The difference between colloquial and literary Czech is considerably wider than in many other languages, due to almost two centuries when German supplanted Czech as the official language of Habsburg-ruled Bohemia. The written form of the language revived in the early ninete- enth century consciously drew on archaic forms, creating a split between the two that remains distinct to this day. However, his use of colloquial speech initially led Czech critics to dismiss it as a popular work with little literary value.
While a thorough comparison of these translations is be- yond the scope of this article, a few observations on the relationship between indirect translation and retranslation between less common languages can be made through the analysis of a short passage from the first chapter of the novel. This is of particular relevance to Turkish readers because it involves the complex question of the relati- ons between the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Habsburg Empires.
There he talks to a secret policeman named Bretschneider, who is deliberately provo- king the others to make treasonous statements. The Turks had lost in against Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece. Pay for your beer and sit in the pub and babble what you want. Whether he is simply foolish, or cunningly asserting his independence in the face of power, is the central question of the novel.
For centuries the Austrians had seen the Turks as heathen enemies, and the Czechs had inherited this shared cultural anti- pathy Sabatos, , p. Yet with the Turco-German Alliance, this foe had become an ally, and Russia whom the Czechs saw as a brother Slavic nation became the enemy.
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Both of these shifts would affect further translations into French and English, respectively. Nicht wahr, Du liebst sie nicht. Zahl Dein Bier und sitz im Gasthaus und quatsch was Du willst. Das ist mein Prinzip. This change may have been derived from the Czech source text. Nicht wahr, das nicht. Bezahl dein Bier und setz dich hin und quatsch was du willst.
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Surely not. For us, tradesmen, there are no politics. Doch bestimmt nicht. Bezahl dein Bier, sitz in der Kneipe herum und rede, was du willst.
Das ist mein Grundsatz. Pay for your beer and sit in the pub and say what you want. These two trans- lations have served as the basis for indirect translations into various other languages, including most of the Turkish versions. Pay for your drink and sit down and say what you like. Parrott, , p. Pay for your beer, sit down in my pub and jabber what you like. For us, who are in a business for themselves, politics has no cur- rency. Pay for your beer and sit in the pub, and babble all you want. That is my principle.
As in the case of English, the later part of the novel was left unpublished for decades. Hasek, , p. For us other tradesmen, there are no politics. If you pay for your litre you have a place here, you have the right to babble as much as you want, all the way to St. This difference has some impact on the Turkish versions as well, since the first two Turkish translations were based on Horejsi indirectly and Selver, respectively. Ce sont les Turcs. Surement pas! It was the Turks. Because of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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The Emperor never sho- uld have take them away from them. Do you like them, those pagan dogs? Surely not! It is striking that none of the translations were made from German, considering that both Czech and Turkish have much closer literary and cultural ties to German than to English. Yet this natural affinity via German, which would be the most suitable form of indirect translation from Czech to Turkish, has not been taken advantage of by Turkish translators. Benim prensibim budur. It was because of Bosnia, the Ottomans did it, my friend.
You need to know world politics! In , the Ottomans lost the war against Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece.
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They wanted Austria to help them. To Palevic Do you informal like the Ottomans? Tell me, do you like them? For tradesmen like us, there is no such thing as politics. After you pay for your beer, you can sit here as long as you want, you can talk as much as you want. Benim ilkem bu. Do you like them? Even a Turk. Pay for your drink and sit and say what you want. This is the first complete translation with all four bo- oks and is still one of the most widely-reprinted editions.
Do you like those infidel scoundrels? Give your money, then drink your beer, sit in the pub and babble as much as you want. Benim ilkem budur. Pay your mo- ney, drink your beer and say what you want. In this case, the source text was the English version by Cecil Parrott. Really now, do you like those stone-hearted ones? After you pay for your beer, drink it, take the seat of honor and pontificate as you wish. Do you like those rabid pagans? Is it possible that you like them? It is unclear if this was an oversight, or an intentional softening of the phrase.
Yet rather than judging the translators in terms of fidelity, one might see them as magnanimous hosts, overlooking a rude remark made by a clumsy guest. Max Brod. Prager Tagblatt, 5 January, Die Abenteuer des braven Soldaten Schwejk. Grete Reiner. Prague: Adolf Synek. Stuttgart: Reclam Bibliotek. The Good Soldier Schweik. Paul Selver. New York, Doubleday. Cecil Parrott. New York: Crowell. London: Dial. Hasek, J. The unit embarks on a long train journey towards Galicia and the Eastern Front. Narrowly avoiding execution, he manages to rejoin his unit. People are often distinguished by the dialect and register of Czech or German they speak, a quality that does not translate easily.
Many German- and Polish-speaking characters, for example, are shown as speaking comedically broken or heavily accented Czech, while many Czechs speak broken German; much use is also made of slang expressions.
Much research has been conducted into this issue and the results are part of the catalog of all people , both real and fictitious, that appear in the novel. Sue Arnold , writing in The Guardian , stated "Every harassed negotiator, every beleaguered political wife and anyone given to ever-increasing moments of melancholy at the way things are should keep a copy of Hasek's classic 'don't let the bastards get you down' novel to hand. It's anti-war, anti-establishment, anti-religion and - praise indeed - even funnier than Catch The novel is also the subject of an unpublished operetta by Peter Gammond.