Saturday, 2 August 2014
Welcome - Willkommen - to the German translation of The Housemaid's Daughter, boasting a dramatic cover of a young woman in profile, against a backdrop inlaid with a music score. This is certainly a very different image from most of the other translations, so it will be interesting to see how it is received by readers.
This particular translation has sneaked up on me - I wasn't expecting it out just yet. Translated by Irene Eisenhut, and published by Droemer, the book is now available in German bookshops and from the usual online vendors as a physical copy or as an e-book for Kindle, iPad etc.
I haven't yet received my copy so I can't do my usual flip through and check on the glossary. Regular readers of this blog will know that one of the more frivolous criteria by which I judge the foreign language translations is the quality and elaboration of the glossary! In most cases, I can't immediately understand what I am looking at, but I eventually manage to fathom out what is being written. The ability to render into another language wonderful words words like knobkierie (stick with a knobbed head) or shebeen (unlicensed tavern) or tokoloshe (evil spirit) usually gives me a good idea of how seriously the translator has worked to create a sense of Africa for a foreign audience. The most elegant translations have been in the Italian edition, which described Ada's simple doek (a headscarf) as a foulard o pezzo di stoffa da legare attorno alla testa.
I look forward to receiving my copy of Schwarze Tochter and seeing if it manages to top that!
In the meantime, spread the word to your German friends...