6-shot Mauser Selbstlader. Courtesy Giuliano Alfinito. All rights reserved.
Mauro Baudino & Gerben van Vlimmeren - All rights reserved.
Interpretation and translation. The   German   language   is   very   much   alive   and   this   means   that   small   changes   in   styles,   words   and   meanings   develop   over   time   which   causes   certain risks.   One   needs   to   have   a   basic   understanding   of   the   terminology   of   the   time   and   the   subject   (in   this   case   the   gun   business)   in   order   to   interpret   and translate   this   material   correctly.   Luckily   for   me   the   early   Dutch   and   early   German   languages   share   a   lot   of   common   aspects,   which   was   quite   helpful   in some cases. A good knowledge of the companies, the major players and the products involved also helps to interpret the material more effectively. The   cooperation   of   Paul   Mauser   was   important,   however.   He   wrote   most   of   his   notes   while   sitting   in   the   train. These   notes   are   usually   well   written   and relatively   straightforward   to   interpret.   Things   got   worse   when   he   was   making   notes   as   he   went   along.   These   quick   scribbles   while   standing   or   walking are   very   hard   to   interpret   and   there   are   several   examples   of   texts   that   Paul   himself   rewrote   because   he   had   trouble   decoding   what   he   had   scribbled down himself! When   we   have   re-assembled   and   interpreted   the   German   texts   themselves,   the   next   challenge   begins.   Translating   these   notes   from   German   into English   is   not   as   straightforward   as   one   might   expect.   First   there   is   the   technical   jargon,   which   is   not   only   specific   for   the   business,   but   also   for   a certain   timeframe.   Furthermore   it   is   impossible   to   simply   translate   the   texts   word   by   word.   It   would   lead   to   some   babelesque      'Google'   translation   that is   quite   funny   to   read   but   is   mostly   useless.   So   the   translation   effort   is   done   by   interpreting   the   text   and   rewriting   it   in   a   way   that   is   understandable   and logical   in   the   modern   English   speaking   world. The   worst   things   to   translate   (and   some   even   can't   be   translated   properly)   are   word   jokes. And   although Paul   was   a   rather   bad   joker,   he   did   write   down   a   couple   of   them.   The   pun   surrounding   the   'Eierfrau'   (or   'Egg   Lady',   a   women   who   sold   fresh   eggs)   is completely lost in translation. The problem is that Germans refer to certain male genital parts as 'Eier'.