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The True Ending of Fairy Tales Pt. 3

Read in English
Nachdem ich ihr im Märchensommer schon die Englischen Versionen von Teil 1 und Teil 2 hier lesen konntet, gibt es nun zum Abschluss auch noch einen Gastbeitrag von Sebastian „Sofian“ Wiedemeier in dem er sich noch ein drittes Mal mit den eigentlichen Enden (Deutscher) Märchen befasst hat. (Danke wieder an Cupric für die Übersetzungshilfe!)

Das eigentliche Ende (Deutscher) Märchen Teil 3

Im Rahmen des Märchensommers hat mich PoiSonPaiNter zwei Dinge gefragt: Zum Einen um die Erlaubnis, die ersten beiden Teile dieser ins Englische übersetzen zu dürfen, zum Anderen, ob ich mir nicht vorstellen könnte, einen neuen Gastbeitrag für ihre Aktion zu liefern. Und weil es bei dieser Aktion um Märchen geht, lasse ich mich natürlich nicht zweimal bitten und habe ja gesagt. Und was wäre hier passender, als die alten, staubigen Bücher ein weiteres Mal auszupacken und zu sehen, welche Obszönitäten, Absurditäten und Perversionen sich noch in den Ursprüngen der Märchenwelt verbergen.

Wie Kinder Schlachtens miteinander gespielt haben

Ein Märchen, von dem meines Wissens keine modernen Versionen existieren, ist die Geschichte „Wie Kinder Schlachtens miteinander gespielt haben„, denn es verschwand bereits aus der zweiten Auflage der „Kinder- und Hausmärchen“ der Grimms, weil es für Kinder nicht geeignet sei und zur Nachahmung anregen würde. Doch worum ging es in dem Märchen? Im Prinzip geht es um eine Gruppe Kinder, die ein kindlich- naives Rollenspiel spielen. Ich meine, jeder von uns hat sicherlich so Dinge wie „Vater, Mutter, Kind“ oder „Räuber und Gendarm“ in seiner Kindheit gespielt. Im besagten Kinderspiel teilen sich die Kinder verschiedene Rollen zu, wie sie zur Verarbeitung eines Schweins notwendig sind. So zum Beispiel der Schlachter, der das Schwein tötet, die Küchenmagd, die das Blut des Schweins mit einer Schale auffängt, um Würste damit zu kochen, den Koch und viele mehr. Selbstredend braucht man für ein solches Spiel auch ein Schwein und so schlüpft ebenfalls eines der Kinder in diese Rolle. Ich wette, einige von euch können das Ende hier bereits sehen, oder? Deshalb möchte ich es nur kurz zusammenfassen: Der „Schlachter“ schneidet dem „Schwein“ die Kehle durch und die Küchenmagd fängt das Blut in einer Schale auf. An dieser Stelle wird das Spiel von einem Erwachsenen, seines Zeichens Ratsherr, unterbrochen, der den „Schlachter“ festnimmt und den Rat zusammenruft. Dieser hat von einem solchen Fall noch nie gehört und weiß nicht, ob er das Kind verurteilen kann. Ein alter, weiser Richter hat da die Idee, dem Kind einen roten Apfel und einen Taler anzubieten. Wählt das Kind den Apfel, so ist das ein Beweis für ihre kindliche Naivität und es wird freigelassen, wählt es aber den Taler, hat es bereits die erwachsene Fähigkeit, abstrakte Wertkonstrukte zu verstehen und ist schuldig des Mordes, sodass es gehängt werden soll. Das Kind wählt den Apfel und geht fröhlich seiner Wege.

Es existiert bei diesem Märchen allerdings noch ein zweiter Teil, eine alternative Version. In dieser sieht ein Junge, wie der Vater ein Schwein schlachtet, und will dies nachspielen. Also nimmt es ein Messer, geht zu seinem Bruder und sagt ihm, dass dieser nun das Schwein sei, er selbst der Schlachter. Dann stößt er ihm das Messer in den Hals. Die Mutter der Jungen, die gerade im Haus ihr jüngstes Kind badet, hört den Schrei ihres Sohnes und stürmt hinaus. Als sie die Szene sieht, holt sie das Messer aus dem Hals ihres Kindes und ersticht damit in Rage ihr anderes Kind. Sie will danach nach ihrem dritten Kind sehen, das mittlerweile im Zuber ertrunken ist. Verzweifelt über den Verlust ihrer Kinder erhängt sie die Mutter danach. Der Vater, der am Abend nach Hause kommt und das Grauen sieht, stirbt kurz darauf als gebrochener Mann.

Über dieses Märchen wurde schon damals heftig gestritten. Die einen sagten, das Märchen würde Kinder davor warnen, es beim Spielen allzu ernst zu treiben und zu weit zu gehen, die anderen behaupteten, das gerade das durch diese Geschichte gefördert werden würde. Da diese Geschichte auch nicht entschärft werden konnte, wie es die Grimms mit vielen Märchen getan haben, wurde sie in der Zweitauflage der KHM ganz einfach weggelassen. Ob es durch das Erzählen dieser Geschichte tatsächlich zu Morden unter Kindern gekommen ist, lässt sich heute nicht mehr sagen, es ist aber, zugegebenermaßen, mehr als unwahrscheinlich.

Die kleine Meerjungfrau

Wenn es auch kein grimmsches Märchen ist, ja nicht einmal ein deutsches oder überhaupt ein echtes Märchen, so zeigt das KunstmärchenDie kleine Meerjungfrau“ von Hans Christian Andersen doch auf, wo und wie die Motive von Märchen mit der Zeit immer weiter vereinfacht, verharmlost und verkindlicht wurden. Die heute bekannte Disneyversion kennen vermutlich alle, dennoch möchte ich sie kurz der Vollständigkeit halber zusammenfassen. Die Meerjungfrau Arielle verliebt sich in einen Menschen und tauscht bei der Seehexe Ursula ihre Stimme gegen Beine. Sie muss innerhalb von drei Tagen einen Kuss vom Prinzen bekommen, sonst verliert sie auch noch ihre Seele. Es kommt zum Showdown und natürlich zum Happy End, in dem Arielle ihre Seele und Beine behält, ihre Stimme zurückerlangt und auch den Prinzen heiratet.
Die Motive und Sagen, derer sich Andersen hier bedient, sind aber sehr viel älter und zum Teil sehr viel brutaler. Die Figur der Arielle/der kleinen Meerjungfrau basiert auf der Sagengestalt der Undine, die im Laufe der Jahre vielfach literarisch verarbeitet wurde. Dabei spielt der Raub der Stimme meist eine zentrale Rolle- war die Undine doch nah verwandt mit den Sirenen und deshalb ein Urtypus der weiblichen Verführerin, die Männer von ihrer Tugendhaftigkeit abbrachte. Indem man ihr also die Stimme raubte, bevor sie unter den Menschen leben durfte, wurde diese Gefahr gebannt. Allerdings findet der Stimmenraub oft eher in Form des brutaleren Herausschneidens der Zunge statt. Doch auch, wenn die nun zungenlose Meerjungfrau nun unter den Menschen leben darf, ist ihr in den älteren Sagen kein Happy End beschieden. In einer Version fühlt sich für sie jeder Schritt an, als würde sie barfuss über Glasscherben laufen, in anderen Versionen dagegen heiratet der von ihr begehrte Prinz, mal ohne sie zu kennen, mal nach dem Erzeugen von Hoffnungen, eine andere Frau. Die nun von Grund auf depressive Meerjungfrau möchte zurück ins Meer, aber dieser Weg ist ihr verwehrt, denn dafür müsste sie ihren geliebten Prinzen töten. Dennoch versucht sie, zurück ins Meer zu gelangen, wobei sie sich in Schaum verwandelt und stirbt (in anderen ertrinkt sie einfach). Es existieren aber auch Versionen, in denen die Meerjungfrau schlicht und einfach Selbstmord begeht.
Im Gegensatz zu den Grimmschen Märchen fehlt hier so etwas wie eine übergeordnete Moral und da es sich um ein Kunstmärchen handelt, auch die in den grimmschen Märchen zu findenden, hauptsächlich sexuellen Sagenmotive, dennoch zeigt gerade die kleine Meerjungfrau, weil die Ursprünge hier klar sind, wie Märchen vereinfacht wurden. Hinzu kommt, das die zugrunde liegende Motive der Undinen in der ein oder anderen Version jedem bekannt ist- zählen doch auch zahlreiche Lokalsagen wie die Loreley und das Wiener Donauweibchen zu diesem Sagenkomplex.

