Friday, October 23, 2009

A Multitude of Mighty Fortresses: Let's Translate Together!

OK, so one article I read about this song is that it is notoriously difficult to translate into English.  Apparently, there are over 100 versions floating around out there.

So, let's go back to the drawing board.  My German is rusty, but I will give it a try.  Those of you who well-versed in German, feel free to leave corrections in the comment box.  I am looking for a literal translation here, so there is no need to try to crunch the translation into the meter.

Also, if this German version is not the one that the Lutheran Hymnal Project used for LSB, feel free to drop the correct one in the comment box as well.

Here we go!

Line 1:
Ein' feste Burg is unser Gott,
A mighty fortress is our God,

Line 2:
Ein gute Wehr und Waffen;
A good defense and weapon;

Line 3:
Er hilft uns frei aus aller Not,
He helps us free from every need

Line 4:
Die uns jetzt hat betroffen.
That has now affected us.

Line 5:
Der alt' boese Feind,
The old wicked Foe,

Line 6:
Mit Ernst er's jetzt meint
With seriousness he has now ______

Line 7:
Gross' Macht und viel List
Great power and much craftiness

Line 8:
Sein' grauseam' Ruestung ist,
His armor is cruel,

Line 9:
Auf Erd' is nicht sein gleichen.
His equal is not on earth.

As you can see, Line 6 was particularly challenging.

Again, leave any corrections or clarifications in the comment section, and a new literal translation will be used to compare other English translation.

Special thanks to Google Translator and for making this work fairly easy, and to hymntime for providing the German text.

Time Out #36: Lord, Keep Us Steadfast

This week on Lutheran Time Out, the hymn Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word is featured.  You can follow along in Lutheran Service Book #655.

Dan speaks of the persecuted church in his post.  Read more in the comment section for this episode and in the comments for Episode 30, Built on the Rock.

Once again, Southern Lutheran Kantor is at the organ bench and Layman Dan adds his voice.