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German translation help please


Chris_Baker
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One of the planned German offensive operations for 1918 went by the name of Waldfest. The British Official Historian rendered it as "Woodfeast" and this has naturally been carried over into other books. I would have said "Wood party". Could one of our German friends or a good German speaker tell me what the most accurate rendition into English would be?

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From Googling and Wikipedia (OK, I know............) Waldfest was and still is celebrated in parts of Austria and Germany and many parts of the world where there are German immigrants on the Sunday before Whitsun.

Waldfest appears to have similar translations to what you have but one that I found gives it as Forest Festival.

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Chris,

Why not leave it as “Waldfest” and then in brackets put the translation you like best, although “wood party”, sounding like it might refer to a group looking for firewood is perhaps more ambiguous that “forest festival”. The problem with translations of this sort is that whatever you choose, everyone else will have their own favourite versions anyway.

I would suggest something like the following: “The German offensive known as “Waldfest” (literally, Forest Festival) took place in April 1918.”

Regards,

Russell

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Outdoor festival? (although that does rather conjure up images of Woodstock...)

Forest/woodland carnival?

Like so many German words, not really an English equivalent I fear; we don't really have festivals in the middle of a forest. Sometimes leaving in the original language is easier (unless you're Richard Evans making a hash of Nazi terminology...)

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Okay, a contextual question: Operation Strandfest (often translated as Beach Party) took place beside the sea - did Waldfest take place in a wooded area?

And how about Forest frolic or Romp in the woods ... ?

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Strangely, Waldfest goes easier in French. Fete de la Foret (with circumflexes over the first 'e' of fete and the 'e' in foret) would immediately conjure up something to a Frenchman. Both the French and the Germans have these things, with lots of folk dancing and drinking accompanying people chopping wood or stripping the bark off trees against the clock. On the other hand, any Anglo Saxon heading for the woods is likely to be on his own or be considered a witch or a tree-hugger. I should be inclined to go for Forest Fair, if it was a small operation, but Forest Festival (both nicely alliterative) if it was a major undertaking.

Jack

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... any Anglo Saxon heading for the woods is likely to be on his own or be considered a witch or a tree-hugger.

The ones who moved to the colonies of North America had no choice but to get used to the woods.

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Not keen on any translation which includes 'festival' because I was always taught when translating to avoid any similar English word as a 'falscher freund'. Hope that is correct, long time since German O levels.

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You will not find a precice/concise translation for Waldfest. I concur with the posters who suggest to keep the original German word (nickname) "Waldfest". I would easily translate it into

Forest Feast but this is truly also crap. Overlord stays Overlord and Waldfest is Waldfest

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Not keen on any translation which includes 'festival' because I was always taught when translating to avoid any similar English word as a 'falscher freund'.

On that basis you should avoid translating 'Freund' as 'friend' ... B)

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And how not to do it, courtesy of Prof Richard Evans (who speaks fluent German) and the final volume of his Third Reich trilogy :o

German General Paper = (I think) Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

SS Well of Life = SS Lebensborn

Regional Leader = Gauleiter

and my favourite

Adolf Hitler's Personal Flag = Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (if I was going to go for it in English, I'd have gone with 'bodyguard').

A salutary lesson in keeping German, er, German. :rolleyes:

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On that basis you should avoid translating 'Freund' as 'friend' ... B)

Ah! but I didn't ....... the expression is not an English one translated into German, it was used in the sense referred to by a native speaker.

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Ah! but I didn't ...

I know you didn't - that's why I said you should avoid it, or not as the case might be.

As for faux amis, beware of a German bearing a Gift, and try to keep out of the Mist ... :D

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One of the planned German offensive operations for 1918 went by the name of Waldfest. The British Official Historian rendered it as "Woodfeast" and this has naturraly been carried over into other books. I would have said "Wood party". Could one of our German friends or a good German speaker tell me what the most accurate rendition into English would be?

Given the apparent lack of an exact English translation, perhaps it would be more accurate to say in English:

Waldfest (as with all German offensives in the west) = "The best laid plans of mice and men (Schlieffen, Moltke, Falkenhayn, Ludendorff et al) often (always) go (went) awry leaving nought but tears and sorrow for another day..."

I know it's a bit churlish of me, Chris, but perhaps as close to accuracy as you're going to get?

Cheers-salesie.

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