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Max and Moritz

Posted: December 29th, 2018, 10:43 am
by Brent Niedergall
This is an attempt at translating one of the German Max and Moritz stories into Koine Greek using only vocabulary found in the GNT and LXX. This is a loose translation of "The Last Trick" available here in German with English translation: https://germanstories.vcu.edu/mm/mm7_dual.html

Here's the Greek translation of the thirteen stanzas. Suggestions/corrections on word order, morphology, vocabulary, conjunctions, etc. are more than welcome!

(1) Μωχα καὶ Μωρηδ. ὅταν μνημονεύω τοῦ δόλου τοῦ πρότερον ὑμῶν καταπονέομαι.

(2) Διὰ τί δεῖ τοὺς δύο ὀκνηροὺς διχοτομῆσαι τοὺς μαρσίππους;

(3) Ἰδοὺ ἐξελθὼν ὁ γεωργός βαστάζει σκεῦος σίτου ἐπὶ τὸν ὦμον αὐτοῦ.

(4) Ἔτι ὁδοῦ αὐτοῦ ἀρξαμένου ὁ σῖτος ἐκχεῖται ὡσεὶ ψήφους.

(5) Εὐθέως στάς ὁ γεωργὸς κράζει· Οὐαί ὅπου ἳστησιν βλέπω.

(6) Εὖγε! Εὐδοκουμένων τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτοῦ βλέπει Μωχα καὶ Μωρηδ.

(7) ὄφεις. ἀνοίξας τὸν μάρσιππον αὐτοῦ γεωργός ἀπέθλιψεν υἱοὺς λοιμοὺς ἅμα ἕως ἔκραξαν.

(8) Μωχα καὶ Μωρηδ ἐθερμάνθησαν. ἔσπευδεν γὰρ ὁ γεωργός τῷ μύλῳ.

(9) ὁ ἀρχισιτοποίε· Χαίρε ἄνθρωπε. Ταχύ ὑπέρ μου ἐκείνον ἀλήθε.

(10) βάλε αυτους ἐν. εἰσέρχονται οἵ δύο κυλισμόι ταλαίπωροι πρηνής εἰς θησαυρῷ.

(11) ἐπιστρέψας ὁ γεωργός ἀκούει τὸν μύλον. ἀναστενάξας ὁ μύλος ἠγωνίσατο.

(12) ἄρα οὖν δύνασαι ἐπιβλέψαι τὰ ψιχία τῶν αὐτῶν ὡς πέπτωκαν κατὰ συγκυρίαν.

(13) καὶ κατέφαγεν ταχέως αἱ ὄρνιθε̂ς ἀρχισιτοποιοῦ τὸν σῖτον.

Re: Max and Moritz

Posted: December 29th, 2018, 8:19 pm
by Jonathan Robie
Welcome to B-Greek - this is fun, my children enjoyed Max und Moritz growing up in Berlin, and it's a great entree to B-Greek. Thanks for posting this!

Re: Max and Moritz

Posted: December 30th, 2018, 9:29 am
by Barry Hofstetter
Yes, I see how a children's story which involves murder for playing a prank demonstrates good Christian values...

Re: Max and Moritz

Posted: January 2nd, 2019, 8:55 am
by Paul-Nitz
Brent Niedergall wrote:
December 29th, 2018, 10:43 am
(1) Μωχα καὶ Μωρηδ. ὅταν μνημονεύω τοῦ δόλου τοῦ πρότερον ὑμῶν καταπονέομαι.
How about a participle here? κεκοπιακως... μνημονευὼ. Or, μνημονεύων... καταπονοῦμαι.
Is προτερον a fixed adverbial form, or should it be προτέρου?
Brent Niedergall wrote:
December 29th, 2018, 10:43 am

(2) Διὰ τί δεῖ τοὺς δύο ὀκνηροὺς διχοτομῆσαι τοὺς μαρσίππους;
διχοτομησαι seems to much like cleaving in two. How about ποίησαι διακοπάς (διακοπή). Or, κατατεμεῖν (κατατεμνω).
σακκος is so much easier than μαρσιππος.

Doing something like this is a fun challenge for the person doing it (or, for someone like me, thinking about tweaks). Is that your goal in translating this, just to have a bit of fun and learn Greek through composition?

Re: Max and Moritz

Posted: January 3rd, 2019, 12:08 pm
by Brent Niedergall
Thanks for the feedback Paul-Nitz! I'm with you on the participle μνημονεύων on stanza 1 and thanks for pointing out the slip up on the genitive. κατατεμνω is the perfect verb for stanza 2. But I kind of like μαρσιππος. σακκος can mean a sack or bag (Gen 42:25; Josh 9:4), but usually refers to the cloth itself.

The project was a collaboration with some friends. Inspiration came from a published Latin translation of some fictional works from the modern era. There might be value in giving Greek students a more immersive experience in their reading.