This essay examines translation strategies in six versions of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, respectively in Dutch, Danish and Swedish. The first part deals with the translations of Beckmesser’s version of Walther’s “Preislied”. The understanding of this passage in the source text is very much dependent on its phonological parallels with the original “Preislied”. Four of the target texts also treat their own translation of Walther’s “Preislied” as the starting point and let Beckmesser render a distorted version of it. The other two, however, translate Beckmesser’s song semantically. These differences may partly be explained by the different purposes and functionalities of the target texts. The second part of the essay discusses related problems: the different functionalities of the possible source texts of Die Meistersinger, especially the differences between authorized reading texts and texts in musical scores, and the question of which source text should have been used for a certain translation in the light of the individual target text’s intended functionality.
Richard Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Zieltext als Dichtung? Bemerkungen zu einigen Meistersinger-Übersetzungen