Translation Principles and Commentary

To our knowledge, an English-language translation of the original Danish edition and of the German typescript have never been published before now. The method of translation used here combines word-to-word translation, one that follows closely the form of the source language, and idiomatic translation, one that gives attention to more subjective expression. Our goal has been to keep the translations as close to the original as possible except for instances where syntax or gendered language requires subjective interpretation. Given that the narrative addresses a major scientific and cultural phenomenon of the early twentieth century, new scientific and idiomatic terminology specific to the time period has been rendered differently in the various languages. We have avoided standardizing such terminology or updating it to comply with today’s preferred usage.

The translations of the Danish edition and the German typescript can be compared with the originals via the paragraph numbering in each witness. Translators’ notes indicate choices made in translating especially difficult passages. The original-language editions and their English-translations are integrated into the Collation Studio for comparison.