everything's accessible. You can also access the character map in the accessories folder in the start menu, which will give you all the unicode characters. (at least all of them supported by any given font)


"Hungarian" also crossed my mind when I first read it. I have seen other texts reference Hungarian substances because of their purity. Odd that he wouldn't capitalize the word in that case.

It was serving as an adjective here, and spelling conventions weren't totally settled on at that point.


...so werden Christallen schiessen, welche Zucker süsse sind, mache solche trocken, samle sie bis keine mehr anschiessen, und trockne alle zusammen, dieses ist eine der grösten Medicin auf den menschlichen Görper...

"in such a way will the Christals, which are sugar sweet, shoot..."
"schiessen" seems to be in the botanical sense here, of sprouting or growing.

"mache solche trocken, samle sie bis keine mehr anschiessen, un trockne alle zusammen,"
This appears to be a string of imperatives (maybe subjunctives?) which would make samlen a verb. If so, I would say it means "mix" or more literally, "make the same"
Running with the imperative interpretation, this yields, "make them such dry things, make them homogeneous to the point that they no longer shoot (remember the botanical sense), and dry them all together."

"this is one of the best medicines for the human pody (sic)"


...so denn in ziven Wochen, und zulezt in acht Tagen, dass du aber allezeit ein halb Loth von seinem Oehl nachgiessest, wenn es nun 7 mal imbibiret...

I can't think of any interpretation for ziven here but seven, but the spelling is so peculiar that I think there must be some coded significance to it. Can't piece out what it is myself, though.

"So then in seven weeks, and finally in eight days, (during) which you (singular) water a half lead back in its own oil, when/if it imbibes seven times..."
Remember imbibe is literally in Latin "drink in". The lead must absorb its oil. I'm really curious about this spelling "ziven"


... eine Minera Solaris ziven Pfund stosse solche kleine...

"several Solar Ores seven pound impacts such small"
There's that odd spelling again.


Dieses zeiget adermal diese Arbeit an, und braucht man nicht...

"this points adermal to this Work, and one need not..."

In this context I'm pretty sure this is either a pun or a misleading play on words. Ader means vein (of ore or blood), more specifically a long, thin stratum (usually long in only one dimension) of mineral or blood. Cute.


...sondern naturgemäss und einfältig solches in vier Theile theile, den 1. Theil cohobando mit einander überdestillire

I looked up cohobation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohobation), which is apparently a Latin term specific to alchemy. I'm not much into laboratory work so I hadn't encountered it. Cohobando is gerund in the ablative, which functions here as an adverb meaning "through cohobation." I'd recommend studying up on Latin and Greek, and there's a lot of wordplay that relies on it in the literature of all periods, not including the sort of code switching Toltius does here.

"but should one divide such an under-nature (probably more or less identical to sublunary) and simpleminded thing (cf simplex and its etymological derivatives) in four parts, you might (alternately; I) distill the first part over with each other through cohobation."


... so würdest du es wohl gefunden haben; denn was nicht an elnem Orte steht, steht am andern, wie du ferner seben wirst.

"thus you will have found it well; that which does not stand in X place, stands in another, as you further become Y."

Both of these look like intentional typos to me. If pressed to identify them according to the relevant lexicon, I would have to simply shrug. The following interpretation is on the order of art analysis, and should not be mistaken for something even so vaguely scientific as linguistics.

Elnem appears to me intended to both resemble a common typo of einem (yielding "stand in one place") and sound like a regional version of alleinem (yielding "stand in a place by itself")

Seben looks like a common typo of either selben or sieben, yielding alternately, "as you further become yourself." and "as you further become seven."

Assuming that this was the intention, I must judge the former to be more elegant and pleasing in execution on account of the equivalence of the ambiguity between the interpretations and the strictness with which the philosophical proposition holds no matter which alternative you choose; it would clearly be the more thought out of the two. Still, I must prefer the former on account of both that it confronts and embraces what is to be reviled (in this case, regional "broken" forms invading the already obsolescent literary style) and on account of its subliminality (most casual native readers used to reading hand-typeset books would probably not even register the typo, but it would still impact their understanding of the text).


... da er doch schorr nichts anders ist...