Es waren einmal andere Märchen…

In meiner kleinen Serie habe ich euch nun bereits von Allerleirau, Rotkäppchen, Schneewittchen und Dornröschen erzählt, auch „Wie Kindern Schlachtens miteinander gespielt haben“ und das Andersen- Märchen von der kleinen Meerjungfrau. Allerdings könnte ich die Liste der Märchen beinahe endlos weiterführen. Manche sind auch bis heute kaum verändert worden, wie das Märchen „Frau Trude“, in dem ein ungehorsames Kind von der Hexe Trude in einen Holzklotz verwandelt und danach verheizt wird. Ebenfalls ein sehr beliebtes Motiv in der Kategorie der Märchen, die aufgrund ihrer Grausamkeit zum Teil nicht mehr weiter bearbeitet und verlegt wurden, ist der grausame, Frauen meuchelnde Ehemann, der in seinem Haus eine geheime Mordkammer hat. Dieses Motiv findet sich in dieser Form vor allem in den Märchen „Fitchers Vogel“ und dem bekannteren „Blaubart„. In beiden verbietet der Ehemann der Frau, eine bestimmte Kammer zu betreten, was diese natürlich dennoch tun und am Ende nur mit List, Glück und ihrer Verwandtschaft knapp dem Tod entgehen können. Noch weiter in seiner Grausamkeit geht das Märchen „Der Räuberbräutigamm„, in dem eine Frau die grausame Massenvergewaltigung und Ermordung einer anderen Frau mit ansehen muss, bei der es immerhin wild genug zugeht, um Körperteile durch die Gegend zu werfen.
Geschichten wie diese zeigen besonders eines: Märchen sind ursprünglich keine Kindergeschichten, erst die Grimmsche Bearbeitung hat sie zu diesen gemacht. Vielmehr sind sie meist Sagen, Geschichten und Schwänke, die mit der Zeit von vielen Erzählern immer mal mehr, mal weniger subjektiv verändert erzählt worden sind. Wie alle Geschichten verfolgen sie immer einen Zweck, der sich nicht immer auf den ersten Blick erschließt. Sie vermitteln Werte, Ansichten und zum Teil auch politische Gesinnung, zum Teil sollen sie sogar pauschal vor bestimmten Menschengruppen warnen oder diese gar diskreditieren (z.B. Juden im „Der Jude im Dorn„).
Märchen waren vieles, aber eines ganz sicher nicht: Reine Kinder- und Unterhaltungsgeschichten.

Der Autor

Sofian bloggt über das Schreiben und andere Sachen, die damit verbunden sind.  Er hat außerdem ein wachses Auge für Märchen.
Ihr könnt ihr ihn auf seinem Blog: Sofians Kreativstube, auf Facebook: Kreativschreibstube und Twitter: @Sofian_KSS

PoiSonPaiNter
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Lies auf Deutsch
After you got the English Versions of Part 1 and Part 2 during the Fairy Tale Summer you’ll get as conclusion a a guest post by Sebastian „Sofian“ Wiedemeier where he looked at the true ending of (German) Fairy Tales for the third time. (Thanks again to Cupric for helping out with the translation!)

The True Ending of Fairy Tales – Part 3

The first thing to notice when you engage in Fairy Tales is that they’re originally not meant to be instructional stories for children. They were stories told by adults, often bloodier and more gruesome than today’s horror movies. The Brothers Grimm were the first to rewrite them for their second collection into more child-friendly versions. Hence I’d like to tell you in this first part two endings of Fairy Tales as they were told by the Brothers Grimm.

Wie Kinder Schlachtens miteinander gespielt haben (How Some Children Played at Slaughtering)

A Fairy Tale without a modern version as far as I know is the story ‚How Some Children Played at Slaughtering‚, because it had already vanished from the second edition of Grimm’s Children’s and Household Tales because it wouldn’t be suitable for children and encourage imitation. But what was the Fairy Tale about? The basic story-line is about children playing childish-naive make-believe role play. I mean, every one of us is surely bound to have played games such as house or cops and robbers in their youth.

In this game the children take up roles that are necessary to handle the slaughter of a pig. For example a butcher who kills the pig, a kitchenmaid to catch its blood in a basin to process it into blood sausages, the cook and many more. Naturally you’ll need a pig for this game as well and so one child gets assigned that particular role. I bet some of you already know which turn this game will take, don’t you? Thus I’ll keep it short: The ‚butcher‘ slits the ‚pig’s‘ throat while the kitchenmaid catches its blood in a basin. At this point the game gets interrupted by an adult, councilman by profession, who detains the ‚butcher‘ and calls for the council. Said council had never heard of such a case and can’t decide whether they can convict the child. An old and wise judge hits on the idea to offer said child an apple and a coin. If the child chooses the apple it’s to be viewed as a sign of child-like naiveté and the child to be let free, but if it chooses the coin instead this means it’s already able to grasp adult-like value judgement and is thus guilty of murder and to be hanged. The child picks the apple and happily goes its way.

But there is another, alternative version of this Fairy Tale as well. Here a boy sees how his father slaughters a pig and wants to re-enact it. So he takes a knife, goes up to his brother and declares him to be the pig and himself to be the butcher. Then he thrusts the knife into his brother’s throat. The boys‘ mother, who is bathing her youngest child in the house, hears her son’s scream and rushes out. Taking in the scene she pulls the knife out of her child’s throat to stab her other son to death in her rage. She wants to look after her third child and finds it drowned in the tub. Fallen into despair over the loss of her children she hangs herself afterwards. The father, coming home in the evening, sees the horror and dies as a broken man shortly after.

This Fairy Tale sparked controversy back then as well. Some said this Fairy Tale would warn children not to take playing too seriously, others argued that it would promote exactly that. As this story isn’t that easily softened as the Brothers Grimm did with countless other Fairy Tales it was simply dropped from the second edition of the Children’s and Household Tales. Whether the narration of this story really promoted murder among children can’t be assessed nowadays but it is, admittedly, doubtful.

Die kleine Meerjungfrau (The Little Mermaid)

Even though it’s not a Tale by the Brothers Grimm, actually not even German or a real Fairy Tale, this literary Fairy TaleThe Little Mermaid‚ by Hans Christian Andersen still showcases where and how motives of Tales got simplified, downplayed and made suitable for children as time went on. The modern Disney version is most likely known by nearly everyone but I’ll briefly summarize for the sake of completeness: Mermaid Arielle falls in love with a human and gets her voice traded for legs by the sea witch Ursula. She has to get a kiss from the prince within three days or she’ll lose her soul as well. Naturally this leads to a showdown und finally a happy ending in which Arielle keeps her Soul and legs, regains her voice and marries the prince.

The motives and legends herein used by Andersen are way older and to some extend beastlier. The figure of Arielle/the little mermaid is based off the mythical creature named Undine which had been literary processed quite frequently over the years. Taking its voice often held a vital part as the Undine’s closely related with Sirens and thus an original type of seductress taking a man’s virtue. So taking her voice before she was allowed to live among humans ensured their safety. However it was mostly implemented by the brutal way of cutting out the tongue. Still, even though the tongueless mermaid’s now allowed to live among humans she wasn’t allotted for a happy ending in the older versions. In one of those every step hurt her as if walking over shattered glass, in another the desired prince marries – sometimes not even knowing her, sometimes raising her hopes – a different woman. The fundamentally depressive mermaid wants to return to the sea but that path’s blocked because she would have to kill her beloved prince to do so. She tries to go back into the sea anyway resulting in her changing into foam and dying (in other versions she simply drowns). There are some, too, in which she simply commits suicide.

In contrast to Tales by the Brothers Grimm there is no higher moral standard and as it’s a literary Fairy Tale the mainly sexually oriented motives that are usually found in Grimm’s Tales are missing as well. Still, The Little Mermaid excellently showcases how Fairy Tales got simplified as its origin is quite distinct. There is also the fact that the underlying motives of the Undine is known to everybody in one version or another – even local myths like Loreley and the ‚Wiener Donauweibchen‘ count towards this cluster of legends.

Once upon a time there were other Fairy Tales…

In my little series I already told you about All-kinds-of-fur, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, also about „How Some Children Played at Slaughtering“ and the Andersen-Fairy Tale about the Little Mermaid. Admittedly I could continue this list of Fairy Tales nearly endlessly. Some of them are even barely changed to this day, like the Fairy Tale „Frau Trude (Mother Trudy)„, in which a disobedient child is turned into a log and burned by Mother Trudy. Another much loved motive in the category of Fairy Tale, which aren’t being edited or published any more due to their cruelty, is the wife murdering husband that has a secret murder-chamber in his house. The motive can be found in this for especially in the Fairy Tale „Fitcher’s Bird“ and the better known „Bluebeard„. In both of them the husband forbids his wife to enter a certain chamber, what she does regadless and in the end only manages to barely escape death with cunning, luck and her relatives. Even further into this cruelty goes the Fairy Tale „The Robber Bridegroom„, in which the woman has to witness the cruel mass-rape and slaughter of another women, in which things are that wild that limbs fly across the room.
Stories like these particularly show one thing: Fairy Tales are originally no children’s tales, only the editing of the Grimms turned them into that. Rather they’re legends, tales or droll stories, that with time got told by many story tellers sometimes more, sometimes less subjectively changed. As many stories are they following one purpose, that isn’t quite clear at first glance. They convey values, opinions and partly also political disposition, partly they are even supposed to overall warn about certain groups of people or even discredit them (e.g. Jews in „Der Jude im Dorn“ – The Jew in the Thorns).
Fairy Tales are many things, but one thing certainly not: Pure children and entertainment stories.

