Jung Ritter Lere

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Jung Ritter Lere

Postby David Kite » 22 Feb 2011 02:09

So, the ubiquitous Liechtenauer verse "Jung Ritter Lere. . ." has in all translations that I am aware of been translated as "young knight learn to. . ." While this is probably a perfectly accurate translation, I'm unable to find a definition of "lere"/"leren" which defines it as "learn", so I'm hoping some of you here can help.

I'm assuming that "leren" is an obsolete spelling for the modern German verb "lehren" which instead means to teach or instruct, etc. In looking at Grimm's Woerterbuch, "lere" is offered as an alternative spelling for "lehren". As a noun, "lere" would seem to mean a lesson, instruction, teaching, whatever. Bearing that in mind then, "Jung Ritter Lere" should be instead translated as "young knight teach. . .", which in context doesn't seem to make much sense. At least to me. After all, wouldn't a lesson to a young knight admonish him to learn? Wouldn't teaching be beyond him at this point?

So again, in context, "lere" makes more sense translated as "learn", but I can't find anything to support that in the dictionaries I've looked at, hence my confusion.

One of the specific passages I'm working through at the moment is from Mair C93
http://digital.slub-dresden.de/id275428508/171

which I have transcribed as:
Junng Ritter Leren Gott lieb haben Frawen vnd Junckhfrawen Eern so wechst dein Lerrn Vnnd Leren ding das sich zieret Vnnd Inn kriegen seer hoffieret Rinngens guote fesser Glorien schwert vnnd messer Mannlichen bederben Vnnd Inn anndern hennden verderben Haw darein vnnd triffe darlasse hengen vnnd lasse far das man dein weysz mog Maisterlichen Preysz

I am 99% certain that my transcription is accurate, because the script is really pretty easy to read. I realize that translating this passage is largely reinventing the wheel since it has been translated so often in the past, but it's important for me to understand these steps so I can be more confident when I begin my own translations.

Any help would be appreciated.

Incidentally, two other words which are giving me difficulty are "fesser" and "Glorien".

Thanks!
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Re: Jung Ritter Lere

Postby Andreas Engström » 22 Feb 2011 12:42

Yes, in modern german "lehren" means specifically to teach, and "lernen" means specifically to learn. In FNHD this distinction seems to have been less clear (probably because both words come from the same root which had both meanings), and "leren" can mean both "to teach" and "to learn" depending on context. See for example http://drw-www.adw.uni-heidelberg.de/dr ... lehren-2.0

"Glorien" is specific to Mair (I think); in other manuscripts it's usually something like "glefen", that is "lances", or possibly "glaives" (halberds, more or less). I think Glorien is a term for the same thing, though I can't find a specific mention of such a word. There is an english word "glair" from the same time that also means a type of halberd. To know what weapon Liechtenauer himself, or Mair, for that matter, exactly meant by the word they used is impossible; these terms have shifted around in meaning and classifying polearms is quite hopeless anyway. :-) The only thing we can be reasonably sure of is that it's probably some sort of polearm which isn't a spear. My personal opinion is that in this context it probably means and meant "lances".

"Fesser" is interesting. I used to assume that it was "poetic license spelling" of "fassen" (which can mean to grasp or wield) and referred to the weapons in the next stanza. I've seen it translated like that in many translations, so I'm not alone in having thought this.

Nowadays I rather think it's from "fessern", to fetter or bind. That is "Rinngens guote fesser" would be loosely translated something like "wrestle with good holds" (literally something like "wrestling's good fettering").

http://www.woerterbuchnetz.de/DWB?lemma=fessern

How may I further confuse you? :-)

-Andreas
Last edited by Andreas Engström on 22 Feb 2011 12:49, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Jung Ritter Lere

Postby Andreas Engström » 22 Feb 2011 12:45

As usual, I highly recommend http://www.woerterbuchnetz.de/

Grimm by itself is a good but insufficient source, it's a bit too "modern" sometimes. And oh so wordy. :-) Lexer and BMZ are very helpful.

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Re: Jung Ritter Lere

Postby Andreas Engström » 22 Feb 2011 13:28

By the way, your transcription seems accurate, though I would ascribe to scribal error or misunderstanding the lack of a space that makes "darlasse" instead of "dar lasse". If you consider the text a poem (which it is) it's easily seen that it's very likely that there should be a new line after "dar":

Jung Ritter Leren
Gott lieb haben
Frawen vnd Junckhfrawen Eern
so wechst dein Lerrn
Vnnd Leren ding das sich zieret
Vnnd Inn kriegen seer hoffieret
Rinngens guote fesser
Glorien schwert vnnd messer
Mannlichen bederben
Vnnd Inn anndern hennden verderben
Haw darein vnnd triffe dar
lasse hengen vnnd lasse far
das man dein weysz
mog Maisterlichen Preysz
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Re: Jung Ritter Lere

Postby Dierk Hagedorn » 22 Feb 2011 16:28

Actually, I found the very best source for translating texts from the 15th century is "Kleines Mittelhochdeutsches Wörterbuch" by Beate Hennig.

leren swV [Prät. auch lârt-, Part.Prät. auch gelârt] A/Ns daz/Inf. lerne, unterrichten, unterweisen, belehren; raten, empfehelen; anweisen, leiten, führen A/D+A/G/N sdaz, w/Inf lehren/beibringen (zu); veranlassen/treiben (zu), bringen in/zu; vorschreiben; nahe bringen; A+pDmit [auch] gewöhnen an; Part.Adj. [s.] gelêret

You see? It means both: to teach and to learn.

