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Does anyone read Sütterlin?

Article about: Thank you for all of the time you have put into helping us, Andreas. We all really appreciate it. If you are ever in Erie, let me know, and I will buy you an appreciation gift. haha

  1. #1
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    Default Does anyone read Sütterlin?

    Hi guys,

    I got my first feldpost a few weeks ago. It is a 4 page letter written on two pieces of paper. It is date 14 May 1944. It was purchased from a dealer in Zagreb, Croatia.

    I've sent a copy to a registered translator, but she was not able to qoute a price to do the translation work, as the script is apparently Sütterlin.

    I've sent it on to another translator who can apparently read Sütterlin, but she won't be able to look at it for another couple of weeks yet.

    It seems like an interesting form of writing. Almost art.

    Anyway I thought I'd post some pictures of the letter up, if anyone is interested in practicing their Sütterlin skills or something

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Does anyone read Sütterlin?

    If anyone can read it, it would be HPL2008. He's the best decipher pro of Sütterlin I've ever yet seen!
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Does anyone read Sütterlin?

    Thanks Wagriff I've gathered that.

    I'll wait for his appraisal

  5. #4

    Default Re: Does anyone read Sütterlin?

    Yep, Andreas is pretty much my hero.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Does anyone read Sütterlin?

    Sorry; but I'm afraid I have to disappoint you.

    Please allow me to explain why I won't attempt to tackle this letter or several others that have been posted before by various members:

    Being born decades after they stopped teaching Sütterlin, I never learned it systematically - the way one would learn it in school or in a proper course - but eventually self-taught myself to decypher it. Although I obviously never actively used it myself, I can now read it more or less well, although not really fluently. It's always a slow and rather tedious process for me to make out text in Sütterlin; sometimes, if the handwriting is bad, it is all but impossible.

    Added to the decyphering work is the translation work, and that is difficult and slow business, too, if one wants to do it well and accurately. (Which is the only way I will do it; I hate "hack jobs".)

    Now I fully understand that collectors who acquire documents want to know what they say and I am always happy to help, but I really have to draw the line somewhere.

    A postcard, a brief message, some text on the back of a photograph or captions in an album is one thing, but doing a multiple-page field post letter would literally mean hours of work for me. (And all too often those letters contain only private matters of little to no historical interest.)

    So, meaning no offense whatsoever: Please understand that I reserve the right to chose which documents I will attempt to read and translate and that I generally don't do long letters.

    Hope you understand.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Does anyone read Sütterlin?

    Hey thats cool HPL

    Would hate to presume to use you as a free resource, my intent was just to post up some pictures if someone wanted to use them for practice work or something, not to impose a translation request.

    From what I've seen you've donated a lot of time and effort to helping forum members, often up-valuing their own collections. You deserve respect!

    Hopefully I can get a translation done in the next few weeks, and then I'll put it up for everyone

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Does anyone read Sütterlin?

    Quote by HPL2008 View Post
    Sorry; but I'm afraid I have to disappoint you.

    Please allow me to explain why I won't attempt to tackle this letter or several others that have been posted before by various members:

    Being born decades after they stopped teaching Sütterlin, I never learned it systematically - the way one would learn it in school or in a proper course - but eventually self-taught myself to decypher it. Although I obviously never actively used it myself, I can now read it more or less well, although not really fluently. It's always a slow and rather tedious process for me to make out text in Sütterlin; sometimes, if the handwriting is bad, it is all but impossible.

    Added to the decyphering work is the translation work, and that is difficult and slow business, too, if one wants to do it well and accurately. (Which is the only way I will do it; I hate "hack jobs".)

    Now I fully understand that collectors who acquire documents want to know what they say and I am always happy to help, but I really have to draw the line somewhere.

    A postcard, a brief message, some text on the back of a photograph or captions in an album is one thing, but doing a multiple-page field post letter would literally mean hours of work for me. (And all too often those letters contain only private matters of little to no historical interest.)

    So, meaning no offense whatsoever: Please understand that I reserve the right to chose which documents I will attempt to read and translate and that I generally don't do long letters.

    Hope you understand.
    Guys if all could be mindful of these comments from Andreas in the future . I am glad he has made these comments himself as for quite a long period of time i have thought the same thing that it was maybe a bit too much to be asking when that folks who don't understand a single word of the German langauge are buying long letters of Feldpost / documents/reports etc etc and then posting them in expectation that someone , in particular Andreas would take the time to translate them , for FREE !!

    Andreas is without a doubt one of the the most helpful and knowledgable members on the forum and it to his great credit that he has carried out this task for such a sustained period almost exclusively on his own.

    My comments are not aimed at anyone in particular and i applaud the poster of this thread that he has made attempts to get the letter translated by a professional which will cost , i know as have used the services of a German lady to assist me in such matters for many years , in fact all the years i have collected documents relating to the Third Reich . Although this has cost it has also been very beneficial to my own knowledge of the German language which is much improved.

    I'm sure that all of us here with regard to Third Reich paperwork will continue to be happy to chip in with translations etc if we have the required knowledge but we have seen an upsurge in lengthy documents such as Feldpost which take up far too much of the translators time and effort so perhaops look for other alternatives !!

    regards

    Paul
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Does anyone read Sütterlin?

    What Paul said.

    Just to clear up that I never intended to impose a translation request of a 4 page document in archaic handwriting on anyone, neither did I ask or solicit it. I'd baulk if someone did that to me!

    I intended it to show my purchase and for it to be a resource for translation practice etc., thats why I uploaded them as .png - sorry if that didn't come across in my first post.

    Let's keep the goodwill going and give credit to the members who help with good advice. As Ade says 'had good advice? Donate!'

    Thanks guys

  10. #9

    Default Re: Does anyone read Sütterlin?

    I also have some facility with suetterlin. From what I have seen, HPL2008 has far more skill in it than I, but I wanted to say that I know how he feels.

    It is sometimes an extraordinarily difficult and tedious process and, as he says, can take many hours. If the person's handwriting is poor, it becomes all the more so.

    A letter like this could take days and perhaps sections may not be recoverable even then.

    At any rate, I just wanted to support him in saying that what he does in translating these things on the forum is just outstanding and incredibly generous work and that I have known exactly how he feels in wanting to do something but simply having to decline.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Does anyone read Sütterlin?

    Hello DioMac!

    I myself did not see you as "expecting" it be done for you at all. I understand you're just showing it and hey... if someone out there wants to and can translate it... great!

    And so thank you for showing it!

    Still... it's great to see a little discussion on the effort members put in to translate just as a general discussion. In a way, I suppose your letter gives members not only a chance to appreciate the letter itself but also to reflect and appreciate the huge amount of work members like HPL2008 do for us all.

    Like I said, great letter. And the aesthetic quality of this person's writing is wonderful.

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