The author

Sofian blogs about writing and other things that come along with it. He also has a keen eye for Fairy Tales.
You can find him on his Blog: Sofians Kreativstube, on Facebook: Kreativschreibstube and Twitter: @Sofian_DiB

PoiSonPaiNter

The True Ending of Fairy Tales Pt. 2


For the Fairy Tale Summer I decided (and obviously asked if it was okay, so thanks for letting me do this!) to translate (or rather let translate: Thanks Cupric for helping out here!) the Blog posts by Sebastian „Sofian“ Wiedemeier I told you about in the beginning. If you prefer reading it in German check out Sofian’s original post: Das eigentliche Ende Deutscher Märchen [Teil 2]. But let’s begin:

The True Ending of Fairy Tales Part 2

I’ve already talked about the more or less unknown Fairy Tale Donkey Skin and the more famous Fairy Tale Little Red Riding Hood in the first part. Both end in quite a different way than Disney or Brothers Grimm lead on. In the second part of my series I’d like to stay with famous Fairy Tales again – I dare say that the following two Fairy Tales I’m focusing on are in the top 5 in terms of fame.

Sneewittchen (Schneeweißchen/Schneewittchen – Snow White)

I’m sure all of us sat in front of the TV and happily sang along ‚Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, It’s home from work we go!‘ when the dwarves went home. Everyone knows the basic story-line. Snow White escapes from her vain stepmother and survives several attempts on her life after that and finally gets kissed back to life by the prince. The origin plot of this lower German Fairy Tale is different and quite strange on several parts.

Everything starts with the Queen pricking her finger and realizing how beautiful the color combination of black-red-white is. She wishes for a child in those colours and of course it comes true. That already portraits that woman’s character quite well on its own, but there is more to come. She’s in possession of a magical mirror in this version as well which she regularly consults about who is the fairest of them all. When Snow White reached the age of seven she became more beautiful than the Queen which the mirror says self-evidently. The mother, full of vanity, gets consumed with envy and fetches a Huntsman to guide Snow White into the forest where she is to be killed by him. Hello, I mean, it’s her own friggin‘ daughter?! And that’s just the tip of the ice berg – she demands a trophy from the Huntsman, namely lungs and liver of the little princess, because she wants to ‚cook them with salt and eat them‘. A totally normal thing to do, cooking your own child’s organs.
Still, the Huntsman is a man and, as always in such Fairy Tales, the men gets easily softened up. So Snow White starts tear-jerking and begging for her life (I don’t know about you but with seven (!) I had no clue what death meant) and so the Huntsman lets her go. I mean, every man with pity lets little children run around on their own in a forest. Instead of her he kills a boar piglet and brings its organs to the mother who actually proceeds to cook and eat them. Yep, she’s really doing it while believing them to be her daughter’s.
Now follows the typical to and fro, the mother tries with different approaches to get Snow White to bite the dust but somehow it never quite works until she constructs an apple. Snow White dies (again) and is put into a glas coffin where she doesn’t decay.
But what would be a story without another totally disturbed character? And so a Prince enters the stage, who immediately falls in love with the Snow White. Well, she’s dead and still friggin‘ SEVEN years old, but hey, how does it go? There is no too young there’s only too ti.. Let’s drop the subject. He asks for her corpse, who wouldn’t, and lays her on a bier. Thenceforth he isn’t able to eat or sleep without the body next to him. As if all that wasn’t sick enough (He lays a body on a bier! He falls in love with a seven year old dead child! Do you need more?), he orders his servants to treat her as if she was still alive. At one point one of them is so fed up that he starts pummeling the body in anger, who immediately spits out the apple. She comes back to life and the prince is all happy. They both marry and for the wedding (Did I mention her being only about nine if you count in the time she spend lying around dead?) her mother gets invited. Polite as the Prince tends to be he bestows her right away with a new pair of shoes .. made of glowing iron in which she has to dance until she drops dead.

Let’s summarize: A seven year old girl, a mother dripping of vanity and prone to cannibalism and an openly pedophile-necrophiliac Prince… That doesn’t sound much like Disney, does it?
Of course, several motives get processed. Eating your enemies is a tradition to acquire their might and skills (in this case: beauty) and stems from Celtic times. The apple as a sign of misfortune is definitely Christian. Still… the story in this version is much more disturbing than one would have guessed.

Dornröschen (Sleeping Beauty)

This Fairy Tale was too hardcore even for the Brothers Grimm as they softened it for their first issue even though it wasn’t targeted for children. The basic story-line is quite known as well: A royal couple has a child and they celebrate a feast were only 12 out of 13 Fairies are invited. The 13th curses the child because of that and so, on its 15th birthday, misfortune befalls them – she and the whole court fall asleep for a hundred years. In that period of time a lot of princes die in the thorn hedge around the castle but at the end one manages to break through and kisses her awake.

In the origin version however it isn’t a prince’s kiss that wakes her but rather a child sucking her finger. Where the child’s from? Good question… Well, the Prince had been there for a few years and he thought: If she isn’t protesting that means she wants it, too! And raped the Sleeping Beauty. Who gave birth to a child and again the Prince forces himself upon her. Another child follows before Sleeping Beauty – at that time coming through two rapes and two births without waking up – is awoken through said second child because it sucks on its mother’s finger.
But those who’s expecting the King to punish his daughter’s rapist, some would think a nice cleaver would be the best solution to those people, is wrong. Instead a wedding takes place where Sleeping Beauty marries her (about a hundred years her junior) rapist with whom she ‚lives happily ever after‘.

What’s your overall opinion on them? Do you know a Fairy Tales which ending was alternated in a similar way?

The author

Sofian blogs about writing and other things that come along with it. He also has a keen eye for Fairy Tales. Next week there will also be a third part, he especially wrote for the Fairy Tale Summer, as well. 🙂

You can find him on his Blog: Sofians Kreativstube, on Facebook: Kreativschreibstube and Twitter: @Sofian_DiB

PoiSonPaiNter

The True Ending of Fairy Tales Pt. 1


For the Fairy Tale Summer I decided (and obviously asked if it was okay, so thanks for letting me do this!) to translate (or rather let translate: Thanks Cupric for helping out here!) the Blog posts by Sebastian „Sofian“ Wiedemeier I told you about in the beginning. If you prefer reading it in German check out Sofian’s original post: Das eigentliche Ende Deutscher Märchen [Teil 1]. But let’s begin:

The True Ending of Fairy Tales

The first thing to notice when you engage in Fairy Tales is that they’re originally not meant to be instructional stories for children. They were stories told by adults, often bloodier and more gruesome than today’s horror movies. The Brothers Grimm were the first to rewrite them for their second collection into more child-friendly versions. Hence I’d like to tell you in this first part two endings of Fairy Tales as they were told by the Brothers Grimm.

Allerleirauh (All-Kinds-of-Fur)

This story is one of the lesser-known by the Brothers Grimm; more known should be the story about Princess Donkeyskin from the french collection.
In this story the beautiful, dying Queen urges her king to promise her only to remarry if the bride-to-be would be more beautiful than herself.
After searching in vain for a while his gaze falls upon his own daughter, indeed more beautiful than is late wife. But his daughter is unwilling and asks a fairy for help.
When the king is – against expectations – able to fulfill her requests (a dress each in the color of the sun, the moon and the weather, as well as the skin of an gold defecating donkey) the princess flees, disguised as a vagabond, dressed in the skin which leads to her being called just that: Donkeyskin.
She does the dirty work at a dairy farm but secretly clothes herself in one of her dresses every Sunday.
Of course she gets discovered by a prince and the two end up together. Thus she escapes the king (and the incest-marriage).

The version of the Brothers Grimm, even if already watered down, ends quite differently. The starting position’s the same, up to the point of the princess fleeing. Again with her three dresses but this time she takes three golden items and a coat of more than a thousand kinds of fur as well.
Dressed as a vagabond, more animal than human visually, she gets picked up by the king’s hunters and has to work, incognito, in the castle’s kitchen.
She cooks and has to take her father’s boots off (who throws them at her every single time) while living with the other servants.
When a festivity arises she prettifies herself to toady up to the king who still doesn’t recognize her.
So she cooks him a soup and puts one of the golden items in it for him to finally identify her.
The father asks for the cook of that particular soup because of the high quality but she submissively answers that she’s only good enough to get boots thrown at her. This repeats itself twice with the remaining objects and dresses until the king finally recognizes his daughter-bride.
They marry, quite cheeryly, and remain happily ever after.

What does this story showcase? Well, it shows us a woman who struggles against the shameful sin at first but goes back to her father-groom because of the humiliation and worsening of her life conditions (in contrast to her french counterpart who escapes). She kisses up to him which sounds in my opinion more like Stockholm-Syndrom than an instructional story. The victim (the daughter) becomes the co-perpetrator and relegates herself to the fringe of society by breaking a taboo.
But what does that tell us?
Well, on one hand that incest and sexually motivated abuse aren’t phenomena of modern times. Apparently they were known and evaluated accordingly before – contrary to what modern media would like us to believe. On the other hand it shows us that only the right kind of excuse were needed. The king had promised it to his dying queen and if only the daughter matched the promised specifications – why not?

Rotkäppchen (Little Red Riding Hood)

More or less everybody knows the story about the Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. Today’s end is such that the good Hunter kills it. Sometimes he shoots him, other times an ending gets told where he drowns in a well because of the stones in his stomach. Grandma, Little Red Riding Hood and the Hunter eat in the meanwhile and live happily ever after.
That being the children-friendly version should be clear to everyone, right?

