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Old 30.01.2018, 17:02
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Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

While I'm 74 now, I've done genealogy searches since college, where I found that my ancestor came to America via Philadelphia in 1739, from Switzerland. I have since traveled to Switzerland, done some research there, and found that my relatives (Rösli) lived on Eschenberg, a small mountain just south of Winterthur, now a public park, observatory, etc. They lived there from at least the 1500s to the early 1700s.

While in Winterthur in 1980, I bought a copy of the Winterthurer Jahrbuch 1956, which has a chapter about Eschenberg and the Röslis. Having taken German in high school and college, I have tried, over the years, to translate this chapter, with very limited success. I can get the gist of a lot of it, a little of most of it, and absolutely nothing in some areas quoted in old Swiss-German. My goal has always been to not just understand this document, but produce a well-written, highly readable and accurate version of it, to give to relatives and others interested in our family. In this, I have failed. Despite buying several dictionaries, and my limited knowledge, my attempts are usually no better than the automated translation versions I have done: almost impossible to read, and certainly not what I'm looking for.

Having had this document for 37 years, and being as old as I am, I feel a need to try, once more, to get a proper translation of this chapter. Otherwise, one day it, along with so much of my other genealogy information, will just cease to exist.

Here is a copy of the 30 scanned pages pages in Google Photos:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/svs0KU6oTT7lzfh42

What would your suggestions be to obtain a proper translation of these pages? Are there better translation programs that would help? (probably not) Do I need to hire someone to do the translation? What would be a fair price for something like this? I can't pay a whole lot, but the thought of this being lost to future generations of relatives bothers the heck out of me.
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Old 30.01.2018, 17:47
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

That's a lot of work. I quickly checked whether there might be an English version of this already - not surprisingly it seems no.

Are you asking to have it translated here? I believe it would be cheaper to have it done by a translator in the US. The German used is not very demanding.
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:00
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

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Are you asking to have it translated here? I believe it would be cheaper to have it done by a translator in the US. The German used is not very demanding.
That would be a possibility. I wouldn't have thought a US translator would be cheaper than someone who grew up with the language, but you may well be right. I found the forum here by searching for Swiss-German to English translation, and it seemed there would be more expertise here. Especially with the very little areas in very old Swiss-German. Guess I'll have to see.
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:02
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

You can do it yourself.

Use an online service eg https://www.onlineocr.net/ to convert the scanned documents to a text form.
Then cut and paste these in google translate.

There may be an even easier way.
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:06
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

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That would be a possibility. I wouldn't have thought a US translator would be cheaper than someone who grew up with the language, but you may well be right. I found the forum here by searching for Swiss-German to English translation, and it seemed there would be more expertise here. Especially with the very little areas in very old Swiss-German. Guess I'll have to see.
German is German
But labour is very expensive here.

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You can do it yourself.

Use an online service eg https://www.onlineocr.net/ to convert the scanned documents to a text form.
Then cut and paste these in google translate.

There may be an even easier way.
OP has tried that I think, it said in post 1.
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:08
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

It's standard German, not Swiss-German.

Tom
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:10
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

And here is the first page using the method above. It is not beautiful but readable. Maybe it is dependent on the quality of the scanning to some extent.

Esch mountain! Which Winterthurer does not think of the name with joy and some secret pride on the stadli. forest, to aseincmo forest, the dim komrnunales Vcrmo¬gen and ideal Heimatgut auglcich bcdoutet. He covers seven and a half square kilometers of Molassegrund from the model on the Brcite to his own, from the riding-ground down to the newly-built, seven hundred and forty-five hectares, which the FCC's own handsome political community. Grabeee as the fabled Albisforst of the LAUGHTER he did not lie down, but completely surrounded by the urban area and its far-reaching district.
The Burger, who seeks relaxation on a sunday on a moderately extensive hike, donates the Eschenberg its manageable forests, its popular lookout tower, the game park with the Gartenwirtschaft ice Bruderhaus and not least the hospitable Stade of the Red Eschenberg, where the view against the Geschichtstrachdge Kyburg widens.
Not always was the forest so extensive.
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:11
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

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You can do it yourself.

Use an online service eg https://www.onlineocr.net/ to convert the scanned documents to a text form.
Then cut and paste these in google translate.

There may be an even easier way.
I actually did OCR it, then used an online translator, then downloaded the Swiss-German dictionary for MS office hoping to correct any misspelled words. But there was a lot that still made no real sense, and correcting or getting that part back was very difficult, for me.
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:15
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

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And here is the first page using the method above. It is not beautiful but readable. Maybe it is dependent on the quality of the scanning to some extent.

