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Quiz about Names Lost in Translation
Quiz about Names Lost in Translation

Names Lost in Translation Trivia Quiz


Especially in books for children that are translated into German, it is very common for names, places, etc. to be translated as well, or replaced by a German name. Can you guess the original name from the translation I'm giving you?

A multiple-choice quiz by PearlQ19. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
PearlQ19
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
189,298
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Difficult
Avg Score
4 / 10
Plays
536
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. "Harry Potter": The translator left most of the characters' names in the English version, but some of the places received a German name. Can you guess what the "Winkelgasse" is? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. "The Lord of the Rings": Who or what is "Baumbart"? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Enid Blyton, "The Mystery Series": Since these are really books for children, the translator changed the names of the "Find-Outers" completely. Can you guess which character was named "Dicki" in the German version? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. "Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators": Although the names in the German version are actually still American names, the translator changed them, anyway (don't ask me why!). Can you guess Jupiter Jones' name in the German version? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. "The Neverending Story": Do you know the original German name of Falkor, the luck-dragon?

Answer: (One Word, six letters)
Question 6 of 10
6. "The Neverending Story" again: The country where the story is set is called "Fantastica" in the English translation of the book (I think in the movie, it was "Fantasia"), but what was the original German name? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Enid Blyton, "Malory Towers": Darrell Rivers does not exist in the German version of these books. Her name was changed to... Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Enid Blyton again: Which place was, in the German version, changed to "Lindenhof"? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Michael Ende's "Night of Wishes": What is the original German "Notion Potion" called? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Care for another "Harry Potter" question? Most of the charms and spells are derived from Latin, so that they remain the same in the German version. There is, however, the Stunning Spell, which consists of an English word rather than a Latin one, and this one was changed in the translation. The English spell goes "Stupefy!", but what is the German version? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Feb 03 2024 : 1995Tarpon: 10/10
Jan 14 2024 : GoodwinPD: 10/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. "Harry Potter": The translator left most of the characters' names in the English version, but some of the places received a German name. Can you guess what the "Winkelgasse" is?

Answer: Diagon Alley

Privet Drive became the "Ligusterweg", Magnolia Crescent the "Magnolienweg", and Nocturn Alley the "Nokturngasse". This was, quite obviously, done so that children reading the book could get a better image of what those places look like. "Winkel" means "angle", and there's the adjective "verwinkelt", which is often used to describe alleys such as Diagon Alley.
Other "Germanized" names in the HP books are "Fuchsbau" (The Burrow), "Feuerblitz" (Firebolt), and "Seidenschnabel" (Buckbeak).
2. "The Lord of the Rings": Who or what is "Baumbart"?

Answer: Treebeard

"Baumbart" is the literal translation of "Treebeard". Shadowfax became "Schattenfell", Goldberry "Goldbeere" (also a literal translation), and the old Gaffer is "der alte Ohm" ("Ohm" being an abbreviation of "Oheim", a very old-fashioned German word for "uncle"). Margaret Carroux, who first translated LOTR into German, translated all the names into German.

This was Tolkien's own wish, because he argued that he himself first translated the names from the languages of Middle-earth into English. Therefore, Baggins becomes "Beutlin", Samwise Gamgee becomes "Samweis Gamdschie", Gríma Wormtongue becomes "Gríma Schlangenzunge", and so on. Tolkien was particularly pleased with the translation of "Shire" as "Auenland", because he found it indicated very well what it looked like.

He even liked it better than "The Shire". Well done, Maggie!
3. Enid Blyton, "The Mystery Series": Since these are really books for children, the translator changed the names of the "Find-Outers" completely. Can you guess which character was named "Dicki" in the German version?

Answer: Fatty

It's of course easier for children to read books with familiar names. Therefore Frederick Algernon Trotville became "Dietrich Ingbert Carl Kronstein", his initials forming the German word "dick", meaning, of course, "fat". Lawrence (Larry) and Margaret (Daisy) Daykin became "Rudolf Tagert (Rolf)" and "Regine Tagert (Gina)"; Pip became "Flipp" for "Philipp", and Bets became "Betti" for "Elisabeth".

Their last name was changed from Hilton to "Hillmann". Buster, Fatty's dog, became "Purzel", a common German name for dogs, especially little ones (badger-dogs, terriers, etc.). Mr. Goon became "Herr Grimm", called "Wegda" ("weg da!" being a literal translation of "clear off!")
4. "Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators": Although the names in the German version are actually still American names, the translator changed them, anyway (don't ask me why!). Can you guess Jupiter Jones' name in the German version?