But the original story’s essentially different here as well. Little Red Riding Hood meets the wolf and allows him to take her off the path so he can reach the grandmother. But, in contrary to the popular version, he doesn’t just eat her neck and crop – that’d be too simple. Instead he butchers her like an animal, makes her bleed to death and makes minced meat out of her remains to finally cook them into stew.
So when Little Red Riding Hood arrives he serves her the stew which makes her happily, and unbeknownst to her, eat her own grandmother.
Afterwards he persuades her to undress and lie, in the nude, next to the wolf who’s still dressed as her grandma. Depending on the versions he then proceeds to rape her before eating her up.

Another Fairy Tale originally not intended for children. Still, it combines two widespread kinds of fear. On the one side the wolf as a place-holder for the role of the seducer and on the other the fear of those who lead a damsel astray to steal her virginity. The story showcases in a dramatic way what happens if innocent girls listen to sweet talk and allow themselves to be influenced by it.
Little Red Riding Hood puts the burden of cannibalism on herself, loses her virginity through rape before getting murdered and thus – at least in the beliefs of pre-modern times – is condemned to hell.
All this makes Little Red Riding Hood more of an horror story to tell young girls while sitting in front of the fireplace than a story for children.

What’s your overall opinion on them? Do you know a fairy-tale which ending was alternated in a similar way?

The author

Sofian blogs about writing and other things that come along with it. He also has a keen eye for Fairy Tales. His second part of the true endings will be translated as well – and if we’re lucky, he’ll manage to write a third part for the Märchensommer as well. 🙂

You can find him on his Blog: Sofians Kreativstube, on Facebook: Kreativschreibstube and Twitter: @Sofian_KSS

PoiSonPaiNter

New Year, new whatever?

It’s 2017.

Happy new Year!

Or at least I hope it will be happy and have lots of good stuff in store for everyone…
I mean after all that stuff happening in 2016, we are in for a treat, right?
Let’s do a headcount:
It was the first complete year with just Dad and me. Lots of ups and downs on that front, but that’s family for you. Still miss her a lot. Don’t think that’ll ever change.
It was the year the house I live in was renovated and my flat decided to take a bath. I still haven’t completely settled in again…
And of course it was the year that took away many incredible people and gave us some quite frightening things to look forward to. Though the people-part is arguable. With a celebrity-focused media like we have today it’s not really surprising that they talk about so many celebrities that have died this year, it’s what they do, but I’m fairly certain that before all this there would still be a time where the famous people you loved growing up or in your adulthood would still die at some point, because that’s life. It just wasn’t as broadly discussed as it is nowadays. Everyone knows the major players in popular culture, so of course we all have our own stories when they face their untimely demise. And with cancer and heart attacks being common disease spread across nations, why would they stop before people like them? Just saying…

But it wasn’t really that bad a year…

at least not for me.
I might only have been on one Concert (Van Canto as far as I can remember) and one Festival (Rockharz), but I’ve been to a couple of other just as interesting things.
I spent nearly two fascinating weeks in London with Janzy. A long overdue visit that couldn’t have been better. I’m pretty sure I’ll tell you about it one day.
I had a pretty fun (and exhausting) weekend of Convention-hopping with Schmusi and AnnaTao when we went from the German Comic Con Berlin to the TimeLash in Kassel (Review 2015) on the same weekend. I got to see James Marsters live in concert and panel and talk to two Doctors and Ace, so that was worth it. And we rounded the whole thing up with a visit to the incredible Wind Mill Museum in Gifhorn.
Two of my stories were good enough to be published on other sites (you’ve read about it during my Advent Calendar). A few others where published here and at DFPP Entertainment. A third story also won a minor writing competition again.
It was a great year for movies, Deadpool, Ghostbusters, Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, to name a few, and I got to catch up with some other movies and series I haven’t had the chance of watching before. I also read more than my usual average of books and even dived into a few comics I haven’t read before.
I wrote a couple of often read posts including my review about Mara and the Firebringer and The Gamers that were (recently) shared by their creators, though the most read ones are still my old ones somehow…(apparently WordPress didn’t do statistics like they did the years before so I can’t link you to an overview here, sorry…)
I also helped fund different projects on Kickstarter, including Nichtlustig-cartoons, Attacking the Darkness post-production and JourneyQuest Season 3. For the latter two I also helped create the German subtitles, which was an interesting experience altogether. Oh, and I also got to coin the Orcish words for „whimper(ing)“ – bawulai(/-lon) and „war drum“ – sabatam (based on „Bawling Baby“ and Sabaton – the band – respectively). 😉 And helped a few artists on Patreon…
Anyway…

What will 2017 bring?

Honestly? I don’t know.
I want to to finally finish a few stories that have been lying around all year while I either finished other stuff or was not in the mood to write at all. There are also a few stories that have a basic outline that I want to complete for a different project to be published with three stories I already prepared for it last year (including The Quest for Ore and A new Day 😉 ) and of course many other story ideas that are still floating around in my head.
Last year (that still sounds weird…) I made good on my self-imposed schedule for a while but then dropped it again after a couple of weeks, so I guess I’ll give it another try at some point…
But right now I’ll enjoy my last vacation days and next week I might be celebrating my birthday (unfortunately not in Dublin at a Sabaton concert 🙁 ) with a couple of friends, we’ll see.

All the best for the New Year!

PoiSonPaiNter

What'cha Watching Wednesday – Special: Evil RPGs

Well, I spontaneously decided that you’ll get another Special instead of the usual update, as I am a) too lazy to finish that one and b) have too much to say about one of the films which will also c) lead to a Lost in Translation post (potentially next week).

WWWWhat is the WWW generally about?

Every fourth Wednesday evening I will publish a post in which I collected the thoughts I had throughout the week(s) while watching the latest or any episode of a series or maybe even a movie.
Depending on how my time allows it, the comment will also be for those that I watched that day.
You’re warned: There will be Spoilers.

Introduction

Last time I told you about The Gamers, this time I want to talk about some other projects Zombie Orpheus Entertainment (ZOE) is involved in – or created.
The movies are connected through the cast and crew, but still have a different approach to the same topic. But read for yourself.

Dark Dungeons

This short movie tells the story of Debbie and Marcie who come from a Christian background but are drawn into the depths and evilness of the world of RPG. Though through their ordeals and the loss of Marcie, Debbie finds her way back to Jesus.
Anyway.
The movie is based on the tract Dark Dungeons by Jack T. Chick LLC (from 1984) that tells the same story in an abbreviated version and therefore has some really strange views on the whole matter of what RPGs are really about.
It has a lot of „WTF“ moment, where you’re not entirely sure what you should think, especially when Roleplayers are put on a pedestal that is usually occupied by the sports-teams, people are chanting „RPG“ and are so deeply engrossed in the game that they forget reality. At the same time – especially the latter – it is something that could be true. People could lose themselves in a fantastical world and it’s a bit frightening to see it escalate like that on the screen – even if you still can’t take it too seriously. Not uncommon, however, is the portrayed fear that playing RPGs and letting your imagination grow through it is a gateway to hell and even though I’ve never experienced that first hand, do I know the weird looks one gets when you try to explain what it is your doing (and of course all the media hysteria towards it whenever something goes wrong…). It’s usually frowned upon to participate in such things, because their childish and ridiculous, so seeing it be the „in“-thing on a campus is kind of incredible, yet still really weird, as it’s portrayed so over the top that it’s not believable any more. Though I do believe the latter stems from the tone of the original tract that portrayed it similarly.
It’s interesting to see the two main characters switch personalities throughout the movie and the gaming Mistress is positively frightening, just as some of the other characters were slightly psychotic, very strange and stuff (I guess, I still don’t really understand the part with the Chuthulu-cult… guess that was a bit too much for my taste)…
Regardless of the characters involved do I believe that the most horrible scene of the whole thing was the book burning (which is especially weird, if you think about the fact that someone dies in this movie o.O). Everything hurt when I saw those beautiful (and expensive) things thrown into the fire…I guess I myself am too deeply involved to be unfazed by this. 😀
To sum this up: It’s a very weird and very strange movie and you should watch it yourself to make your own opinion – and to have a little more fun with:

Attacking the Darkness

Attacking the Darkness (AtD) is the first Mockumentary ZOE created that was filmed on the set of another feature film (guess which one ;)). It documents the trials and errors of a very Christian couple that is filming their own independent feature film to show the horrors and evils of gaming, especially RPGs. But they soon realise that film making is not really an easy business…
The movie was released for a week during the Kickstarter campaign (and is currently only available on private setting – so thanks to Producer Chris Ode for giving me the okay to include the link here) to help fund the DVD production and I took the chance to watch it.
Later on a few poor souls that volunteered to help with the translation received a link again. Well, who am I to pass off the chance to add German subtitles to something that I’m sure some of my friends (with less English knowledge than myself) would certainly enjoy? 😉
Anyway, (and I’m basically rephrasing a comment I made on one of the Kickstarter-Updates) when I watched the film during the trial run, it was okay, but not more.
Now that I’ve went through it minute by minute, I’ve seen way more stuff that makes it incredibly special. Things you don’t catch through casually watching it.
It was a lot of work, it was a bit annoying (especially the puns were hard to translate and this’ll be the topic of the Lost in Translation post I mentioned), but was totally worth it and I started to appreciate this film even more for all it’s hidden complexities.
As it is a Mockumentary the movie is told by either showing interviews with the different characters or their interactions as filmed through different cameras while „filming“ the movie.
This also means that the following very confusing description applies: The actors from AtD play the actors hired to play the characters – who incidentally are the same people/characters in the other movie – in the movie „Attacking the Darkness“ whose filming is documented in AtD. I really hope I got that right. >_<
Additionally, were most – if not all – of the interviews improvised, meaning that at least the actors who portrayed the main characters Harmony Hope and Brady made up everything they said in their interviews on the spot and the camera just kept rolling. The movie feels kind of similar to what you know from „Behind the Scenes“ stuff, but as the topic – and some of the characters – can be quite over the top, you never really forget that this is all make belief.
The characters themselves range from totally adorable (Lucy and Pastor Doug) to absolutely frustrating (Harmony Hope) or questionable (Pastor Canon, Godrick), but all so very realistic and refreshingly human, with a lot of puns, jokes and very human reactions.
My highlight certainly was when „real Gamers“ were introduced to the set and one of them turned out to be Gary from The Gamers (From what I read during the campaign, was there also a scene with Lodge, but it was cut because it made things too complicated). 😀 Though it is weird to hear Christian Doyle’s voice in almost every interview – except the one with his character – but not really know if it is Gary asking those questions after realising how much fun he could have with the creators of this movie or just a random interviewer that just happens to sound like him – which Gary’s questions in the interview would suggest as he talks to Brian Lewis (Brady) and wouldn’t say those things to the Producer.
[Edit: I just found this Tweet again that I do not want keep from you:

Yeah, I’m really good at (mis)reading stuff…]
All in all does the movie have several moments that are just really funny or absolutely adorable – the whole sub-plot with Doug and Lucy was adorable and provided quite a few funny moments and I do believe „Cheesus“ is still one of SaJaehwa and my favourites, even if it was tricky to translate – , but also some very questionable things (one word: credits).
One of the gaming unrelated things I appreciated most was that one of the pastors – Doug – was not portrayed as religious dimwit – which is most likely thanks to the fact that the actor is a real life pastor (Doug’s whole journey and story line was great and reminded me somewhat of Coelestin’s in Warlords – just with way less physical pain). 😉
Apart from the fact that the English „pastor“ is a very confusing term for me (it is the translation of both „Pfarrer“ – catholic pastor/priest, that’s not allowed to have a family AND „Pastor“ – evangelic pastor, that’s allowed to have a family), is the portrayal of clerics in modern media usually quite frustrating.
When I was preparing for my confirmation (Yup, I’m actually Evangelic – or Protestant or Lutheran or however you translate „evangelisch“) we had two incredible pastors in our and the neighbouring parish: Funny, open minded, musical and not too stern and focused on teaching us the religious aspects of our belief. They didn’t tell us that we needed to do this-and-that to be good Christians, they simply gave us a good example of how to be a good person. I still occasionally remember the hiking trip to Norway with them and if it weren’t for the few prayers and some biblical stories and songs you wouldn’t have thought this to be a religious group trip (Incidentally was this also the trip that turned the son of one of the pastors into a Metalhead – thanks to me and Avantasia – as I learned years later from Lil‘ kat, when we discovered that I „knew“ her best friend :D).
Anyway, what I want to say with this is: I get that it’s fun to ridicule religion/religious belief and that there actually are a lot of people in the profession that deal with things like Pastor Canon does, but in the end it’s people like Pastor Doug who actually help people through their difficulties, that show them that religion can be a good thing. And I think it’s incredible that they included him in the cast – even if in the beginning he seemed to follow Canon a bit too closely for my taste, but I do blame that on Harmony who wanted to hear such ridiculous prayers…
Either way, he came into his own and to answer ZOE’s question from another of their Kickstarter-Updates again:

„(Also, for those of you who have seen the film, who would want to see a Gamers special episode with Pastor Doug and Lucy leading an RPG session for the youth group?)“
Do I want to see more of the characters that easily became my favourites?
Hell – I mean – Oh, yeah! 😀

What were you watching?

What episodes (or movies) did you enjoy/dislike throughout the week/month?
Anything you’d recommend checking out?
Let me know in the comments below!

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this little look into this special project and are at least a little curious about what I’m going to tell you about creating the German subtitles for Attacking the Darkness. 😉
I’ll probably share this post again, when I receive my copy of the movie (with „my“ translation on it 😀 ). 😉
PoiSonPaiNter

Lost in Translation: The Wesen of Grimm #2

Even though I am still not caught up with the show – again -, I’ll continue with looking at the different names for their Wesen in terms of what they really mean and what they should have been called to turn the names/terms into proper/actual German.
This is of course not meant to offend anyone involved in the show, but as a German native that really likes the German language, this just bugs me whenever I watch the show and they use it.
But let’s have a look at the different words, so you can form your own opinion.

Jägerbar

Another frustrating thing about Wesen-names in Grimm are the missing dots (Umlaut), as the German bear is still a Bär after all.
But even with the Umlaut the word doesn’t make more sense.
Though, first let’s have a look at the actual term before we get into that.
Jägerbar consist of the words Jäger and Bar, while the first is the German term for hunter the second – without the Umlaut – is the word we use for bars/pubs, turning the name of a creature in the name of a pub for hunters. If you go a step further and use the Jager-version (Jagerbar) that I’ve seen on a picture, you get an even more alcoholic meaning (Jagertee is an alcoholic beverage created by hunters)…
Other meanings of Jager also include the name of a certain sail or the offspring of a Jaguar and a Tiger. 😉
Still, I don’t think either of these were the intended meaning.
So let’s add the Umlaute and make it Jägerbär (as they are named in the German version).
Here we now have Jäger and Bär, the Hunterbear, which feels a bit redundant as bears – from what I know – are natural hunters anyway…
In addition to the double meaning there is also the Roh-Hatz, the initiation ceremony of the Jägerbars, but before I get to that I feel the need to digress into the plural of bear…
One bear is a Bär, two bears are Bären, to create plurals we barely add an -s at the end of a word, we are more friends of the -e/en (incidentally the German plural of Bar is Bars too, but I guess that’s because we took that word from English), therefore the actual plural would be Jägerbären, which sounds even more ridiculous.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the raw-Coursing, which is the literal translation of Roh-Hatz. Just like saying the bear is a hunter the creators of these words felt the need to accentuate that what you are hunting/coursing is raw (meat). I would never have guessed that.
For clarification a Hatz (Coursing) is/was a kind of hunting (alternative translation Raw-Hunt), where three or more dogs chase after a certain prey to catch/kill it – much what the Jägerbars do with their human prey – but it is mostly forbidden to do that any more.
Still, it’s a fitting name for the ritual – at least the Hatz part.
I’m still certain that if you only used variations of  Bär and Hatz you’d have basically the same things.

Ziegevolk

This is one of the names that miss a letter to make it understandable for a German native, as the grammatical correct way to write Ziegevolk would be Ziegenvolk, meaning a population (Volk) of goats (Ziegen) or goat-like things (similar to what I told you about the German name of the Hässlichen last time – alternative meaning of Volk: nation).
Speaking of German names; in my initial Grimm Review I wrote a bit about the Ziegevolk:

The “Ziegevolk” […] became the “Ziegendämon” (Goat Demon”), while still portrayed as the original version in the Grimm Diaries

I do believe the demon sounds a bit more fitting, yet I don’t really see them as demon’s either. Still, Ziegenvolk for me sounds like a herd of these Wesen and not an individual.
Interestingly the plural of Ziegevolk seems to be Ziegevolk as well even though the plural of Volk is Völker (nations -> Ziegenvölker), which strengthens my association with the word being used for a herd.
As I’ve already mentioned the Grimm Diaries, let’s have a look what their entry actually (frustratingly) reads:

Die Ziegevolk, die manchmal auch als Bluebeards, sind eine Ziege-wie geschopf, das sah ich mit meinen eigenen Augen in München im winter 1805. Scheinen sie nicht gewalttatig. Die Gefahr kommt aus ihre instinktive Notwendigkeit der Rasse und scheinen sich nicht zu kummern. Menge uber die Qualitat.
Sie haben kurze Hörner wie eine Ziege.
Why frustratingly?
I’m literally covering my eyes at this monstrosity over here, as it sounds like a translation run through Google translate… – I only understood part of it through thinking the English-way and reading the translation provided on the Wiki itself (Ziege-wie? o.O ZIEGE-WIE???!! Seriously?! o.O ).
Well, this is how it should read:
Version 1 (changes in [ ] -brackets):
Die Ziege[n]volk, die manchmal auch als Bluebeards [(Blaubärte) bezeichnet werden], sind eine [ziegenähnliche G]esch[ö]pf[e], d[ie] sah ich mit meinen eigenen Augen in München im [W]inter 1805 [gesehen habe]. S[ie s]cheinen sie nicht gewaltt[ä]tig [zu sein]. Die Gefahr kommt aus [der] instinktive[n] Notwendigkeit der Rasse [sich fortzupflanzen(?), es scheint sie nicht zu stören] und scheinen sich nicht zu kummern. Menge [ü]ber die Qualit[ä]t.
Sie haben kurze Hörner wie eine Ziege. (<- The only correct sentence…)

Version 2 (easier readable version):
Die Ziegenvolk, die manchmal auch als Bluebeards (Blaubärte) bezeichnet werden, sind ziegenähnliche Geschöpfe, die ich mit meinen eigenen Augen in München im Winter 1805 gesehen habe. Sie scheinen nicht gewalttätig zu sein. Die Gefahr kommt aus der instinktiven Notwendigkeit der Rasse sich fortzupflanzen, es scheint sie nicht zu stören. Menge über die Qualität.
Sie haben kurze Hörner wie eine Ziege.
English:
The Ziege[n]volk, sometimes referred to as [Blaubärte (Bluebeards)], are goat-like creatures as I saw with my own eyes in Munich in Winter 1805. They do not seem to be violent. The danger comes from the necessity of the race [to repopulate, which does not seem to matter to them]. Quantity over the Quality.
They have short horns like a goat.
I still do not know what they mean by „necessity of the race“ I do believe there are a few words missing like „to reproduce“, „to repopulate“ or something similar to it that’s why I added the „fortpflanzen„, which is the German term for it, but the last few sentences of that paragraph are lacking any kind of information anyway, so it’s all a bit of hit and miss here (with more miss than hit to be honest).

