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Facharbeit: Michael Moore’s “Stupid White Men”

Alles zu Michael Moores  - Stupid White Men

The German version of M. Moore’sStupid White Men

– an exact copy of the English original?
Introduction …………………………………….. 3
The Differences………………………………... 4
The Cover………………………………………...4
The Structure……………………………………. 4
The Contents……………………………………. 5
The Translation…………………………………. 6
The Result………………………………………. 8
A Letter To Michael Moore…………………… 9
The Bibliography………………………………. 11
The Explanation ……………………………….. 12
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1. Introduction
I’ve read the German version of Michael Moore’s “Stupid White Men” because I’ve seen him on TV. I was interested and I’m still interested in his way of regarding the things which happened in the USA! Nobody can close his mouth and he exactly says what he means! He tells everybody what really goes on in the USA. But he sometimes exaggerates.
If you read a book, you don’t think about its translation or if it’s an original copy, if it’s a translated book. You think there are no differences or that these differences aren’t really important. This is an interesting and important question because the translator can change the contents, the structure and so on. He can affect the opinion with his changes!
I want to prove if there are changes! I’m interested in finding out if the German version is an exact copy of the English original!
I want to do this in this text project for the school!
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2. The Differences
2.1 The Cover (have a look on the first page)
Here are the first differences! It’s not only the language which has changed. The style of the cover has changed, too. On the front cover of the original you see the big flag of the United States. In the background and in the foreground you see Michael Moore real big, too! The title is in capitalized letters over his head and his name is in capitalized letters on his picture! And then there’s a quotation of a magazine, too, which praises the book. It’s like a comic cover! On the back cover there’s a small summary of the book and more quotations of magazines and newspapers! And a picture of Michael Moore and the quotation, from Michael Moore, – “thorn in the side of corporate America, scourge of political hypocrisy and all-around ass-kicker of those that need a boot in the behind – comes out swinging …”!
In contrast to this style is the German cover! Its simply red but remarkable, too!
On the top of the front cover there’s in big letters Michael’s name in the middle of it there’s a circle with Michael’s picture and on this picture and beyond it there’s the title of the book. Under the picture there’s a short sentence about the book. On the back cover there’s a short but different summary too, and there are the quotations of magazines, too. If you compare these two covers you will notice that both are remarkable. But they are styled in the typical style of a German and an American book!

2.2 The Structure
The English original starts with short information about Michael Moore after that there’s the title and when it was printed and so on, on the next pages a dedication follows and on the next page a quotation of George W. Bush. After that, there’s the page with the contents. The English original has got an introduction which follows after the contents, it has got twelve chapters and, after that, an epilogue. At the end there are the notes and sources, the

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acknowledgments, text about Michel Moore and a text about the typeface. The original has got 285 pages counted from chapter one.
The German version starts with a short summary of the book on the inside cover. After that there’s the title and Michael’s name and the names of the people who translate the book into German. On the next page there’s a note about the original print and there are the dates of the German prints. The quotation of George W. Bush follows. After that there’s the dedication and on the next page there are the contents. The German version starts with the introduction, too, which follows after the contents. The German version has got eleven chapters and an epilogue, a text with thanks and a text with notes. It has got 309 pages counted from the first page of the book. If you compare this you will see the next difference!

2.3 The Contents
This is one of the most important differences! There are the big changes! The introduction of the original is totally different to the German version! The reason for this is written in line 2 of the original version in the introduction. This book is written and first published for the English speaking world! There has to be another introduction for the German! The next big change is the epilogue. The German epilogue is the last chapter of the English original! And the epilogue of the original isn’t in the German version. The ends of both books are totally different. This starts with these epilogues and goes on with the acknowledgements. The original is after the notes. In the German version it’s before the notes. And the German version ends with the notes. The original ends with the typeface! And there’s between the acknowledgment and the typeface a text over Michael Moore!
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The Translation

The biggest differences are here. If you read both book you’ll notice that there are different types of changes. Here are some examples:

Sentences are omitted
You can see this on page 164 in the original and on page 202 in the German version. In the original there’s a sentence, before a list, which is omitted in the German version.

Words are added
-In the original version is written “D.C.” on page 11, in line 32, but in the German version (p.32, l.28) they added “Washington”.
-On page 56 the name “Starbucks” is used in line 6, in the German version they add the word “coffee” (p.85, l.9)
- On page 85 of the original he named “Jake Wood” in line 12 and in the German version they added “Baseballspieler” (p.119, l.15)

Words are omitted
- On page 11 in line 12 is written “On the morning of Saturday, December 9, 2000,” but in the German version the only write “Am 9. Dezember 2000”
- On page 39 in line 29 he writes “eventually” but in the German version it’s missing in the translation! (p.64, l.20-23)

Sense translation
- “backwater banana republic” is written on page 3 in line 1 of the original but in the German version they write “gottverlassene Bananenrepublik” (p.22, l. 24)
- On page 11 of the original hey write “Can I say it any louder?” (l.5) and in the German version “Muss ich noch deutlicher werden“ is the translation.
(p.31, l.31)

