Mudcat Café message #753021 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49293   Message #753021
Posted By: CapriUni
23-Jul-02 - 10:26 AM
Thread Name: BS: German 'Catters? Help with translation
Subject: RE: BS: German 'Catters? Help with translation
I now remember what I imagined when I heard the tale as a child: Since it came out of a well and was called after the sea, I thought of the Meerhäschen as a wet bunny.

:::Chuckle::: That makes sense...

Certainly, nothing like a Mongoose at all...

You know, I first came across this tale in college, (in a fourth-year level course on fairy tales), and the professor who taught it was a stickler for academic standards. So when he picked a translation, I just assumed it was the most accurate available.

But now that I have easy access to other translations, I discover that the translator made arbitrary changes in at least two of the stories: substituting "Mongoose" for "sea hare", just because (it seems) it made more sense to him; and in "Hans My Hedgehog", completely changing the scene where Hans punishes the first princess -- the daughter of the false king (In the original, he rips off her gown, and cuts her with his quills... in the translation I read, Hans buys a fancy coat for himself, which he takes off in the carriage -- releasing his quills. I can see no other reason for this than the first version was too sexual and/or violent for Mr. Manheim's sensibilities).

This discovery, of course, puts the whole translation, which I studied so carefully, with highlighters and notes in the margin, into question...