So, yeah: Missing letter, completely wrong description, right now I feel like they don’t even care about being anywhere near correct usage of the language…
Not to mention the absurdity that is their Geruck gland, which would actually be the Geruchsdrüse (smell gland, the s being a letter indicating that it is a gland for smell). I’m aware that the English pronunciation of the German ch sounds like a ck, but spelling it out does not improve this.
Though, I do have to say that I like the Bluebeard connection as that is quite an interesting Tale (if your German is good enough) in itself.

Reinigen

Where Hässlich was based on an adjective Reinigen is based on a verb, which makes as much sense – or not. Anyway etwas reinigen means to clean something and as Reinigen are based on rats, it seems to be quite a far stretch as rats usually aren’t really associated with being clean, even though they are in fact quite cleanly (reinlich). Still, Reinigen to me feels like someone has to clean something up (Grimms cleansing the world of Reinigen perhaps?) and not like the name for a species – or whatever exactly a Wesen is.
In German they tried a different approach by calling them Nagerstein. It makes just as much sense.
Nager or Nagetiere is the German term for all kinds of rodents (including rats, mice, guinea pigs,…), as for the Stein (stone): No idea how that happened. I know Stein is occasionally used as reference to places, but I do not see any reason why this would be in the name for this Wesen. Besides: Nagerstein either sounds like a weird village or something for rodents to chew on.
For some reason the word „Ratigan“ is stuck in my head when I think about these Wesen, I know it’s the name of a Disney villain, but well, it does seem more fitting than Reinigen…
Interestingly enough the Reinigen have two other terms associated with them: Reini-bashing and Riesen-Ratte. The first is basically a word play on Reinigen-bashing, so not much to do there.
The Riesen-Ratte is a strange „spelling“ of Riesenratte or riesige Ratte (basically meaning giant/large rat, the first being actual animals). The term is used for several Reinigen merging together into a giant entity to attack a foe. An alternative name for this is Rattenkönig (rat king), which in folklore and real life is basically a bundle of rats whose tails are intertwined, so they didn’t do that much wrong with this one at least.

Eisbiber

There is not that much I can say about Eisbibers, accept that it feels like another redundant name and the plural being wrong, again.
While beavers (Biber) aren’t that much known to live in ice (Eis) water and are more common in rivers, one can argue that the water in the river is indeed quite icy, so you’d at least have some reasoning for the name (and actual beavers mate during winter when their dams are frozen over). Still, as with the German version of Hässlich (Rattentroll) you could also argue that it sounds that there are more kinds of Bibers (Flussbiber/Riverbeaver or Tropenbiber/Tropicalbeaver, perhaps?).
Then again, we don’t really know the ancestral family tree of Wesen, so who knows?
Like I said before is the German plural rarely formed with an -s and in case of the Biber it even remains the same word.
Incidentally – and on an entirely different note – do I remember a trip from primary school where we took a river tour and one of my classmates asked whether we’d see „Bibers, Adlers“ and others using the wrong plural for either of them. I do believe Beaverers and Eaglerers would be a sufficient way of showing what Bibers and the like feel like to a German native.

Bauerschwein

Another missing letter here with the Bauerschwein as the grammatically correct usage of Bauer (farmer) would be Bauern- (as in Bauerntöpel/farm idiot or bumpkin), making it Bauernschwein, the farmer pig – or peasant pig as it’s officially translated. You could use this word to describe them, but you don’t have to. It sounds like it’s describing an animal on a farm and not a creature walking around outside of them, but that seems to be a basic issue with these names.
And just like I said before: It also implies there are different kinds of pigs (Schweine).
Which might be the case as there is the mention of a Wild Schwein (actually Wildschwein, meaning wild boar), but no one is entirely sure if Monroe simply used a different name or is actually referring to a different Wesen…
Though there could be an entirely different take on the word Bauernschwein as well, as Schwein in German – just as pig/swine in English – doesn’t only stand for pig but also for nasty person and thus making the name refer to a nasty farmer or even farmer bastard (farming bastard? bastard farmer?). Not entirely sure, but this seem to be a more fitting usage to their character, even though it’s basically an insult.

References and Notes

Well, that’s it already.
I hope you enjoyed this little excursion into the usage of my native language in this particular television show.
My major source for names and appearances of the different Wesen is this  Grimm Wikipedia and obviously my experience with the show itself. (Did I ever mention that I really like Wikipedias? Oh, yes, I did.)
As you can see from the title is this post part of the Lost in Translation-series. If you’re interested check out what other shows toy with the German language or culture. If you watch/ed a series or movie where German was/is involved, let me know and I will check out if they have done it justice.
Do you have a Wesen or phrase you want covered? Let me know and I’ll make sure to add them in one of the next parts.
Otherwise I’ll just keep going through the episodes adding the new Wesen to the list.
PoiSonPaiNter

Advent Calendar: Door/Türchen #21

Read in English

Mina

Müde und erschöpft wurde Mina erst von Winfrid geweckt, der sie kräftig an den Schultern rüttelte. Nachdem sie die Spuren ihrer Tat versteckt hatte, war sie am Tisch sitzend eingeschlafen.
„Gute Arbeit, Kleines!“, lobte Winfrid sie und deutete auf die vollen Flaschen, die vor ihr auf dem Tisch standen.
Mina nickte mit einem Gähnen und streckte sich ausgiebig.
„Geh und sieh nach, ob die Pferde versorgt sind, du kannst dir dann auch gleich ein gutes Frühstück gönnen!“, forderte er sie auf und warf ein paar Münzen auf den Tisch.
Noch nicht ganz wach starrte Mina das Geld für einen Moment an, bevor sie es nahm und aufstand. Beim Rausgehen warf sie sich ihren Rucksack über die Schulter und schaute ein letztes Mal verstohlen zu den befüllten Flaschen, ein kleines Lächeln auf ihren Lippen, dann ging sie ins Gasthaus.
Der Wirt erlaubte ihr sich in einem der leeren Räume zu waschen während er ihr Frühstück zubereitete und als sie saß und aß kam auch schon ein Bursche lachend hereingelaufen.
„Das müsst ihr euch ansehen! Der eine Händler verkauft Heiltinkturen, die die Hautfarbe verändern!“, prustete er und stützte sich lachend auf seinen Knien ab.
Mina konnte sich ein Grinsen nicht verkneifen und beeilte sich noch ein wenig Essen in ihren Mund zu stopfen, während sie den Rest in ein Tuch einwickelte und in ihren Rucksack tat. Beim Waschen hatte sie beschlossen, dem Händler eine weitere Lektion zu erteilen indem sie eines seiner Pferde zu nehmen um ihre Reise fortzusetzen, sobald ihre kleine Überraschung ans Licht kam.
Während alle Gäste auf den Markt eilten, eilte Mina in den Stall und zäumte eines der Tiere auf. Sie hatte zwar keinen Sattel, aber so war es ihr sowieso viel lieber zu reiten. Natürlich ließ sie es sich nicht nehmen und ritt am Marktplatz vorbei, der gefüllt war von Gelächter und Schimpfwörtern. Einige Leute hatten hochrote, andere sogar blaue oder grüne Köpfe und Winfrid schwankte von einem Fuß auf den anderen und versuchte sich irgendwie rauszureden. Mina grinste weiterhin und trieb schließlich das Pferd an. Winfrid würde es sich von nun an dreimal überlegen, wen er um Hilfe bat bei seinen Betrügereien.
Die nächsten Tage verbrachte Mina damit von Stadt zu Stadt zu reiten und die Leute entweder nach Arbeit oder Damian zu fragen, von dem sie eine Skizze angefertigt hatte. Allerdings hatte ihn niemand gesehen und die Arbeit war meist nicht gut bezahlt und reichte gerade dafür, dass sie sich etwas zu Essen kaufen konnte; dennoch war sie für alles dankbar, was sie bekommen konnte. Wenn sie gerade nicht arbeitete versuchte sie weiter mit ihrer Gabe zu üben. Kräuter wachsen lassen war eine Sache, aber Wurzeln zur Verteidigung zu verwenden erschien ihr hilfreich zu sein.
Eines Nachmittags, als sie gedankenverloren einen Feldweg entlang ritt, scheute ihr Pferd auf einmal auf und tänzelte zur Seite. Aufgeschreckt schaute sich Mina um und entdeckte eine Wurzel, die genau da aus der Erde ragte, wo das Tier eben noch gegangen war. Mina hatte zwar über die Technik nachgedacht, aber sie berührte den Boden nicht einmal, wie sie es sonst tat. Außer. Mina setzte sich wieder so hin, wie sie zuvor gesessen hatte. Ihre Hände ruhten auf den Schultern des Pferdes, da sie keinen Sattel hatte, auf dem sie sie ablegen konnte und sie konzentrierte sich auf die Wurzel. Mina konnte spüren, wie ihre Kräfte durch den Körper des Tieres wanderten und dafür sorgten, dass die Wurzel wieder im Erdreich verschwand. Das Tier schüttelte sich, es war davon alles andere als begeistert.
„Es tut mir Leid“, bat Mina um Verzeihung und streichelte ihm den Hals, dann setzten sie ihren Weg fort.
Sie passierte weitere Orte und Mina hatte es fast schon aufgegeben, aber ein letztes Mal wollte sie noch fragen. Im Gasthaus rollte sie das knitterige Papier mit der Skizze auseinander und zeigte es dem Wirt mit den Worten: „Habt Ihr diesen Jungen schon einmal gesehen?“
Wie all die anderen Male zuvor erwartete sie auch jetzt eine Verneinung, aber der Wirt überraschte sie, indem er sagte: „Den Schlingel würde ich überall erkennen!“