I really cant comment on this one without more context.


Nimm deine Animam und Salz, reibe sie kleine und wiege solche, wenn sie wiegetzwen Loth

"Take your anima and salt, rub them a little and rock them accordingly, if/when they ? Lead"

okay no idea here.


...als eben in dieser Arbeit, indene es alle Farben annimmt wie ein Chameleon...

"As/when even in this Work, which takes all colors into itself like a Chamelion."

I really like that last one.

True Initiate
08-09-2012, 07:42 PM
"this points adermal to this Work, and one need not..."

In this context I'm pretty sure this is either a pun or a misleading play on words. Ader means vein (of ore or blood), more specifically a long, thin stratum (usually long in only one dimension) of mineral or blood. Cute.


I don't have time to include all words but Illen got a lot of letters wrong. Adermal is misspelling of Abermal.
http://www.dict.cc/?s=aber+und+abermal

Andro
08-09-2012, 07:58 PM
I think 'wiege' here (imperative) refers to 'weigh', not 'rock'/'cradle'. Also more in line with a laboratory context.

'reibe sie kleine' - rub them small (until they're small), not 'a little'. Again, the laboratory context.
______________________________________

And yes, a lot of typos - or misreadings of the (old?) letters/alphabet.

Illen A. Cluf
08-09-2012, 08:41 PM
And yes, a lot of typos - or misreadings of the (old?) letters/alphabet.

The latter :-) As I said, this is a learning experience and there are a lot of very similar letters in old German. For me, each day working with the text is a huge improvement.

Illen

Ghislain
08-09-2012, 08:51 PM
Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf

... da er doch schorr nichts anders ist...



I really cant comment on this one without more context.

With a stretch of the imagination could it be...

da er doch schone nichts anders ist... because it amounts to nothing else is beautiful ...

Now stretch a little further and could it be...

da er doch schone nichts anderes ist... because it is beautiful but nothing else ...

Just playing with Google Translate...no foundation.

Ghislain

Illen A. Cluf
08-09-2012, 08:53 PM
In the control panels, open the regional and language settings menu. In one of the tabs you'll be able to add more language input options. You'll need the Windows disc to install eastern language input, but otherwise everything's accessible. You can also access the character map in the accessories folder in the start menu, which will give you all the unicode characters. (at least all of them supported by any given font)

Thank you, I'll look into this.

Thank you also once again for these very helpful translations of these difficult words. I apologize if I have misinterpreted some of the letters in the words. It's a learning experience and I'm quickly becoming more and more familiar with the distinctions between some of the letters that look quite similar. The letters "f" and "s" and "t" are particularly troublesome when the letters are grouped closely together, as are some of the other letters such as "d" and "b" in some variations of the script or when the text is blurry, smudged or not very defined. Getting a sense of the words and how they are constructed has already helped in this regard.

Illen

Illen A. Cluf
08-09-2012, 09:03 PM
I really cant comment on this one without more context.

.

Here's more context:

Die Anmerkung lehret, wie man der den liquorem merkurialisch machen soll, da er doch schorr nichts anders ist, als ein merkurialischer Geist, und muss also verfahren werden

Illen

Illen A. Cluf
08-09-2012, 09:06 PM
With a stretch of the imagination could it be...

da er doch schone nichts anders ist... because it amounts to nothing else is beautiful ...

Now stretch a little further and could it be...

da er doch schone nichts anderes ist... because it is beautiful but nothing else ...

Just playing with Google Translate...no foundation.

Ghislain

Thanks for your suggestions, Ghislain! Much appreciated!

Illen

Andro
08-09-2012, 09:30 PM
Sorry, 'schone' is not meant as 'beautiful' here, but as 'schon'. Technically, it means 'already', but the German language sometimes uses such words as 'fillers' for sentences.

So in this case, it simply means "because it is nothing else but a Mercurial Spirit", etc...

Illen A. Cluf
08-09-2012, 10:01 PM
Sorry, 'schone' is not meant as 'beautiful' here, but as 'schon'. Technically, it means 'already', but the German language sometimes uses such words as 'fillers' for sentences.

So in this case, it simply means "because it is nothing else but a Mercurial Spirit", etc...

