...staring down from a wall...

ricko

Member
English - UK
Hello,

How might you translate this extract into German?

"Winston Smith's flat was seven flights up. On each landing, opposite the lift shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures that was so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran."

I've got as far as "Winston Smiths Wohnung befand sich sieben Treppen hoch" but it gets harder after that. Particularly the translation of "gazed from the wall" - neither von nor aus sounds right to me. Anybody got any ideas?

Thanks

Ricko
 
  • jebbe

    Senior Member
    German, Germany
    Hello,

    "Winston Smiths Wohnung befand sich sieben Treppen hoch" - though grammatically correct, this sounds weird, maybe it would be better to say "...befand sich im siebten Stockwerk".

    "gazed from the wall" - what about "starrte ihn von der Wand aus an"?

    "landing" here could be "Treppenabsatz".

    jebbe
     

    ricko

    Member
    English - UK
    Thanks for your help Jebbe. Here is what I have so far:

    Winston Smiths Wohnung befand sich im siebten Stockwerk. Auf jedem Treppenabsazt, gegenüber dem Aufzugsschacht, starrte ihn von der Wand aus an
    das Poster mit dem riesigen Gesicht. Es war ein von diesen Posters, die so gekünstelt sind, dass die Augen dir überallhin folgen, wenn du dich bewegst. BIG BROTHER BEOBACHTET DICH IMMER, lautete die Bildunterschrift darunter.

    Anything else sound weird, any more huge mistakes?

    Thanks again,

    Ricko
     

    jebbe

    Senior Member
    German, Germany
    Winston Smiths Wohnung befand sich im siebten Stockwerk. Auf jedem Treppenabsatz, gegenüber dem Aufzugsschacht, starrte ihn von der Wand aus an das Poster mit dem riesigen Gesicht an. Es war eines von diesen Postern, die so gekünstelt gestaltet sind, dass die Augen dir überallhin folgen, wenn du dich bewegst. BIG BROTHER BEOBACHTET DICH IMMER, lautete die Bildunterschrift darunter.
    Hi,

    pretty good, just some small remarks:

    "gekünstelt" means "artificial" or "affected", not "well designed". However, I can't think of a good translation for "contrived" right now, "gestaltet" means something like "designed", so that might work.

    "Big brother is watching you" is well understood in German too, so I maybe wouldn't translate it at all, especially because it is the caption of a poster.

    I would leave out "darunter", because "Bildunterschrift" already implies that it is beneath it.

    Hope that helps,
    jebbe
     

    ricko

    Member
    English - UK
    "Contrived" does mean that it's very artificial and perhaps not particularly well designed, so I'll leave it in, but otherwise thanks, that's very helpful!
     

    jebbe

    Senior Member
    German, Germany
    Hi,
    that's interesting, but "gekünstelt" doesn't really work at that place. Anyway, I can't think of a better word right now, so maybe you should wait for someone else...
    jebbe
     

    Ralf

    Senior Member
    German
    Just nitpicking ;) : Assuming that a flight connects two landings and that a staircase (at least in a block of flats) usually consists of alternating regular and mezzanine levels, the seventh flight would eventually end at the fourth storey rather than the seventh.

    On the other hand "Wir wohnen sieben Treppen hoch" actually refers to the seventh storey in colloquial German.

    Ralf
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Winston Smiths Wohnung befand sich im siebenten Stockwerk. Auf jedem Treppenabsatz, gegenüber dem Aufzugsschacht, starrte ihn von der Wand aus das Poster mit dem riesigen Gesicht an. Es war eines von diesen Postern, die so gestaltet sind, dass die Augen dir überallhin folgen, wenn du dich bewegst. BIG BROTHER BEOBACHTET DICH IMMER, lautete die Bildunterschrift darunter.
    Hi I have some small chane proposals in style.


    • siebenten (siebten is possible, but the word sounds old or regional)
    • Stockwerk -> Stock (Stockwerk is a very formal style. If you need this, you can let it.)
    • BIG BROTHER BEOBACHTET DICH IMMER - I would omit "immer", because it weakens the sentence. ("Immer" means just the time, so you weaken the threat, because it is in time and space - immer und überall.) Or let it in English.
    Best regards
     
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