Hinter den Kulissen

Mit dem letzten Teil von Mina’s Geschichte geht es hinter dem 24. Türchen weiter, seid gespannt, wie es ausgeht. 😉

Wenn ihr in der Zwischenzeit bei den anderen vorbei schauen möchtet, dann startet neu bei Türchen 1 und entscheidet euch zwischen Sasha und Damian.
Man merkt ein bisschen das Mina nachtragend ist, oder? 😉
Abgesehen davon hat mich die Übersetzung vor eine interessante Frage gestellt:
Was ist eigentlich bekannter?
Sich etwas zweimal oder dreimal zu überlegen?
Im Deutschen war mir persönlich wie dreimal, im Englischen eher das zweimalige, die Meinungen meiner Befragten gingen da etwas auseinander, aber die Mehrheit war doch für zweimal. Trotzdem hab ich mich jetzt dazu entschieden, dass Winfrid daher im Deutschen und Englischen jetzt dreimal überlegen wird, von wem er sich helfen lässt. 😉
Wie auch immer, ich hoffe euch gefällt die Geschichte bisher.
Bis Morgen,
PoiSonPaiNter
© Für Geschichte und Charaktere liegen bei mir. Verwendung oder Weitergabe nicht ohne meine Zustimmung.
~~~~~~~ ❄ ~~~~~~~ ❄ ~~~~~~~ ❄ ~~~~~~~ ❄ ~~~~~~~ ❄ ~~~~~~~
Lies auf Deutsch

Tired and exhausted Mina was only awoken as Winfrid firmly shook her shoulders. After she had hid all the evidence of her doings she had simply fallen asleep at the table.
“Good work, kid!” Winfrid praised her and waved towards the filled bottles that stood before her on the table.
Mina nodded with a yawn and stretched.
“Go and see if the horses are fed, feel free to treat yourself to a good breakfast!” He ordered and threw a few coins on the table.
Still not entirely awake she stared at the money for a moment before she took it and stood up. When she left she threw her backpack over her shoulder and stole a last glance at the filled bottles, a small smile on her lips and went to the inn.
The innkeeper had allowed her to use one of the empty rooms to wash herself while he prepared her breakfast and when she sat and ate a boy came running into the inn, laughing.
“You have to go and see! One of the merchant sells healing potions that change ones skin colour!” He snorted and leaned down to his knees, not being able to hold back his laughter.
Mina could keep herself from grinning and hurried to gulp down a little more food, while she wrapped the rest into a cloth and put it into her backpack. While she was washing herself she had decided that she would teach the merchant another lesson by taking one of his horses to continue her journey as soon as her surprise had come to light.
While all the guests hurried to the market, Mina hurried to the stables and bridled one of the beasts. She didn’t have a saddle, but she felt way more comfortable riding this way anyway. Of course couldn’t resist and rode through the market that was filled with laughter and curses. Some people had red, others even green or blue heads and Winfrid swayed from one foot to the other and tried to talk himself out of this somehow. Mina still grinned and eventually spurred the horse. From now on Winfrid would think thrice before asking someone for help with his cons.
The next few days Mina spent riding from town to town and asking people either for work or Damian, of whom she had drawn a sketch. Though no one had seen him and work was usually badly paid and was mostly only enough to buy some food; still she was thankful for everything she got. When she wasn’t working she tried to practice using her gift. Growing herbs was one thing, but using roots as defence seemed helpful to her.
One evening she rode on a field road, deeply lost in her thoughts when her horse shied and pranced to the side. Startled Mina looked around and saw a root that stuck out from the earth were the beast had been just a moment ago. Mina had thought about the technique, but she didn’t touch the ground like she usually did. Except. Mina sat back the way she did before. Her hands rested on the horses’ shoulders as she didn’t have a saddle where she could put them and concentrated on the root. Mina could feel how her powers wandered through the body of the beast, causing the root to retreat into the ground. The beast shook, it wasn’t very happy about this.
“I am sorry”, Mina excused herself and stroked its neck then she continued her way.
She passed several more places and Mina had nearly given up, but she wanted to ask one last time. In the inn she unrolled the wrinkled paper with the sketch and showed it to the innkeeper with the words: “Have you seen this boy?”
Like all the other times before she expected a denial, but the innkeeper surprised her as he said: “I’d recognize that rascal anywhere!”

Behind the Scenes

Mina’s story will continue behind the 24th door.
If you want to see what the others are doing in the meantime, go back to the 1st door and choose between Damian and Sasha.
It’s easy to notice that Mina is resentful, right? 😉
Aside from that did the translation bring up an interesting question:
What is more known?
Thinking twice about something or thrice?
In german I personally feel like thrice, in English I lean more towards twice, but the ones I asked mostly leaned towards twice. Still, I decided that Winfrid, both in German and in English, will think thrice about whom he would ask for help. 😉
Anyway, I hope you like the story so far.
See you tomorrow,
PoiSonPaiNter
© For the story by me. Do not use or repost either without my permission.

Lost in Translation: The Wesen of Grimm

It’s been a while since I started watching NBC’s Grimm, and as you can see from the lack of comments for it in the What’cha Watching Wednesday do I still have a lot of catching up to do regarding the last few episodes. Still, the more I watched, the more I was inclined to ramble about their usage of German terms and names for all the supernatural going ons in the series. (And as I am currently a bit stuck when it comes to write new stuff I felt like finally finishing this draft from last year.) As I mentioned in my Grimm-Review do they use quite weird and often grammatically incorrect names for their Wesen and I’d like to talk a bit about what the names really mean and what they should have been called to turn the names/terms into proper/actual German.
This is of course not meant to offend anyone involved in the show, but as a German native that really likes the German language, this just bugs me whenever I watch the show and they use it.
In my review I already talked about the fact that if the actual Brother’s Grimm had anything to do with the naming of the Wesen, their works would not have become literary classics. In fact I do even believe they would turn over in their graves, if they knew about some of them; especially Jacob who worked on the first German dictionary until he died. I know hearing/reading some of them made my skin crawl…
But let’s have a look at the different words, so you can form your own opinion.

Wesen

While this most used term is grammatically correct it is totally mispronounced.

No German-native would understand it. It took me a while to do so at least and I had to read it at some point before it made sense to me.
The way the cast pronounces it, the word means “whose” not “creature”.
They add an extra “s” to it and make it a (possessive) question [wessen], rather than a noun…
[From the Review]

The word sounds quite different in German as the focus is on the E and not the S and the S in turn is one of those buzzing S’s instead of the sharp ones (In German we learn the different pronunciation of them by comparing them to bees – summen/buzzing and snakes – zischeln/hissing).
So, in a way it is actually pronounced more like you would start to pronounce WEst and SENse, just with a much shorter and less melodic first E and a buzzing S.
And if you are now totally confused by this explanation: Feel free to check Leo.org for a computer reading or contact me to personally tell you the difference. 🙂
By the way: The German term not only means creature, but also refers to the nature of things, like if you say someone is kind/nice/lovely (in nature), you could say that s/he has a liebenswürdiges Wesen. So regardless of the verbal usage does the term fit perfectly for creatures whose true nature can only be seen by certain people.
Now that we cleared that one up, let’s have a look at the actual Wesen used in the pilot.

Blutbad

The name of the most prominent Wesen makes little sense, especially in regards to the plural.

Blutbad is the German term for bloodbath.
Blutbaden however doesn’t really exist…
The Blut would still be blood but the baden…well it does suggest that it is the action of bathing in blood, making the translation bathing, but that does not really make sense.
So basically [for them] the plural of a bloodbath is the action of bathing in [blood].
[From the Review]

Well, the actual plural of Blutbad is Blutbäder, but they don’t really like those silly dots above the A either, but I will get to that in a later guide.
But the German version doesn’t really make more sense either – they changed most of the names to turn them into proper German, but it doesn’t work all the time:

[Blutbad and its plural] Blutbaden became [both] Blutbader (Which would more or less translate to Bloodbather – someone who is bathing in blood. Trying to find a translation for bader I discovered that there was a medieval profession by that name, someone that had some kind of medic role for the poor people[, but it is highly likely that they did not mean this]. Look for “Barber Surgeon” for more information.)
[From the Review]

So we now have these three version – I skip the other languages, as I’m not the right person to cover them – that all have to do with blood and bathing, but even though they cause bloodbaths and they need blood as nutrition, I still think there would be a more fitting name, probably something with wolf (Wolf)…

Hexenbiest/Zauberbiest

While the name for this second (or third?) most used Wesen in the show is technically correct it does sound a bit weird.
Hexe (Witch) itself is already occasionally used as an insult beside the obvious usage to describe magical women, but Biest (Beast) also refers to something ferocious (when used for humans it usually refers to females, where Biest means something like a minx – if I’m not mistaken) and/or monstrous, so it is a bit doppelt gemoppelt (the same thing said through different words – you might remember a case of this from the famous „Assbutt“ used in Supernatural).