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- In the original Michael writes “…they need to fuck with your mind” (p.51, l.13/14) In the German version they translate it to “…eine große Gehirnwäsche durchführen”. (p.77, l.29)
- “Kill Whitey” is the heading of chapter 4. The German translation in the book is “Los, killt die Weißen”.
- “Driving while black” is a heading of a part of chapter four (p.79), but the German translation is “Über Schwarze am Steuer”. (p.113)

Understanding translation
- On Page 3 of the original it’s written “Our way of life” – In the German version “American way of life”.
- On page 12 there’s written that “a cloud” is on something – The German understanding is “ein Schatten”. (p.33, l.6)
- On Page 58 Michael name “PBC”, “PVC” and “PBB” – The German names are “DDT”, “PVC” and “Seveso-Gift”.
- “the Label on a Bud” (p.86, l.10) is changed in “Etikett auf der Bierdose” for the German translation. (p.120, l.7)
- “… to hell” (p.170, l.1) is changed to “zum Teufel”. (p.207, l.32)
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3. The Result
A cover change doesn’t really matter! But it starts with the structure, which can change and the contents, which can change, too. If there’s not the same structure and the same contents, it can’t be an exact copy! But the most important thing is the translation. You can mostly translate sentences in different ways. But for a book it’s the necessary to translate it near the original!
The German version is no exact copy of the English original version!
The books have a different cover, what doesn’t matter! (In detail to read in 2.1) And they have a different structure, what the first sign is of not an exact copy is! (In detail to read in 2.2)The contents have changed, too. (In detail to read in 2.3) But the most important thing is the translation, which has changed, too! (In detail to read in 2.4) The German version has lost a big part of the sarcasm, the irony and the humor! It is more boring than the original version! It has lost its magic its character. If you’ve read the original and you read the German version, you soon notice that something is missing. Sometimes you think – “the Germans must be stupid and not educated” – with all these added words for the “understanding”!
The interesting thing is the style and language type of English writing authors, the stylistic devices and the different proverbs. Especially authors of the USA have got a different ways to express what they want!
Most of this is lost in the German version. So you can read a book about the USA from a German author. But it’s not the same because he’s no American who is living in the country and mostly controlled by this! He’s not really a proud American, who criticizes his government and his country!
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Dear Michael Moore,
I’ve read the German version of your book “Stupid White Men”. And I like it.
It’s a book for people who want to know the truth of what happened in the USA. It’s a book for politically interested people.
After I’ve read the English original for a school project, I had the idea to compare both versions of this book for this project. I wanted to know if there were big differences in the versions, differences in the translation and in the structure and so on!
I’m surprised. There are big differences in the structure and the translation.
The results of this are some questions which I tried to answer!
Why are there two different introductions?
I think you wanted to publish it only in the English speaking world first, like you told us in line two of the introduction of the English version.
Why is the last chapter of the English version the epilogue of the German version? And why is there another epilogue in the English version?
I’ve found no answer for these questions!
Why are there so many changes in the translation? Are we not able to understand the real translation?

I’ve noticed that there are different types of changes:
sentences are omitted
Words are added (for understanding?)
words are omitted
sense translation
I think these changes should make it easier to understand the text!
But doesn’t the book lost his character??? The people who read this book, in Germany, mostly are political interested and educated. They don’t need this simplification!
I’ve still told you that I like your book but here is some criticism about the German version! This translation is okay, but with this simplification the
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book loses his magic. The sarcasms, the irony and the humor are lost with the German simplification!

Here are some ideas from me, for the translation:
- Don’t add words! – The people who read this book are not stupid! And if there’s a need for it, make notes under the text.
- Don’t make sense translation. – The people who read this book will understand it, too, if there’s the real translation!
I sent you a copy of this school project work. If you want to you can have a look at it and you can read this in a more detailed way!
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5. The Bibliography

Moore, M., Stupid White Men, … and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!, London, 200216
Moore, M., Stupid White Men, Eine Abrechnung mit dem Amerika unter George W. Bush, München, 200332

Moore, M., Stupid White Men, … and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! London, 2003
Moore, M., Stupid White Men, Eine Abrechnung mit dem Amerika unter George W. Bush, München, 2003

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Hier mit erkläre ich dass ich die Facharbeit ohne fremde Hilfe angefertigt und nur die im Literaturverzeichnis angeführten Quellen benutzt habe.
Facharbeit im Fach Englisch:
"The German version of M. Moore’s “Stupid White Men” – an exact copy of the English original?"

Ein Vergleich der deutschen und englischen Version von Stupid White Men!

1. Introduction
2. The Differences
2.1 The Cover
2.2 The Structure
2.3 The Contents
2.4 The Translation
3. The Result
4. A Letter To Michael Moore
5. The Bibliography
6. The Explanation (2114 Wörter)
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