Hans Christian Andersen Bicentenary
Thread poster: jmadsen
Two hundred years ago today, Hans Christian Andersen, one of the worlds most famous writers of fairy tales and stories - and probably one of the most famous Danes ever - was born.
This frail and melancholic poet produced a long row of unique and imaginative stories that have been translated into about 125 languages and his works continue to be appreciated by and of current interest to a large and growing audience around the world.
Please join me in commemorating this great author on this day.
For more information about the celebration of the bicentenary, visit http://www.hca2005.com (includes links to Hans Christian Andersen websites in many languages). Also visit the Hans Christian Andersen Centre at http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/index_e.html to read more about the author, his life and works.
Read HCA stories online in many languages at http://www.fortaellinger.frac.dk/ (mostly European languages).
[Edited at 2005-04-02 08:44]
| | Heinrich Pesch
Local time: 08:20
Finnish to German
| How many actually translated straight from Danish? || Apr 2, 2005 |
I wonder if someone has studied this question already. Did the translators into all these exotic languages really know Danish or did they translate from English, German or French versions? Is it possible to tell (style, phrases, names etc.), which versions were actually used?
Has anybody any information about these questions?
At least the Grimms' brother's fairy tails were translated many times from scatch into Finnish, and every translation is diffirent. I wonder if also Andersen was censored somehow, by leaving out or changing.
I would be glad to recieve any information (links to dissertations etc.) regarding this problem.
Happy birthday, HC!
[Edited at 2005-04-02 07:49]
| Thank you, Jergen || Apr 2, 2005 |
For a tribute to a 'good old friend', probably one of the keys that opened the literature door to most of us.
[Edited at 2005-04-02 08:20]
| | jmadsen
Local time: 07:20
| Relay Translations || Apr 2, 2005 |
Heinrich Pesch wrote:
Did the translators into all these exotic languages really know Danish or did they translate from English, German or French versions?
I've read somewhere that Hungarian translations until now have been translated from German. In connection with the bicentenary, efforts have been made to produce new translations directly from Danish. Maybe someone can confirm this?
Danish being such a small language itself, an obvious choice - especially for smaller languages - would be to translated from bigger languages like English or German, so I find it likely for other languages, too.
| I join the tribute. || Apr 2, 2005 |
I had three favourite books when I was little. They were a collection of stories by three authors: H.C. Andersen, G. Green and Perrault.
I still have them with me (in Spanish) and now my kids are reading them
| Lost in translation... || Apr 2, 2005 |
I admit I have not read all the tales in the original versions, but I did read some for my son when he was that age, and even more for myself. They are not all children's stories, and some are hardly suitable for children - they were written quite as much for grown ups.
Especially some of the English and American versions I came across as a child were 'bowdlerised' - and although I have not seen Disney's 'The Little Mermaid', the merchandising gives me the feeling that Disney's and Andersen's mermaids are two entirely different species.
I heard recently on the radio that in an American ending to 'The Little Matchstick Girl' she was adopted by a rich woman and saved with a helping of roast goose (and Christmas goodwill).
In the original version she is reunited with her dead grandmother - as I remember, she was 'found lifeless the next morning with a smile on her face'.
There is a lot of 'social realism' in the stories as Hans Christian Andersen wrote them. He never forgot his childhood in a poor family.
His gift was the ability to wonder, see beauty and romance in humble places, and make wonderful pictures from simple paper cutouts. He still has plenty to tell our affluent society about the world around us.
I hope everyone can get hold of the better translations and not the plagiarised 'adapted' versions!
Have a nice weekend anyway!
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| I'm glad to celebrate this || Apr 28, 2005 |
... though a little late
There was a conference at my university, held last week by a well-known Danish professor from the University of Wien, Sven Rossel. He talked about the world of Andersen's tales, about the signification of what he wrote, about the two sides of him as a writer : the fairy-tales writer and the novelist, the positivist versus the negativist. I enjoyed the conference very much, especially when the professor quoted a beginning phrase from one of his tales in Danish ... I understood it partly, as I am only studying Norwegian, and for only one year, but I was more than glad.