Zauberbiest on the other hand doesn’t make sense. It’s one of those halfway through names that seem to lack some letters. Zauber can refer to a (certain) spell or enchantment, while Zauberer means Sorcerer. To make this one the male counterpart for Hexenbiest it therefore should have been Zaubererbiest. Well, actually Hexerbiest would be the male version as Hexer is the version of Wizard/Warlock that has as negative a connotation as Hexe. The original name also sounds more like a magic creature than a magic user, even more so in English: Spellbeast.
Either way are their official plurals wrong, as the plural of Biest is Biester not Biests and using the English plural (beasts) doesn’t really fit – even though Hexenbiester sounds pretty fun and like a really mean clique of girls…
Well, both sound ridiculous and they probably would have fared better to simply call them Tote Hexe (Dead Witch)/Toter Hexer (Dead Wizard/Warlock) because of their looks…

Hässlich

This is another thing that bugs me: They aren’t consistent in naming the creatures.
While the majority derives from nouns some get a more or less descriptive adjective as a name.
In case of the Hässlich its name literally translates to ugly – which they are, but well who would want to call themselves that? (It is by the way interesting to see that the Wesen accepted and use the names given to them by the Grimms – maybe some of them told the Grimm the name they came up with for themselves, but we haven’t really heard about the creation of the names – at least not to my knowledge)
As hässlich is an adjective creating a plural is difficult, so how do we call more than one Hässlich?
We call them Hässlichen.
You know as in: Die Geschichte vom hässlichen Entlein (The Fairy Tale of the ugly duckling).
It’s a declination, yet without a noun it doesn’t make sense to a German native. Technically, hässlich doesn’t either, but you can point at something and say it’s ugly without saying the things name, but usually we use hässlich in combination with Viech (critter) or other derogatory terms (hässliches Viech – again declined).
In German they are, by the way, called Rattentroll, a combination of rat(s) and troll. Technically this is a specification of what kind of troll it is, as in Gebirgstroll would be the mountain troll, making the rat(s) (Ratten is the plural of Ratte, but it is also used to say things are rat-like – rattenhaft) the descriptive element of the name. Though while this sounds a bit nicer I don’t think they have a lot in common with rats or are otherwise affiliated with them. It also implies that there are other races of trolls, but that does not seem to be the case.
So: Nice try, but still not really fitting.
Depending on when this thing was named – in-universe – they might have just called it a Troll.

Skalengeck

Like Wesen the pronunciation of this name gets an additional letter, here it is an L, at least that’s what it sounds like to me. Other than that is this name a mistranslation.
A Skale is in English a scale, yet not the one you can see on the Skalengecks skin – or on other reptiles for that matter – but the one used for measuring things. The word one would be looking for in German would be Schuppe.
Geck on the other hand is a bit more difficult. On the one hand it is an old word used for fashion-interested people (fop/dandy), on the other hand it might be a shortened version of Gecko the name of the little reptiles/lizards. The latter makes more sense, as Skalengecks don’t seem to be that fashionable.
So correctly translated they might have been called: Schuppengecko(s).
In German they call them Natterngecko(s) that refers to their reptilian like appearance by combining the German names for Colubrids (Nattern) and Geckos. It does fit quite well, though I’m not entirely sure that they are capable of clinging onto walls like their little reptilian namesakes and their snake-like features end with the tongue…

References and Notes

Well, that’s it already.
I hope you enjoyed this little excursion into the usage of my native language in this particular television show.
My major source for names and appearances of the different Wesen is this  Grimm Wikipedia and obviously my experience with the show itself. (Did I ever mention that I really like Wikipedias? Oh, yes, I did.)
As you can see from the title is this post part of the Lost in Translation-series. If you’re interested check out what other shows toy with the German language or culture. If you watch/ed a series or movie where German was/is involved, let me know and I will check out if they have done it justice.
Do you have a Wesen or phrase you want covered? Let me know and I’ll make sure to add them in one of the next parts.
Otherwise I’ll just keep going through the episodes adding the new Wesen (Wesen is by the way both the singular and the plural for creature) to the list.
PoiSonPaiNter

Lost in Translation

For a couple of years now I watch series primarily in English. At first it was Anime with English subtitles, later there were many different shows that I wanted to check out.
Though I do believe I decided that I should watch more in English because I utterly failed at understanding Sherlock in A Study in Pink. He just talked way too fast for me.
Now several series later, I can understand him quite well and my next goal is Vicky Pollard from Little Britain. >_<
Anyway, what I discovered is that some shows like to include German elements into their plots – be it names, characters or other things – and as a German native that really likes the German language I consider these moments to be quite interesting.
Though in most cases they are also quite frustrating.

Let’s add some German things!

We Germans are fully aware of our past and as I mentioned in the post linked above, is it often still shoved into our faces, even though we are three or four generations after those who fought in the war. So it is not surprising that the most characters with German backgrounds that are included in shows and movies are Nazis or somehow involved with them.
Personally I think this is really annoying and whenever a show had this plot point I considered turning it off and lost a little respect for the show. I mean in shows that cover historic elements it is good – and necessary – that they also deal with that part of the worlds history as it should not be forgotten, but in shows that focus more on entertainment than on, well, teaching, it just subtracts from its credibility if they have to use Nazis to fill episodes.
If that wasn’t enough are the actors portraying the supposed German people rarely even natives.
Whenever I notice that the language spoken isn’t English and sounds remotely like German, I listen again to understand it better. On the one hand is it difficult to switch between the languages, on the other hand is the pronunciation often really weird and hard to understand. Especially if they simply choose English native actors, give them some German words to learn and let them play a German character.
So far – if I remember correctly – I only came across three (!) German natives that portrayed characters with German background (all Nazis, but, well, I can’t be that picky…): Thomas Kretschmann  in Dracula (the series) and Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ludger Pistor and Wilfried Hochholdinger in X-Men: First Class. With Daniel Brühl there will be a forth when Captain America: Civil War airs (Basically: Marvel does a good job at casting the right people).
Still, not all English natives are bad at portraying a German accent.
Reed Diamond’s German accent as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Daniel Whitehall, for example, was so well done that I had to look him up, to check if he was German and I’m still highly impressed by it – and I don’t give this complement often.
But even if they do it well, what is said does not always need to be correct…

They don’t talk like we do?

Apparently beside not wanting to cast actual German natives are those responsible for the dialogues fans of literal translations and don’t really care about using actual German grammar for the things the characters have to say.
Though you don’t really hear complains about this from the actors or people involved.
But after having to order someone to

Schieß dem Fenster! (grammatically totally wrong: Shoot the window)

in Die Hard and being informed about its wrongness afterwards, Alan Rickman, for example, decided to never again take up a role of someone speaking German.
It is way easier to translate things word by word and not use the actual meaning of it – and we German’s aren’t spared from that as most people’s English is not the yellow from the egg – but I believe that in a show/movie viewed by thousands of people there would be time and effort put into properly translating phrases in a different language.
Besides German; Spanish and Russian – just as Japanese and Chinese – are used as foreign languages, but my Russian has become too bad for me to notice mistakes and my Japanese was never that good to begin with and I never learned the other two, so I can not say how well/bad they are doing with those languages.
(If anyone is interested: Mr. Rickman should have ordered the other guy to „Schieß auf’s Fenster“ to make it understandable)
It is also interesting how English natives seem to think German’s talk. I for one can’t watch a certain scene in Sherlock’s The Blind Banker without getting utterly annoyed and being really disappointed in the show…
Still, this gives me stuff to rant about.

Lost in Translation

For a long time I have contemplated how and if I should do this, but I have decided that I just want to get this out of my mind. I really like the German language, so it pains me if it is used poorly.
Starting with this one I will publish posts about the portrayal of the German language or culture in series and movies. I’m not sure how entertaining this will be for English natives, but I do believe those of you that want to learn a bit German (culture) might find this an interesting view on what writers actually throw at their audiences.
Definitely covered in this post-series will be:

  • The Wesen of Grimm and other words that are barely German
  • The infuriating tourist from The Blind Banker
  • The court scene from Sherlock’s Many Happy Returns
  • The repeated appearance of a certain historic figure (e.g. Doctor Who – Let’s kill Hitler; Grimm – The Three Coins)
  • The polite Daleks in Doctor Who’s Stolen Earth (thanks to hexenadia for reminding me of this one!)

If you watch/ed a series or movie where German was/is involved, let me know and I will check out if they have done it justice.
PoiSonPaiNter