Curiously, in some regions in Germans, today it's the other way round: "lernen" is used both for to teach and to learn.

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Re: Jung Ritter Lere

Postby Peter S » 22 Feb 2011 16:57

Kenneth Grahame wrote:The Toad, having finished his breakfast, picked up a stout stick and swung it vigorously, belabouring imaginary animals. 'I'll learn 'em to steal my house!' he cried. 'I'll learn 'em, I'll learn 'em!'

'Don't say "learn 'em," Toad,' said the Rat, greatly shocked. 'It's not good English.'

'What are you always nagging at Toad for?' inquired the Badger, rather peevishly. 'What's the matter with his English? It's the same what I use myself, and if it's good enough for me, it ought to be good enough for you!'

'I'm very sorry,' said the Rat humbly. 'Only I think it ought to be "teach 'em," not "learn 'em."'

'But we don't want to teach 'em,' replied the Badger. 'We want to learn 'em— learn 'em, learn 'em! And what's more, we're going to do it, too!'


I couldn't resist...
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Re: Jung Ritter Lere

Postby David Kite » 22 Feb 2011 23:00

Thanks guys, that helps a lot. Nothing like having the same word mean opposite things. :roll: :)

FNHD? I assume the "NHD" means Neu Hoch Deutsch, but what does the "F" stand for?

And thanks for posting the link to woerterbuchnetz.de. I'd stumbled upon it some time ago, but lost the link and wasn't able to find it again.

I've made a lot of use of Grimm, and agree it can be very wordy, but I was unaware of its limitations of being too modern. Something I'll have to watch for in the future. I've also made a lot of use of Lexer. However, the same as with Grimm, I find Lexer frustrating sometimes because instead of defining words, they just show the words used in sentences. This is useful if you already know what the word means, but is entirely unhelpful if you don't. ;)

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Re: Jung Ritter Lere

Postby David Kite » 22 Feb 2011 23:01

:lol:

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Peter S wrote:
Kenneth Grahame wrote:The Toad, having finished his breakfast, picked up a stout stick and swung it vigorously, belabouring imaginary animals. 'I'll learn 'em to steal my house!' he cried. 'I'll learn 'em, I'll learn 'em!'

'Don't say "learn 'em," Toad,' said the Rat, greatly shocked. 'It's not good English.'

'What are you always nagging at Toad for?' inquired the Badger, rather peevishly. 'What's the matter with his English? It's the same what I use myself, and if it's good enough for me, it ought to be good enough for you!'

'I'm very sorry,' said the Rat humbly. 'Only I think it ought to be "teach 'em," not "learn 'em."'

'But we don't want to teach 'em,' replied the Badger. 'We want to learn 'em— learn 'em, learn 'em! And what's more, we're going to do it, too!'


I couldn't resist...
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Re: Jung Ritter Lere

Postby Andreas Engström » 23 Feb 2011 10:12

David Kite wrote:Thanks guys, that helps a lot. Nothing like having the same word mean opposite things. :roll: :)

FNHD? I assume the "NHD" means Neu Hoch Deutsch, but what does the "F" stand for?

The "F" is "Früh", as in "Early". :-)

The thing about Grimm is that they are always coming from the viewpoint of the German of the early 19th century. Mostly, they then explore the history of the words back to MHD or even further, but these explanations can sometimes be rather hidden. And when they state the meaning of a word in the beginning of the articles, they usually intend the meaning that was current in the early 19th century. Which sometimes differs both from the modern meaning of the 21th century and from the older meaning in FNHD and earlier.

The types of German can be roughly classified as

750–1050: AHD (Althochdeutsch)
1050–1350: MHD (Mittelhochdeutsch)
1350–1650: FNHD (Frühneuhochdeutsch)
1650 - : NHD (Neuhochdeutsch)

So the glossa of most manuals are written in (some type of) FNHD, but for example the original merkeverse are older and to translate them one might need to look at MHD as well.

Then there are of course oodles of local variations (wörterbuchnetz has limited dictionaries of a few of these) and of course there are temporal variations even within FNHD. Words do change meaning and spelling and usage in 300 years. Talhoffer didn't speak quite the same language as Joachim Meyer, and none of them the same as Liechtenauer. :-)

-Andreas
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