Aschenputtel-Cinderella Translation

Grimm Brothers

“Seht einmal die stolze Prinzessin, wie sie geputzt ist”, riefen sie, lachten und führten es in die Küche. Da mußte es von Morgen bis Abend schwere Arbeit tun, früh vor Tag aufstehn, Wasser tragen, Feuer anmachen, kochen und waschen. Obendrein taten ihm die Schwestern alles ersinnliche Herzeleid an, verspotteten es und schütteten ihm die Erbsen und Linsen in die Asche, so daß es sitzen und sie wieder auslesen mußte. Abends, wenn es sich müde gearbeitet hatte, kam es in kein Bett, sondern mußte sich neben den Herd in die Asche legen. Und weil es darum immer staubig und schmutzig aussah, nannten sie es Aschenputtel.

“Just look at the proud princess, how decked out she is,” they cried, and laughed, and led her into the kitchen. There she had to do hard work from morning till night, get up before daybreak, carry water, light fires, cook and wash. Besides this, the sisters did her every imaginable injury – they mocked her and emptied her peas and lentils into the ashes, so that she was forced to sit and pick them out again. In the evening when she had worked till she was weary she had no bed to go to, but had to sleep by the hearth in the cinders. And as on that account she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her Cinderella.

Cendrillon-Cinderella Translation

Charles Perrault

Les noces ne furent pas plus tôt faites, que la belle-mère fit éclater sa mauvaise humeur; elle ne put souffrir les bonnes qualités de cette jeune enfant, qui rendaient ses filles encore plus haïssables. Elle la chargea des plus viles occupations de la maison : c’était elle qui nettoyait la vaisselle et les montées, qui frottait la chambre de madame, et celles de mesdemoiselles ses filles. Elle couchait tout en haut de la maison, dans un grenier, sur une méchante paillasse, pendant que ses sœ urs étaient dans des chambres parquetées, où elles avaient des lits des plus à la mode, et des miroirs où elles se voyaient depuis les pieds jusqu’à la tête.

No sooner were the ceremonies of the wedding over but the stepmother began to show herself in her true colors. She could not bear the good qualities of this pretty girl, and the less because they made her own daughters appear the more odious. She employed her in the meanest work of the house. She scoured the dishes, tables, etc., and cleaned madam’s chamber, and those of misses, her daughters. She slept in a sorry garret, on a wretched straw bed, while her sisters slept in fine rooms, with floors all inlaid, on beds of the very newest fashion, and where they had looking glasses so large that they could see themselves at their full length from head to foot.


Schleiermacher introduces the two methods of achieving translation as paraphrase and imitation. He argues that the central conflict in translation is whether to focus on preserving the cultural context the author intended in the original text, or to more clearly represent the information in a way that the reader will comprehend while examining the target text. Instead, Schleiermacher suggests that the translator must work as an educator as well when creating the new text so that the original cultural context can remain intact. However, can this truly be achieved amidst an ethnocentric view of society? For example, joking can be viewed as a form of play that is often based on truths of social frameworks. How then can a translator convert this humor that is derived from a difference of values and principles of two groups of people?

Steiner Chapter 5

Steiner proposes the “The Hermeneutic Motion,” a fourfold process for the transfer of meaning that differs from the typical methods of translation: literalism, paraphrase, and free imitation. The last part of Steiner’s model is referred to as restitution. In this phase, translators must focus on restoring an equality that may have been disturbed during the conversion from one language into another. As Steiner explains, disequilibrium is created by “taking away,” and then, “adding” to the concepts of the original text to benefit our own understanding. Although it is understood that translation ought to be based on a principle of equality, should we, as educators and learners, not attempt to make the concept of the material as clear as possible? Or does this disregard to the original text imply disrespect and ignorance to the work of the creator? If so, Steiner rationalizes that translation should serve the purpose of a mirror for reflection of the original image from an opposite viewpoint.

Pym Discussion Questions

Pym refers to the idea of tertium comparationis, which explains a possible universal understanding for meaning that lies outside of individual languages. Therefore, as Snell-Hornby clarifies, it is assumed by natural equivalence thinkers that all languages posses the ability to be conveyed in a similar manner. However, doesn’t variance in culture imply that this cannot always be true? Pym rationalizes that if translation presents a new concept or way of thought to a culture, how can the introduction of this idea be deemed natural? There is also concern that major cultures feel dominance over the rest of the world in accordance to their belief that the world is a reflection of those civilizations that achieve power. Anthropologist, Stuart Hall, questions the concept of “the West and the Rest” and how this notion came to be. He comments that the European’s discovery and expansion into the New World brought with it the theory that industrialized Europe is what all societies strive to become. This belief then diminished their appreciation for the unique culture that they had encountered. In conclusion, based on which assumptions (if at all) is it fair for one society to determine their language is superior to that of another?