Thanks, Androgynus. German is certainly an interesting language, and there's a wealth of good alchemical books written in German. I wish I had taken time to try to learn it much earlier.

Illen

Bel Matina
08-09-2012, 11:22 PM
I think 'wiege' here (imperative) refers to 'weigh', not 'rock'/'cradle'. Also more in line with a laboratory context.

'reibe sie kleine' - rub them small (until they're small), not 'a little'. Again, the laboratory context.
______________________________________

And yes, a lot of typos - or misreadings of the (old?) letters/alphabet.

Thank you, Androgynus. My German is alright at best, and rusty at that. I would not have been able to correctly interpret 'reibe sie kleine' myself.

Wiegen is actually one of the words I do know well, but I was rushing a bit and only giving half attention, so by that point I was looking at the dictionary and didn't even think to remember that it was a word I knew. I feel quite silly now.

A couple of those typographical errors are suspiciously convenient with respect to generating educational double meanings. I'm sure many of them are genuine, but I would keep an eye out for those that might be designed to slip something by an uneducated eye; presses being typeset by hand at the time and errors being common it was a perfect way to hide something clever.

Bel Matina
08-09-2012, 11:34 PM
Here's more context:

Die Anmerkung lehret, wie man der den liquorem merkurialisch machen soll, da er doch schorr nichts anders ist, als ein merkurialischer Geist, und muss also verfahren werden

Illen

If that is schon and not schorr it resolves the issue completely, as Androgynus explained. Those little words, which you see in many languages, are actually not exactly filler but rather emphatic; they reinforce the relevance of an utterance. Because they are redundant by design, you will often hear Germans use them where other languages more impoverished of such adverbs would use expletives that flatly have no meaning ("um" etc.) Thus they sound like meaningless filler to habitual speakers of German when in fact they're far from it. Schon here would serve to indicate the immediateness ("already" as in "here and now" as in "also part of this experience we are having together right now") of the context in a delightfully subliminal way.

Illen A. Cluf
08-09-2012, 11:57 PM
If that is schon and not schorr it resolves the issue completely, as Androgynus explained. Those little words, which you see in many languages, are actually not exactly filler but rather emphatic; they reinforce the relevance of an utterance. Because they are redundant by design, you will often hear Germans use them where other languages more impoverished of such adverbs would use expletives that flatly have no meaning ("um" etc.) Thus they sound like meaningless filler to habitual speakers of German when in fact they're far from it. Schon here would serve to indicate the immediateness ("already" as in "here and now" as in "also part of this experience we are having together right now") of the context in a delightfully subliminal way.

Hi Bel,

I wish it was easier to include attachments since then I could show you the actual word. Some of the words I had difficulty with, including this very word, actually came from another source, and some of the letters in this source were blurry and smudged (not very good resolution).

Also, the typeset was different and there was less distinction between certain letters. I took another very good look at it, and now think it might be an "n" with a small smudge on the upper right end making it look like an "r" (thus it looks like rr, which also looks like an "n" with a point to the right - the smudge). Thus I now think the word is indeed "schon" which means "already".

I know that many writers during that period of time loved playing with words, and "puns" were much more in favor than they are today. Fulcanelli was such an alchemist who loved puns and playing with words.

Illen

sam
08-31-2012, 06:16 PM
If that is schon and not schorr it resolves the issue completely, as Androgynus explained. Those little words, which you see in many languages, are actually not exactly filler but rather emphatic; they reinforce the relevance of an utterance. Because they are redundant by design, you will often hear Germans use them where other languages more impoverished of such adverbs would use expletives that flatly have no meaning ("um" etc.) Thus they sound like meaningless filler to habitual speakers of German when in fact they're far from it. Schon here would serve to indicate the immediateness ("already" as in "here and now" as in "also part of this experience we are having together right now") of the context in a delightfully subliminal way.

Being German I am amazed how deep you comprehend this language (asuming it is foreign to you). Let me add that "schon" is also used as "obschon" which would then mean "although"- giving the overal expression a little added strength (...although it is nothing but...).

going thru the original list I would have to say that although I am German and have read quite a few old texts I would have to look up/explore about 50% of them. Only half are self-evident to me from the initial reading alone.

-sam