Esch mountain! Which Winterthurer does not think of the name with joy and some secret pride on the stadli. forest, to aseincmo forest, the dim komrnunales Vcrmo¬gen and ideal Heimatgut auglcich bcdoutet. He covers seven and a half square kilometers of Molassegrund from the model on the Brcite to his own, from the riding-ground down to the newly-built, seven hundred and forty-five hectares, which the FCC's own handsome political community. Grabeee as the fabled Albisforst of the LAUGHTER he did not lie down, but completely surrounded by the urban area and its far-reaching district.
The Burger, who seeks relaxation on a sunday on a moderately extensive hike, donates the Eschenberg its manageable forests, its popular lookout tower, the game park with the Gartenwirtschaft ice Bruderhaus and not least the hospitable Stade of the Red Eschenberg, where the view against the Geschichtstrachdge Kyburg widens.
Not always was the forest so extensive.
You're not serious, are you?
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:21
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

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I actually did OCR it, then used an online translator, then downloaded the Swiss-German dictionary for MS office hoping to correct any misspelled words. But there was a lot that still made no real sense, and correcting or getting that part back was very difficult, for me.
OK. I guess then your next step, if you want to do something yourself, it to get an accurate text German version using OCR or other means and manual corrections, which should make any professional translation a bit cheaper.

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You're not serious, are you?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I could make quite a few compromises to save some CHF.
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:23
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

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You're not serious, are you?
A perfect example, even though this is definitely one of the easier sections, of why it's difficult to take an automated translation and turn it into, well, prose, if not poetry. ;-)

While I can make /some/ sense from it, and it's certainly better than nothing, I can't imagine giving it to a relative and just saying "Here, this tells our story in Switzerland", as some light reading.
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:27
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

I know someone who does it professionally for many decades, but it will cost you CHF 150/page or so.

He's even from that area originally.

Tom
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:29
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

Have you tried to get in contact with a branch of the Organization of Swiss Abroad?

As it says on the tin, this is a group for Swiss, including folks with Swiss ancestry, who live outside Switzerland. There are local groups in the US.
https://www.swisscommunity.org/en/homepage

Here's the list of US based Swiss societies:
http://www.swisscommunity.org/en/liv...-swiss-society

I suggest this because a Swiss expatriate in the US might be willing to take this on as a 'heart' project, might want to help for the same reasons you feel the need to hang on to a piece of history.

And as pointed out, if you need to pay for translation you will likely find less expensive rates in the US.

By the way, I have found that DeepL seems to be a better translator than other free resources out there.
https://www.deepl.com/translator

All the best with your project.
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:37
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

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It's standard German, not Swiss-German.

Tom
I knew that would be mentioned. But from what I've read, and translated, there are a number of Swiss-specific words that complicate things, not to mention the quoted areas like:

«Ich habe nit ermanglet, mit Herrn Haubtm. und Land-schreiber Werdmuller an dem Orth selbsten den Augenschein einzunemmen und mich allesen nach Nothdurfft zu erkundi-gen, da sich dan gezeiget, daB Hausvatter und Mtitteren, junge Letith mit ihren Kinderen beyden Geschlechts in einer Kammer undereinanderen ligen, und in einer Stuben sich by einanderen aufhalten, an- und entkleiden miissen, daraus nit nur allerhand Gezanks und Zweytracht, sondern, weilen die Knable and Magdle zu ihren manbahren Jahren anwachsen und gegen einanderen in naher Blutsverschwandtschaft ste-hen, leicht allerhand Aergernussen entstehen mochten, also daB einer christlichen Oberkeit Pflicht erforderen, disen Din-gen also nit mehr zuzusehen, sondern denen by Zeiten zu stetiern. Und weilen ich vernommen, daB M. Gn. Herr Vor-fahrl bereits such an dieses wichtige Geschaft Hand ange-schlagen, habe ich auf gleichem FueB den Rath ertheilet und verhoffet, daB etwan durch guetliche Mittel und Wag denen Sachen geholfen werden mochte, so aber ohnerhaltlich gewe-sen, und euch M. Gn. Hochg. Herren, nachdeme nichts mehr uberig ware als das liebe Recht, lieber gefallen, das Geschaft an unser allerseiths gnedige Herren und Obere zu bringen . . .»
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:38
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

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I knew that would be mentioned. But from what I've read, and translated, there are a number of Swiss-specific words that complicate things, not to mention the quoted areas like:

