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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old December 16 2008, 09:42 PM   #1
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German expressions in recent Trek novels

I was wondering about the high numbers of german expressions found in recent Star Trek novels.

As in 'Greater Than The Sum', 'Star Trek: Destiny Gods of Night' and some 'Star Trek: Titan' books for example.

As a native german speaker I find it quite nice and interesting to see which words are being introduced into the stories (aside the more militaristic terms as 'blitzkrieg' or 'ersatz-something' that have been known to creep up in some stories every now and then), but there have been also a quotation of Bertolt Brecht at the beginning of a book, aknowledgements at the start of yet another, and some more bits and pieces (especially in 'Gods of Night') to be found recently.

Have some authors of modern Trek fiction (Andy Mangels, David Mack, Chris L. Bennett, etc...) a german speaking background or is this simply included to add some flavour to the language used (as they did back in the day with japanese terms in some BattleTech novels for example).

Anyway, I just became curious.
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Old December 16 2008, 09:52 PM   #2
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Uhh, what German expressions were there in Greater Than the Sum? I don't remember including any.

But the examples you give, "blitzkrieg" and "ersatz," are both loan words that have been adopted into standard English. If I used any such German-derived loan words, I wasn't thinking of them as German.
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Old December 16 2008, 09:56 PM   #3
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

I was just looking to add a bit of flavor. Also, when I was growing up, my older brother studied German for a few years in high school, so I picked up some of his affinity for it.
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Old December 16 2008, 09:58 PM   #4
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Christopher wrote: View Post
Uhh, what German expressions were there in Greater Than the Sum? I don't remember including any.

But the examples you give, "blitzkrieg" and "ersatz," are both loan words that have been adopted into standard English. If I used any such German-derived loan words, I wasn't thinking of them as German.
I see. That might acutally haven been the terms in 'Greater Than The Sum' that I reffered to. I have read the book just last week in preparation for my start into the Destiny series. I admit that I would need to look up examples, as I don't have any on my mind right now (and of course my copy of the book not at hand...). I shall skim through the pages and bring some examples, or not. We'll see There are some more references in 'GoN' with the engineer of Columbia. He uses "Ja, Nein, Jawohl" and on one ocasion 'kaput', although that one is misspelled a bit (it's missing a second 't').

Anyway I remember being 'pleased' (that is somehow the right and the wrong word at the same time) when I read the german line in the writers aknowledgements of 'Star Trek Titan: Taking Wind'.

I only came back to the Star Trek fiction universe the last few weeks, when the site I write my reviews for offered my the german version of the first Star Trek Titan book as a review copy and have to catch up now big time.

It's a nice thing to have some german expressions in those books for me.

On a more personal note: As you have been here posting, Mr. Bennett, I'd like to say, that I liked most of 'GttS' and had a lot of fun reading about your very intriguing half-vulcan character. She acutally reminded my of a Star Trek RPG game years and years ago, where we had some very _very_ unique characters playing the field of the Star Trek universe. They fitted in there better than one would imagine and it was one of the most rewarding roleplaying games I have ever participated in.
It was a nice time back then, and your book made me think of that. Thank you for that, very much
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Old December 16 2008, 10:00 PM   #5
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

I presume you mean 'Taking Wing' which, BTW, featured the Stupidest Starship Name Yet: USS Der Sonnenaufgang.
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Old December 16 2008, 10:01 PM   #6
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Cut wrote: View Post
As a native german speaker I find it quite nice
Really? I think it's annoying as hell. Especially the German/English mix Graylock uses. There's enough Denglisch (excessive use of english words in German; and yes, we have created a word for that ) in the German language today, so I don't really need to see the same from the opposite side in my English Trek Literature.
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Old December 16 2008, 10:05 PM   #7
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

By the way, "kaput" is also an English word, and we spell it with one T.
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Old December 16 2008, 10:05 PM   #8
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

David Mack wrote: View Post
I was just looking to add a bit of flavor. Also, when I was growing up, my older brother studied German for a few years in high school, so I picked up some of his affinity for it.
Thanks for the quick answer, Mr. Mack.

I have been offered to review the german translation of the Vanguard series. Not being a huge TOS fan first and foremost (I grew up with 'The Next Generation') I like the Original Series, but am not as firm with it as with the newer series.

So I'd like to use the oppurtunity to ask if there are books that you'd consider required reading to grasp the Vanguard series.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Cut; December 16 2008 at 10:25 PM.
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Old December 16 2008, 10:05 PM   #9
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Christopher wrote: View Post
By the way, "kaput" is also an English word, and we spell it with one T.
Fascinating. Didn't know that. I stand corrected
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Old December 16 2008, 10:08 PM   #10
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Defcon wrote: View Post
Cut wrote: View Post
As a native german speaker I find it quite nice
Really? I think it's annoying as hell. Especially the German/English mix Graylock uses. There's enough Denglisch (excessive use of english words in German; and yes, we have created a word for that ) in the German language today, so I don't really need to see the same from the opposite side in my English Trek Literature.
I do see this differently. I like it, and there are multiple reasons for that. One of them is for sure that we give some german expression back to those languages, that we adopted so many terms from.

Funnyly we included some terms in our denglish that aren't even english (say 'handy' for mobile phone).

I like the added flavour, but can understand your reasoning as well.
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Old December 16 2008, 10:10 PM   #11
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

captcalhoun wrote: View Post
I presume you mean 'Taking Wing' which, BTW, featured the Stupidest Starship Name Yet: USS Der Sonnenaufgang.
I meant the aknowledgement to the adopted son of one of the authors with the line "Ich liebe Dich, mein Sohn."

I had somehow managed to drop the Sonnenaufgang from memory
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Old December 16 2008, 10:12 PM   #12
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

it's one of the few things i hated in that book and overtook USS Bill of Rights as Stupidest Starship Name Yet in my mind, hence it sticks.
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Old December 16 2008, 10:23 PM   #13
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Where's the USS Bill of Rights from? I'm guessing that's in a Carey book.
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Old December 16 2008, 10:23 PM   #14
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

captcalhoun wrote: View Post
it's one of the few things i hated in that book and overtook USS Bill of Rights as Stupidest Starship Name Yet in my mind, hence it sticks.
Where's that one from?
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Old December 16 2008, 10:24 PM   #15
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Cut, a friendly alert, posting three+ times in a thread in a row is against board rules. In the future if you find you have more to say and you were the last to post please utilize the Edit button on your post. Or if you have multiple people to reply to you can use the Multi-Quote button to quote multiple posts at once.

Thanks and welcome to the board.
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