Answer: Justus Jonas

So much gets lost in translation... Pete Crenshaw became "Peter Shaw", which is not less American than the original name, don't you think? Bob Andrews, on the other hand, remained Bob Andrews. The chauffeur who used to drive the "???" around is called Morton in the German version, and I seem to recall that someone told me his name was Worthington in the original.
Sometimes I don't understand translators. Maybe I will when I'm a translator myself :)
5. "The Neverending Story": Do you know the original German name of Falkor, the luck-dragon?

Answer: Fuchur

This was the first book I read that was translated FROM German INTO English. It was mighty strange for me, because Michael Ende is one of my favorite authors, and I must have read "Die unendliche Geschichte" at least ten times in German. If anyone is interested in my "semi-professional" opinion about the translation: it's not bad, but it somehow does not fully convey the spirit of the German original. I don't know exactly why - maybe because the accents on the names were left out in the English, or because the poems didn't all rhyme. Michael Ende really knew how to handle language. I suppose this is a book which only works completely in its original language. (But don't be discouraged now.

It's still a very good book, even in translation, and I recommend it to anyone who has somehow, somewhere remained a child!)
6. "The Neverending Story" again: The country where the story is set is called "Fantastica" in the English translation of the book (I think in the movie, it was "Fantasia"), but what was the original German name?

Answer: Phantásien

See what I mean? The accent on "Phantásien" makes the whole word look different. Without the accent, it would simply be the German word for "fantasies". Many words have an accent that wasn't included in the English translation, such as "Atréju", "Oglamár" or "Wuschwusúl" (sorry, I forgot his English name.

It was the same name, but not spelled the same.) Those accents contribute essentially to the whole atmosphere of the book, at least in my opinion, because it makes the words look even more strange. "Fantastic", so to speak.
7. Enid Blyton, "Malory Towers": Darrell Rivers does not exist in the German version of these books. Her name was changed to...

Answer: Dolly Rieder

... but "Dolly" isn't a German name, either. Malory Towers became "Burg Möwenfels", and the name of Sally, Darrell's best friend, was changed to the typically German "Susanne".
8. Enid Blyton again: Which place was, in the German version, changed to "Lindenhof"?

Answer: St. Clare's

Doubtlessly, it sounds like a very German name for a boarding school. Malory Towers became "Burg Möwenfels" (see question 7 above), Peterswood became "Peterswalde", and Ringmere remained Ringmere, although I think the spelling was changed. Oh, and speaking of St. Clare's: Pat and Isabel O'Sullivan are known to German girls as "Hanni und Nanni Sullivan".
9. Michael Ende's "Night of Wishes": What is the original German "Notion Potion" called?

Answer: Wunschpunsch

I haven't read this one in English, so I don't know all the English translations of the names. The only one I know is "Beelzebub Preposteror", whose German name is Beelzebub Irrwitzer. His aunt is called Tyrannja Vamperl; the cat is Moritz, and the raven Jakob Krakel.

By the way, have you noticed the nice allusion to Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven"? Just like the raven in the poem, Jakob Krakel knocks on the window, but the sorcerer goes to the door instead. The difference is that Jakob Krakel is no "stately Raven from the saintly days of yore", but a rather poor creature with hardly any feathers left, suffering from rheumatism (or "Reißmatissimus", as he calls it).
10. Care for another "Harry Potter" question? Most of the charms and spells are derived from Latin, so that they remain the same in the German version. There is, however, the Stunning Spell, which consists of an English word rather than a Latin one, and this one was changed in the translation. The English spell goes "Stupefy!", but what is the German version?

Answer: "Stupor!"

I hope you liked this quiz, and that you found it as interesting as I did. Sorry I didn't have more examples, but you have no idea how hard it is to get English books for children here in Germany (you can order them, of course, but that's expensive...). Of course, they have "Harry Potter" and stuff like that in store, but I haven't seen a single Enid Blyton book ever since I moved to Munich.

The same goes for German books translated into English. I seem to be the only person interested in reading Michael Ende, Otfried Preußler or Erich Kästner in another language than German... Thanks for playing!
Source: Author PearlQ19

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor agony before going online.
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