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Wolfgang Krege

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Wolfgang Krege (February 1, 1939- April 13, 2005) was a german author and translator. In the sixties, he studied philosophy at the university in Berlin. Since 1970 he works as an editor and subeditor, but as a translator, too. The first work, he translated, written by Tolkien, was The Silmarillion (as Das Silmarillion 1978), this translation was a great success for him. His next "project" was the new translation of The Hobbit, which was first translated years before by Walter Scherf (as Kleiner Hobbit und der große Zauberer 1957 later as Der kleine Hobbit 1971). The modernized translation was published 1997. With his knowledge about J.R.R. Tolkien and his works, he writes the encyclopaedia Handbuch der Weisen von Mittelerde (Guide of the wise men of Middle-earth) in 1996 and an elvish-dictionary in 2003. Beside his translations of Tolkien's works, he was the translator of books by authors like Anthony Burgess, E. Annie Proulx, Amélie Nothomb, Joseph Conrad, William Goldman and many others.

In 2000 his most discussed translation was published, a new german rendering of The Lord of the Rings. Krege tries there to render the original language style into german equivalents. Actually he accomplish, that the translated text seems more vivid. But a mistake of him was, that he used, to render the everday language of, for example the Hobbits, the too modern german language style of the early nineties. Because of this, the archaic narrative style of the original otftenly get lost. A popular example for one of this mistranslations is Krege's rendering of Samwise Gamgee's title he gives to Frodo Baggins, in the english version this title is "master", for this, the old translation has "Herr" (lord/master), but the new translation has "Chef" (boss/head). The word "Chef", seems not the perfect choice for the relationship of a rural gardner to his lordship. Most of the fans prefer the first translation by Margaret Carroux, but there are a lot of others, who like Wolfgang Krege's modern rendering.

Translations and Works