Mobileread
Help with German poetry please
#1  AlexBell 07-16-2017, 01:50 AM
I'm now working on In the Mountains by Elizabeth von Arnim for the MobileRead library. The book was published in 1920, and doesn't have much German.

There is a couplet for which I can more or less translate each line, but can't make them make sense together. The couplet is:

Reines Gl├╝ck geniesst doch nie
Wer zahlen soll und weiss nicht wie.

Can anyone help, please? If it is from a well known poem could you also provide the author's name?
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#2  LucyOne 07-16-2017, 02:05 AM
The person who is supposed to pay and doesn't know how
Never enjoys pure happiness
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#3  HarryT 07-16-2017, 02:36 AM
Alex, you really should try doing a Google search. It took me about 5 seconds to identify the poem and its author:

http://www.bier-lexikon.lauftext.de/wilhelm-busch.htm
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#4  AlexBell 07-16-2017, 04:49 AM
Quote HarryT
Alex, you really should try doing a Google search. It took me about 5 seconds to identify the poem and its author:

http://www.bier-lexikon.lauftext.de/wilhelm-busch.htm
Thanks, Harry. I was actually looking for the English translation, which so far as I can tell is not given on the site you found.
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#5  AlexBell 07-16-2017, 04:50 AM
Quote LucyOne
The person who is supposed to pay and doesn't know how
Never enjoys pure happiness
Thanks for the translation.
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#6  HarryT 07-16-2017, 06:20 AM
Quote AlexBell
Thanks, Harry. I was actually looking for the English translation, which so far as I can tell is not given on the site you found.
It isn't - very true. I was referring to the "can anyone tell me the name of the poem and the author" part of your post.
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#7  AlexBell 07-16-2017, 09:37 PM
Quote LucyOne
The person who is supposed to pay and doesn't know how
Never enjoys pure happiness
Thanks again, LucyOne.

I've looked around some more after seeing your translation, and wonder whether

Pure happiness can never be enjoyed by those who should pay and do not know how.

might work - it puts the meaning in the same order as the published lines. Would this be a reasonable translation? I really am only guessing.
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#8  Gudy 07-17-2017, 03:38 AM
Quote AlexBell
I've looked around some more after seeing your translation, and wonder whether

Pure happiness can never be enjoyed by those who should pay and do not know how.

might work - it puts the meaning in the same order as the published lines. Would this be a reasonable translation? I really am only guessing.
Looks good to me.
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#9  AlexBell 07-17-2017, 06:11 AM
Quote Gudy
Looks good to me.
Thanks, Gudy. Unless I get any better suggestions that's what I'll use.
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#10  LucyOne 07-19-2017, 03:46 AM
Quote AlexBell
Thanks again, LucyOne.

I've looked around some more after seeing your translation, and wonder whether

Pure happiness can never be enjoyed by those who should pay and do not know how.

might work - it puts the meaning in the same order as the published lines. Would this be a reasonable translation? I really am only guessing.
Sure, this works. My translation was done "on the fly", no time for inversion
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