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A GERMAN TRANSLATION OF PATIENCE
LARRY T. GARVIN: Patience was, as the subject suggests, one of the G&S operettas translated into German around the time of the original productions. (Pinafore, Mikado, and Yeomen were as well; I don't know about the others.) Patience, oder Dragoner und Dichter, was published in a dual language version by Chappell (price 1 shilling or 1 mark). The date isn't listed. The translation was done by Dr. C. Carlotta.
My German is rudimentary, but the translation seems quite faithful, and metrically it works surprisingly well. Carlotta even captures the forced rhyme of li-ly at the end. I'll spare you extended excerpts, but a few bits may give you the flavor.
The opening chorus begins, for example:
(with later interjections of "O, Traurigkeit!" from the "schwaermerischen Jungfrauen")
The poetry also captures the original pretty well. Here, for instance, is "Heart Foam" (Herz Schaum):
The greatest changes in the translation come at the Colonel's song, naturally, which combines some of the original references with some contemporary German references (of which I can identify only about half).
Anyhow, here it is. Good fare for a cabaret, perhaps?
True, Carlotta sometimes adds or deletes a syllable, and there are one or two spots with false accents. But it is rather a clever revision. Note, for example, the shift of Manfred to Lord Byron in verse two (nice literary reference, that), and the preserved references to Bismarck (naturally), Hamlet, Mephisto, the Spaniard, Caesar, and Hannibal. The shift of the odalisque to Harounal Rashid is nice as well. And no, I won't supply a translation. It was hard enough transcribing this from the old Fraktur script.
Now should I provide some choice bits from J.W. Bengough's 1883 masterwork, Bunthorne Abroad; or, The Lass that Loved a Pirate, with Dramatis Personae including the Pirate King, Frederic, Bunthorne, Captain Rackstraw, Mabel, Sir Joshua (sic!) and Lady Porter, Lieut. Dick Deadeye, and Buttercup?
Perhaps not. Yet.
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