Überm Sternenzelt richtet Gott, wie wir gerichtet.

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by XPditif, May 4, 2009.

  1. XPditif Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    français (France)
    Hi people!

    I'm sorry I cannot adress you in German, but I don't speak it at all!
    Nevertheless, I hope you will be kind enough to help me translate this:

    "Überm sternenzelt richtet Gott, wie wir gerichtet."

    This is the motto of a fictive secret organisation (the Seele).
    Thanks a million for your help on this one, and if you need anything in French/English, just ask me, I hang around the French English forum all the time.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2009
  2. killerbees Senior Member

    Philadelphia, PA
    English [US]
    I'm pretty sure that's a Schiller quote [I've no idea what the Seele is though] which translates to something like:

    We judge as God judges above the firmament (voûte étoilée?)


    As God judges above the firmament, we judge. [Closer to the original word order, but sounds a little clumsy in English]

    I tried to find a good translation for firmament as you've listed French as your native language and the word firmament does not fall under basic vocabulary. You can also say "starry firmament", but in this context that is implied.

    Another addendum: you can switch out "judge" for "rule" or "reign", for a translation with a slightly different feel.
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  3. XPditif Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    français (France)

    Thanks for the quick answer, "die seele" being the soul.
    As you logically pointed, this is inspirated from the famous Schiller poem, Ode an die Freude, made popular by Beethoven (which of course I couldn't notice), the original being:

    "Ahnest du den Schöpfer, Welt? Such' ihn über'm Sternenzelt! Über Sternen muß er wohnen."

    Anyway lots of thanks, as it is but a premise to understanding the latest work of Hideaki Anno. Hope I'll be helping you someday: if you need anything in French/English, just ask.
    Respect to NGE and Rebuild fans worldwide!
  4. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    There is a small difference in my interpretation:

    "überm sternenzelt richtet Gott, (so) wie wir gerichtet (haben)." "Haben" is omitted here. This was a common old style, in modern style it cannot be omitted.

    So it is just the other way around:

    God judges above the stars (above the firmament) as we have judged.

    It does not mean that god judges in the same way as we have judged but that we have judged and god judges, too.

    The sentence uses poetic language style. So you have to adapt the English version.

    "Sternenzelt" is an old picture meaning literally stars tent. The idea was, that the firmament is a large tent (canopy) and the stars are fixed on it.

    See also English and German:

    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  5. killerbees Senior Member

    Philadelphia, PA
    English [US]
    Heh, I think, as a non-native speaker, my brain processed "gerichtet" as "richtet" [which makes no sense, since it should be "richten"] as a mechanism to explain the absence of "haben". Thanks, Hutschi!
  6. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    The Sternenzelt/firmament, as Hutschi said, comes from ancient astronomy. It was an important part of the geocentric view of the universe, especially for Ptolemy's, in which the firmament was the 8th "sphere." The 9th "sphere" was then called "Sphere of the Prime Mover" or "Sphere of God," so the idea was that God ruled from the 9th sphere, "over the firmament."

    Even after the heliocentric system superseded the Ptolemy's, this ancient view/picture continued to be popular in literature and art.
  7. XPditif Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    français (France)
    Thanks everybody!
    I'm near the seventh sphere. ;)

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