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Thread: Half-Baked Translations

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    Half-Baked Translations

    Due to my recent research of some German texts, I've come across a horrifying truth:

    Many English translations available either online or in collections such as RAMS are either inaccurate or incomplete - or both!

    Some books are a few hundred pages long in their German versions, yet the English versions are often in the 2 digit page-count region... Much of the content is simply missing!

    Other texts (so I have found) contain inaccuracies that can actually mislead the reader. I'm not talking about general grammar or misplaced commas, I'm talking about actual practical stuff that is incorrectly translated, and some of the errors may be critical for the practical experimenter.

    RAMS (for example) contains a lot of translations from German or from Latin. While the RAMS project is highly commendable for making such texts available to English speaking researchers, I now consider it to be a "half-baked" product.

    The more recent translation projects, such as 'Old Nature Path' and '13 Secret Letters' are (again, IMO) VERY well done and presented. I believe the English translation of 'Hermetic Recreations' to be of similar high quality, although I don't read French... However, from the older translated English bits I've gone through so far (such as in RAMS, Levity, etc...) - the picture doesn't look so good...

    GRRRR!!! ARRRRGGGG!!!

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    I had read somewhere that accuracy in translation (like it is nowadays) was not common practice in the old days unless it was a scholarly effort. If RAMS falls into the same bucket, seems like some things haven’t changed... If your assessment is accurate (most likely is), we might be better off in joining forces as a group to fund translations of key books.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aham View Post
    we might be better off in joining forces as a group to fund translations of key books.
    We already have a thread on this topic, and it's not so easy as it may seem...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aham View Post
    I had read somewhere that accuracy in translation (like it is nowadays) was not common practice in the old days unless it was a scholarly effort. If RAMS falls into the same bucket, seems like some things havenít changed... If your assessment is accurate (most likely is), we might be better off in joining forces as a group to fund translations of key books.
    Scholarly efforts usually inject the most dangerous mistakes (either because of ignorance or on purpose). Oftentimes they enforce their own vision of subject, which is reflected in their translations. Most of them are outsiders and they think that the subject of their translation is some kind of superstition. If to use wording of Paracelsus, they are evil sophists. The words of Nature in infamous "Dialogus Mercurii, Alchemistae et Naturae" are addressed exactly to those scholars:

    "Laqueos merito tales Philosophos manet: apage te & finem tibi et tali tuae philosophiae."

    I think that one needs to always search for the roots of everything, which includes original texts in original languages. Sadly, colonizers were always trying their best to destroy big libraries and subvert old teachings, with scholar people being the most notorious to do that - they keep faking up the history, culture and knowledge of old nations, they invent religions which never existed and naive people believe all that.

    Sincere seekers will be surprised at great depth of knowledge of old nations about this reality if they will refer to texts on original languages and they will be greatly upset about current direction of so-called civilization.

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    Never put 100% stake in a tome claiming to contain "secret" knowledge, especially if it is available to everyone.

    There are mistaken translations everywhere, and probably not all of them due to ill intent (i.e. "camel through the eye of a needle," which somehow persists even though the mistaken translation is fairly well known).

    The universal "telephone" game applies to just about everything. It applies to the media, to texts handed down, to translations of translations of transcriptions of transgressions. Part of the human condition is putting information received into story so that it can be remembered easier, and these stories get out of hand very quickly.

    On that note, when it comes to a good story (origin stories of the cosmos), those are often not buried under quite as much trash, and magically, there are still surviving documents that can be seen in their original clay form. Hmm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon's Tail View Post
    There are mistaken translations everywhere, and probably not all of them due to ill intent.
    Not all of them, but there are some cases (that I know of) where there was intentional ill-intent to "water down" the original texts via selective/incomplete translations and/or via intentional alterations made to the original texts. I won't mention any names of such "perpetrators" here, but some of you (more likely of the pre-millennial variety ) may be well aware of such instances...

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    For this same reason I am not a big fan of RAMS. I also found a the translations had differences and large portions missing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andro View Post
    Not all of them, but there are some cases (that I know of) where there was intentional ill-intent to "water down" the original texts via selective/incomplete translations and/or via intentional alterations made to the original texts. I won't mention any names of such "perpetrators" here, but some of you (more likely of the pre-millennial variety ) may be well aware of such instances...
    Oh don't get me wrong. I know all too well the nature of this monster, also seeded in our "humanness," or so it seems being that it's so prevalent. Everyone wants to make a story "their way" for "their reasons." This happens in the news, in stories, in any kind of written material really. It only makes sense that it would apply throughout history, in fact, I'm sure Marcus Arelius mentioned this kind of thing going on at least once in his journal.

    I'm not sure about what you are inferring with the "some of you" thing precisely. I personally tend to stick to my own philosophies and work, and find interesting correlations in bits of text here and there. But I'm not going to bother myself about this little phrase. I know nobody who is a saint, and even the saints had their dirty little secrets. We're all guilty of something, another part of being human.

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    There are no errors in this book:



    Quote Originally Posted by Andro View Post
    GRRRR!!! ARRRRGGGG!!!
    Usually the reaction when the student surpass the teacher.

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Awani View Post
    There are no errors in this book:

    Usually the reaction when the student surpass the teacher.
    What's that got to do with ANYTHING posted on this thread?

    You admittedly have no interest in Laboratory Alchemy - and possibly no interest in its related literature either?

    If this is indeed the case, it would not be a crime to just let things be, every once in a while ...

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