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Thread: Translating Old Languages

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    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)

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    "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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    ...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)"

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    ...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"

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    ... eine Minera Solaris ziven Pfund stosse solche kleine...
    "several Solar Ores seven pound impacts such small"
    There's that odd spelling again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    ...sondern naturgemäss und einfältig solches in vier Theile theile, den 1. Theil cohobando mit einander überdestillire
    I looked up 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."

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    ... 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).

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    ... da er doch schorr nichts anders ist...
    I really cant comment on this one without more context.

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    ...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.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bel Matina View Post
    "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

  3. #13
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    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.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post

    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

  5. #15
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    Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf

    ... da er doch schorr nichts anders ist...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bel Matina View Post
    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
    Open Book
    "Dogmatic Assumption Inhibits Enquiry" Rupert Sheldrake

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bel Matina View Post
    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

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bel Matina View Post

    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

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghislain View Post
    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

  9. #19
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    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...

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    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

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