«Ich habe nit ermanglet, mit Herrn Haubtm. und Land-schreiber Werdmuller an dem Orth selbsten den Augenschein einzunemmen und mich allesen nach Nothdurfft zu erkundi-gen, da sich dan gezeiget, daB Hausvatter und Mtitteren, junge Letith mit ihren Kinderen beyden Geschlechts in einer Kammer undereinanderen ligen, und in einer Stuben sich by einanderen aufhalten, an- und entkleiden miissen, daraus nit nur allerhand Gezanks und Zweytracht, sondern, weilen die Knable and Magdle zu ihren manbahren Jahren anwachsen und gegen einanderen in naher Blutsverschwandtschaft ste-hen, leicht allerhand Aergernussen entstehen mochten, also daB einer christlichen Oberkeit Pflicht erforderen, disen Din-gen also nit mehr zuzusehen, sondern denen by Zeiten zu stetiern. Und weilen ich vernommen, daB M. Gn. Herr Vor-fahrl bereits such an dieses wichtige Geschaft Hand ange-schlagen, habe ich auf gleichem FueB den Rath ertheilet und verhoffet, daB etwan durch guetliche Mittel und Wag denen Sachen geholfen werden mochte, so aber ohnerhaltlich gewe-sen, und euch M. Gn. Hochg. Herren, nachdeme nichts mehr uberig ware als das liebe Recht, lieber gefallen, das Geschaft an unser allerseiths gnedige Herren und Obere zu bringen . . .»
That's not Swiss German, just old standard German.

Tom
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:39
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I know someone who does it professionally for many decades, but it will cost you CHF 150/page or so.

He's even from that area originally.

Tom
Thanks, but yeah, $1000US is a bit out of my price range.

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Thanks, but yeah, $1000US is a bit out of my price range.
Uh, while I meant what I said, I see this is closer to $3,000 US for 30 pages.

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Have you tried to get in contact with a branch of the Organization of Swiss Abroad?

As it says on the tin, this is a group for Swiss, including folks with Swiss ancestry, who live outside Switzerland. There are local groups in the US.
https://www.swisscommunity.org/en/homepage

Here's the list of US based Swiss societies:
http://www.swisscommunity.org/en/liv...-swiss-society

I suggest this because a Swiss expatriate in the US might be willing to take this on as a 'heart' project, might want to help for the same reasons you feel the need to hang on to a piece of history.

And as pointed out, if you need to pay for translation you will likely find less expensive rates in the US.

By the way, I have found that DeepL seems to be a better translator than other free resources out there.
https://www.deepl.com/translator

All the best with your project.
Thanks, I'll have to give those a try.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 30.01.2018 at 19:02. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:41
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

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Thanks, but yeah, $1000US is a bit out of my price range.
30 pages would be close to $5000, not $1000.

Tom
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:43
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

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That's not Swiss German, just old standard German.

Tom
I guess the key is "old". Many years ago, I sent a couple of these passages to a professor who specialized in old German, he couldn't translate all the words, thinking that some my be local to Switzerland.
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:49
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

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I guess the key is "old". Many years ago, I sent a couple of these passages to a professor who specialized in old German, he couldn't translate all the words, thinking that some my be local to Switzerland.
Local, yes, but not even close to being Swiss German, just a few Swiss words, same as around here we have a bunch of words that we think of as Italian, but most Italians don't understand, Germans have words that Swiss don't understand, Brits have words that Americans don't understand, etc.

Meanwhile, phoned my friend, I overestimated his price, he said probably about CHF80/page (but he'd have to check it all first for a definite estimate), so only $2500!

Tom
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Old 30.01.2018, 18:59
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Re: Suggestions for Translation of Swiss-German to English

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Local, yes, but not even close to being Swiss German, just a few Swiss words, same as around here we have a bunch of words that we think of as Italian, but most Italians don't understand, Germans have words that Swiss don't understand, Brits have words that Americans don't understand, etc.
Right. Which has been pretty much the bane of my attempted translation experience, with the translation end up like:
"The XXXXXX was frequently able to XXXXX his XXXXX, but unfortunately, he was unable to XXXX the deer." :-)

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Meanwhile, phoned my friend, I overestimated his price, he said probably about CHF80/page (but he'd have to check it all first for a definite estimate), so only $2500!
Yeah. I guess I have to look elsewhere. But I do appreciate all your comments. Perhaps I'll come back with specific words or sentence fragments I'm having problems with.
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